By Manning Wolfe
Before I began writing legal thrillers, I asked myself why we love the law and what is so compelling about civil conflict stories and those involving people in trouble with authority. I’ve narrowed it down to seven main categories, all of which have to do with the very essence of romanticism: emotion and individualism. While writing, I try to keep these in mind so that I am not only telling readers a thrilling tale, but a deeply satisfying one as well.
1. Voyeurism – Everyone likes to spy on someone engaged in intimate behavior or unaware that they are being observed. Maybe we don’t all peep into windows, but we eavesdrop on a conversation at the next dinner table, or find it hard to turn away from a kissing couple.
2. Life or Death Situations – An attorney, judge, or jury holding someone’s life in their hands is the height of drama. It is also the pinnacle of helplessness – knowing that one may do all they can and still come out a loser in a court of law. Sometimes the threat to the life of a loved one can be even more compelling than the threat to our own well-being.
3. Rooting for the Underdog and Defying the Odds – We as readers love to root for the underdog in our legal thrillers. Even if the person is a bad guy, if the author does a good job of making them multifaceted, there’s always something to like about the villain. Maybe he/she is a victim of their own life circumstances or simply a dog lover. Once we find that someone stronger (Goliath) is picking on one who is weaker (David), we find ourselves caught up in cheering for the underdog until they find their way out of the troublesome circumstance.
4. The Glass is Half Full - It’s good to be reminded that there’s always someone with worse problems than ours. Sometimes when life is tough, we enjoy escape into a good thriller and seeing someone else’s problems as greater than our own. Reading about someone’s murder trial makes the overdue utility bill or traffic jam seem a little less stressful.
5. Hope for the Future – We love when the underdog wins or the fish out of water finds his/her way into a new life or better situation. It reminds us that there is hope for all and the future has a bright ray of light emanating from it.
6. Belief in Justice Prevailing – Americans, and many other nationalities, have an inbred belief that justice will prevail. Whether it’s an eye for an eye or Karma, if one lives long enough, we see that things usually work out and reading a thriller reminds and reinforces this belief.
7. Closure – Finally, our minds like things wrapped up with a tidy bow. We enjoy an ending that if not completely finished has a sense of finality. We put the book down with a sigh. Whew – here’s one thing that is complete.
The End (See, it feels good!)________________________________________________________
Manning Wolfe is an author and attorney residing in Austin, Texas. She writes cinematic-style, smart, fast-paced thrillers with a salting of Texas bullshit. The first book in her series featuring Austin Lawyer Merit Bridges, is Dollar Signs:Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King. A graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law, Manning’s experience has given her a voyeur’s peek into some shady characters’ lives and a front row seat to watch the good people who stand against them. Her social media links are; Website http://manningwolfe.com/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/manning.wolfeTwitter https://twitter.com/ManningWolfe