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How Do You Like To Meet Thriller Villains?
As a thriller writer, Paula Wynne is keen to find out how thriller readers prefer meeting the villain in the thriller novels they love to read.
We are asking readers to answer a quick few questions on ...
Which Way Do You Like To Meet Your Thriller's Villain?
1. Do you like to know who the villain is almost straight away?
2. Do you only want to find out who the villain is when the main character finds out?
3. Would you prefer to be kept guessing until a twist reveal near the end?
This survey is now closed.
Reader Responses Revealed
Would you prefer to be kept guessing until a twist reveal near the end? Most readers said YES and here are some of the reader comments ...
Michelle: "I like the suspense and excitement of trying to work out who it is. The essence of a good book is to become so involved in the plot that it feels like it is part of your duty to solve it. If you find out to soon, I find interest can quickly wander away from the storyline. A good twist and plot has you not being able to put the book down until you've finished, only to feel intense disappointment at wanting more and impatient for a sequel."
Harley: "The anticipation of the suspense is almost as good as the suspense itself. I don't think I've felt disappointed when I've thought ""GAH! I totally didn't see that coming!"" Quite the opposite!"
Bethany: "Because it makes for a very exciting and thrilling read to have twists and turns and when you find out to soon it ruins the excitement of the book."
Betsy: "Sometimes, I like the book to start right off with the villain. This type of story is most fun because we know and the character doesn't, but has to go through the steps to find out what we already know. The excitement is not finding out who, it is finding our why, how and when. Usually in these, our character is endangered at some point and you feel yourself on pins and needles wondering if he or she will succeed in resolving the crime and even surviving in one piece. This way you can get inside the villain's head also. Can be very exciting. I really love being kept guessing. Hitchcock is one of my favorite types of mystery thrillers. You grab the clue, figure it out and wham, you are wrong since there is another murder or crime. But, this format is not always workable for all situations. The story has to be just right in order to keep the reader enthralled long enough to be twisted and turned all the way to the end. I have read books where there are many directions to go to figure out the villain, but as dead ends occur, you are thrown in many different directions and almost go over the cliff at the very end when you come face to face with the villain. Fun stuff......
Cherie: " I enjoy following the main character throughout the trials and tribulations. If the villian is revealed too early the rest of the book is just basically a keep away for the main character until the villian is caught or killed.
But, if I and the main character are left wondering who is the villian until nearly the end, the suspense and the WOW moment, the OMG not that person (s), is more intense, more likely believable . It also lets me know that the writer is someone I'll read again."
Sharon: "It is more nail biting when you are not really sure who you are hating."
Martina: "No I do not like to know. It keeps the air of intrigue and mystery going. I need something to keep me on my toes. To be blunt, so I have a reason to keep reading."
Sharon: "This keeps me reading longer and may be have a sleepless night because I couldn't put the book down."
Jeni: "I find there's more suspense if the identity is withheld. I like books where I can hear the villain's thoughts or POV but the identity isn't revealed until the protagonist finds out in a twist close to the end. I always find those to be the most engrossing. So I wouldn't say I only like them when the main character finds out. I also like when authors give the final twist about 85% of the way through so it doesn't feel rushed. Sometimes I get to the last 2 pages of a book, and then it almost feels like you're slapped in the face by the twist, so I'd rather almost be eased into it and have a few pages afterward to recover and re-catch my breath."
Tammy: "Trying to figure out who the villan is makes me feel like a part of the story."
Michelle: "Part of the fun of reading is figuring out the mystery for myself. When it is finally revealed who the bad guy is, I have usually already figured it out and can do a little happy dance that I was right... or do a different happy dance because the author managed to fool me and it wasn't who I thought it was and I didn't correctly figure it out, which sometimes I enjoy even more.
Kriss: "I like a balance. Sometimes it's intriguing to know, but it's also exciting not knowing. Keeps you reading even when you should be doing other things. Like, say, sleeping. :)"
THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the fantastic comments and feedback. This type of information has been invaluable to me. I am now fully armed to bring you more exciting and nail-biting thrillers in the near future ...