How to Murder Someone For Money with Chelsea Cain

March 21, 2020 - 11:00am - March 22, 2020 - 4:00pm
The Corporeal Center, Portland, Oregon

When: March 21st and 22nd :: 11:00am - 4:00pm (+optional meet and greet Friday March 20th 6-7pm)

Where: The Corporeal Center; 510 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Cost: $400

How to Murder Someone for Money

The best thrillers are character studies.  Imagine a couple having breakfast together.  They’re married, so they’re not talking.  They each have a point of view, their own agendas, baggage, expectations.  Now imagine that one of them has an axe.

It just got more interesting, didn’t it?  The stakes are clear. 

Thrillers are stories, with axes.  We take the thing unsaid in the room and make it real.  

I’ve spent over a decade puzzling out how to write thrillers, and I have developed a set of super top secret proprietary tools specifically designed for the thriller genre.  That’s a lie.  The tools are not proprietary and they work for any genre.  

Because here’s the thing: remember that breakfast table?  It doesn’t need an axe for the tension to be unbearable.

We’ll cover plotting, pacing, unpacking, pivoting, point of view, withholding, misdirection — everything you need to write a best selling commercial thriller, and/or get away with homicide, and/or write pretty much anything.  


Workshop includes:

In-class exercises, crime solving, snacks, discussions, sharing work, and some light murdering.  Participants will learn specific writing tricks, and how to implement them.  We will stumble upon corpses, and you will, at some point, be locked in the trunk of a car (in a story).  At the end of the weekend, one of you will have a million dollar commercial thriller idea and earn a gold universal handcuff key in recognition of your achievement.

If this sounds fun to you, you have found your people. 

Chelsea Cain is the NYT best selling author of the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, Kill You Twice, The Night Season, and Let Me Go, and the thriller, One Kick. Her work has been published in 30 languages, adapted for TV, and featured on The Today Show, HBO’s True Blood, and ABC’s Castle.  She is an Eisner-nominated comic book creator (Mockingbird, Man-eaters, Spy Island), the author of several illustrated humor books, a former columnist for The Oregonian, and the co-founder of The Ministry of Trouble. NPR named Heartsick one of the 100 best thrillers ever written, and Stephen King named two of Cain’s thrillers in his Top Ten Books of the Year.  According to Booklist, “Popular entertainment doesn’t get much better than this.”