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July 10, 2008


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Oh, wow! Are you going to share more about Thrillerfest to us poor folk who couldn't go? Please say yes, please say yes! I wish I could've gone!

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much David! You're awesome!


Good stuff. No, it's better than that: As James Ellroy would say, this is goooood stuff.

Roddy Reta

Thanks for posting this invaluable information. Finder's speech contains more good information about writing than a lot of 400 page books on the subject.

Joseph Finder has never written a bad novel in my opinion, and I still count HIGH CRIMES and COMPANY MAN as two of the best thrillers I've ever read. He obviously knows his stuff; I just wasn't aware how methodical he was in his approach.


This is good, and most of it applies to ANY type of book, not just thrillers!

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Elaine Flinn

You're a Prince & a Champ for sharing this, David!

AS Meredith

Thanks for the write up! I was a Craftfest, too, but didn't get to Mr. Finder's session. Each one I did attend was excellent. David Hewson's on computer tools was a gem--really about using tools to help organize and manage all the bits that go into a novel. Eric Van Lustbader's presentation was like a whole writing class crammed into an hour. Saw you sitting in the back at Neil Nyren's presentation but but didn't get a chance to say hi.

Patrick Balester

Very useful notes. Mind if I print them off and paste them next to my keyboard?

This should help as I rewrite my first draft.


For crummy shorthand, you did a great job! Thanks

I wish I were there at Thillerfest. I am hearing it's fabulous this year.


Thank you! Those comments are indeed very useful, and while they apply more to genre than literary fiction, they are the very things that distinguish genre from other forms of writing and spell the difference between failure and success.


Good to read these points again! Good timing for me as I'm doing my re-write. Thanks for sharing!

JJ Cooper

Thank you Mr Finder for the great tips. And thank you Mr Montgomery for bringing it those who couldn't make it this year. I'll see you there next year.


Karen Dionne

Great notes, David! I attended the same workshop and was going to summarize mine for a friend - now I don't have to. All I can add is how comforting I found it to know that despite his talent and his success, Joe still makes some of these mistakes. As he and others said many times over the weekend, writing is hard!


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Each one I did attend was excellent. David Hewson's on computer tools was a gem--really about using tools to help organize and manage all the bits that go into a novel. Eric Van Lustbader's presentation was like a whole writing class crammed into an hour.

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About Me

David J. Montgomery is a writer and critic specializing in books and publishing. He is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has also written for USA Today, the Washington Post, and other fine publications. A former professor of History, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.

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