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Suspense Oder Wie Man Einen Thriller Schreibt
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Suspense Oder Wie Man Einen Thriller Schreibt

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  303 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Wie man einen Thriller schreibt wer wüsste das besser als die Meisterin des subtilen Terrors und der Banalität des alltäglichen Schreckens? Patricia Highsmith lässt sich über die Schulter schauen, sie hat ein Werkstattbuch geschrieben für alle, die selbst schreiben oder nur wissen wollen, warum sie vom Werk dieser Autorin so gefesselt sind.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published 1990 by Diogenes Verlag (first published 1972)
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In 1972 The Authors League reported that 95% of writers in America must hold another job all their lives to make ends meet.

A sobering thought to end this book on the writer's craft from one of the greats of 20th century storytelling. Remind me, why do I want to do this?

The talented Ms Highsmith is not at her most comfortable with this educational piece especially, as she says herself, she doesn't really consider herself a writer of suspense fiction or a fan of the label created by American publi
Poorly titled collection of recollections about the author's experience writing novels and stories. A few insights here and there, and worth a look, but nothing particularly inspiring. She's unwilling to make general pronouncements or to preach, which is admirable but makes the book seem almost lesson-less. Liked the bit about writing stories based on a memorable emotional experience.
Kressel Housman
Once upon a time, about five to ten years ago, I was obsessed with becoming a writer. I used to spend most of my time writing fiction, often to the point of neglecting my kids. It was some time during that period that my husband gave me this book as a present, but I didn't read it because "suspense fiction" was not my genre.

Although I did eventually finish a novel (Harry Potter fanfic) and manage to sell a few short stories, I basically stopped writing when I began working 9 to 5. I'm a much mor
I've never read any Highsmith, but found this book useful and informative. While not a typical writer's craft 'how to', this is a great look at Highsmith's particular techniques when writing suspense. It's highly entertaining to read her take on inspiration and how she develops her 'germs of ideas'. I found her enthusiasm immediately infectious and her dry, matter-of-fact observances hilarious.

"The most exciting story told by a friend with the fatal remark, 'I know you can make a terrific story
I read this book after Damon Knight included it among his “Suggested Reading” at the end of CREATING SHORT FICTION. He wrote, “Sensible, good-humored, and practical advice from a distinguished mystery writer. Much of what she says about novels can be applied to short stories.” I agree that there are lessons to be learned from this book, but readers will have to hunt for them inside this highly personalized, subjective book. After all, Highsmith (who wrote THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and STRANGERS ON ...more
Karolyn Sherwood
I was thrilled to find a how-to-write book by one of my favorite authors, Patricia Highsmith, of the Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train fame. And, while I underlined many wise and helpful hints throughout the book, I found it less helpful than say Stephen King's On Writing, and even Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing.

First of all, through no fault of the late Ms. Highsmith, the book is now quite dated. She writes a lot about her interaction (direct interaction) with editors, publish
I probably wouldn't have benefitted from reading this book when I was just starting out as a writer; I was still too green, and writing is a craft only mastered through long years of practice. Now, looking back at decades of writing and lots of mistakes, reading what Highsmith has to say not only offers many shock of recognition, but helps me see ways to avoid some of the mistakes she cites. Not recommended for the novice or aspiring writer, who is likely to become discouraged, but recommended f ...more

A great reference for writers and readers or suspense.
Dans ce livre assez court, Patricia Highsmith (auteur notamment du Talentueux Mr Ripley et de Strangers on a train) nous parle de son métier d'écrivain.

Le titre n'est pas vraiment adéquat, il s'agit plus ici de découvrir la carrière d'écrivain de Patricia Highsmith et la façon dont elle a écrit certains de ses romans, que de donner réellement une méthode sur comment écrire un thriller.

Intéressant donc sur le fond, mais inapproprié si on cherche un livre de méthode.
Pretty disappointing. Highsmith created less of a guide to plotting and writing, and more of a re-cap of her own experiences with writing. Had it been marketed as such, I suppose that wouldn't have been a problem. However, the title alone indicates a distinctly different read. I was not a fan of her zero sum game view on interacting with other writers. Although, when she writes that it's the people that were "dull-witted, lazy, mediocre in every way," who are the most stimulating to the imaginat ...more
This book is instructive without getting that dire tone that some writing manuals get.
Deborah Biancotti
More of a personal account than a how-to, this is a brief and interesting ride through the mind of a master of suspense. Highsmith's advice is often practical & sometimes surprising (she admits she prefers the company of boring people to the company of other writers, for example). Her assertion that a novel is an emotional thing perhaps casts the most insight into her own works, which are smart but visceral. This is an intelligent writer writing emotionally, & this little book explains h ...more
"Ποτέ μην απολογείσαι και μην εξηγείς, αποφάνθηκε ένας Αγγλος διπλωμάτης, κι ένας Γάλλος συγγραφέας, ο Μποντλαίρ, ισχυρίστηκε οτι τα μόνα καλά αποσπάσματα ενός βιβλίου είναι οι εξηγήσεις που απαλείφθηκαν" και κάπως έτσι βρήκα το εν λόγω βιβλίο πολύ ευστοχο ως προς τον αρχικό του τίτλο. Δοσμένες με τέτοιο τρόπο οι συμβουλές μέσα απο τα προσωπικά λάθη -δεν μπορουμε να μιλήσουμε για οδηγίες καθώς το γράψιμο ενός καλού βιβλίου δεν είναι συνταγή μαγειρικής που θ´ακολουθήσεις τα βήματα για να το πετύχ ...more
Lee Battersby
Desperately dated and old-fashioned how-to that shows its age. While there are still nuggets of relevance o be picked out on the matters of narrative construction and motivation, there's nothing here that can't be found in more contemporary guides by current authors, and the out-of-date personal comments and prevailing attitude of the book are best left in the era in which the book was first written.
Art Taylor
An odd little book but certainly not without its insights. I've seen complaints about it elsewhere -- valid ones to some degree. Highsmith doesn't offer any hard-and-fast rules for writing a novel (or for writing at all), and what she does offer, she presents with a little bit of a shrug: might work for you, might not, who knows? But while there's no step-by-step blueprint here for writing your own novels, she does proffer the kinds of questions that anyone trying to write a novel should ask him ...more
Marsha Van winkle
If you are a writer it's a must read. Patricia Highsmith shares her writing process in way that's easy to understand. She brings a professional insight to not only her material but other writers also. Her point of view on methods of plotting and development are solid and truly inspiring.
I can't say I should have expected anything else from a book on how to write suspense, but many of the insights seemed either obvious or the kind that were most remarkable only because you hadn't chosen to put them into words yourself. Highsmith seems to frequently say that her advice might not be for everyone, that it depends a lot on the individual, and that breaking from tradition as a new writer might even be your best bet.

If you're a fan of Highsmith, however, it's like watching a director'
One of the best books on writing I've ever read whether one is specifically interested in the genre or not. The author of Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley and other classic thrillers not only reveals herself to be a consummate literary craftsman with a refreshingly down-to-earth, nuts-and-bolts approach, but also offers a unique window into her own creative process. To pick but one small example, in discussing her rather gruesome short story, "The Terrapin", she mentions that the sh ...more
Susan Merrell
Not a how-to at all but really interesting. I am enough of an idealist to believe much of what she says.
This book was part of a series by writers about their craft, published in Boston at mid-century and blessedly still lingering in the stacks of my local library. I find it unlikely that Highsmith has much advice that would be useful to contemporary writers but enjoyed reading about her own writing process (intuitive, reclusive) and the economics and logistics of American publishing at the time--serialization fees, pasted-up galleys, etc. I was unsurprised to learn that Highsmith felt “psychically ...more
Soul Rhallin
This is a surprisingly well-written book by a well-respected author. Patricia Highsmith does a very good job of engaging a Reader in the material.

Researching information on how to write is normally a bit tedious, as one is looking for data, not entertainment. Quite miraculously, we are given very useful information in an easily read format that includes reasonable expectations and a fair amount of personalized humor.

I would definitely consider this a valuable resource for anyone attempting to
Sean Callaghan
-good section on snags; very different attitude to writing how to; basically do your own thing, and be rigorous.
Worst writing book yet I've read. I couldn't even finish it. Such a Debbie downer.
J.A. Schneider
Patricia Highsmith, despite writing in the suspense genre, sees suspense as a necessary ingredient of all fiction. The suspense genre simply focuses on the most extreme kinds of dread and excitement.

The author's tone is modest, never "instructional." There's only so much one can teach about the writing process. Everything an aspiring writer experiences is covered: plotting, first drafts, second drafts, revision. Highsmith's non-chatty prose is a lesson in itself. It's a wonderful book; one you c
d- patricia highsmith is to suspense writing what alfred hitchcock is to suspense films. in fact, i think he actually turned a couple of her books into films (strangers on the train). she also wrote "the talented mr. ripley", which was made into a movie a while back with matt damon.

in any case, i haven't read any of her books , but this is a jewel of a book about writing. it's a tiny, short little book, but one you should definitely have in your "writer's library". --e
Highsmith doesn't waste any time on theory or anything too ponderous but offers a very intersting look at her own process and in doing so gives a snapshot view of mid-20th century publishing. That history is all the more poignant given how rapidly the publishing world has changed in the past 10 years, see the work of Andre Schiffrin for more on that.
Robert Stewart
I found this very straightforward book very helpful, partly because it concentrates on how the author deals with the workaday problems of writing, and partly because it's written in such a friendly way. It's like an experienced friend telling you how she does things. Which is interesting, because apparently Highsmith was a little difficult in real life.
Enid Wilson
Patricia was very talented and it was fascinating to read how she came up with story ideas and develop them into wonderful suspense novels. Unfortunately, it made me realise that I do not want to surround myself (or filled my mind) with crimes, deaths and murders. It's better for me to stick to romance and sci-fi.
Highsmith is easy to like, perhaps because of Ft. Worth. I have only read a couple of her books yet was very interested in her how-to. It's not overflowing with actual advice, but she makes an honest effort. I wonder if anyone will ever see cinematic potential in her character Tom Ripley?
Mar 15, 2008 Laurie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Patricia Highsmith, writers, aspiring suspense novelists
Shelves: writing, non-fiction
This book is sometimes rambling, as these types of books often are, but Patricia Highsmith's prose is riveting... even when she's talking about plotting and character development. It's a quick read and recommended for fans of her work as well as aspiring writers in this genre (or any genre).
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Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist who is known mainly for her psychological crime thrillers which have led to more than two dozen film adaptations over the years.

She lived with her grandmother, mother and later step-father (her mother divorced her natural father six months before 'Patsy' was born and married Stanley Highsmith) in Fort Worth before moving with her parents to New York in
More about Patricia Highsmith...
The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley, #1) Strangers on a Train The Price of Salt Ripley's Game (Ripley, #3) Ripley Under Ground (Ripley, #2)

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“I had depressing thoughts that the theme, even though I had thought of it, was better than I was as a writer. Henry James or Thomas Mann could easily write it, but not I. 'I'm thinking of writing it from the point of view of someone at the hotel who observes her,' I said, but this did not fill me with much hope. Then my friend, who is not a writer, suggested I try it from the omniscient author's point of view.” 0 likes
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