How Many Words Should a Thriller Have?

This is a very common question and one that I have looked at many times. 3 WISE MEN was originally around 68,000 words when I thought I had finished it. I say “thought” because this was the word count when I told my wife (and friends we were staying with) that “I had finished the novel.” What I should have told them was that I had finished the plot. When I advertised this fact, my writer friends informed me that the long period of editing would follow and that completing the draft was the “easy part.” They were correct, but it was still a real joy to have the draft done. Several months and many re-writes later, 3 WISE MEN was up to a word count of around 86,000. On close inspection, I discovered that there were too many adverbs and overuse of adjectives, etc. A culling of unnecessary words and phrases dropped the total work count to about 78,000 words. This period of review gave me time to clean up many sections of the book, split long chapters, etc. and generally improve the writing in sections that did not “flow” as well as I had thought. 3 WISE MEN seemed much tighter and better-paced as a novel at this stage and I was pleased to get it published. Then, helpful feedback from close friends gave me pause – especially from one who enjoyed more detail to help build up the tension of thrillers. With this advice in mind, I reviewed several parts of 3 WISE MEN and discovered that just over 80,000 words allowed better “breathing space” in the novel. This helped in describing characters and drama. I was still quite happy with my description of places, but broke up longer chapters where it seemed natural to do so. Finally, with the 2nd edition of 3 WISE MEN, I can now say that the novel is more complete! So, how long should a thriller be? It depends how long it takes to build characters, describe locations, create tension, and tell the story. But, at close to 80,000 words, the book seemed, for me, to be the right length. I just hope that you, the reader, agrees. If not, please let me know!

3 WISE MEN 2nd Edition is Launched!

3 WISE MEN is now available in a 2nd Edition-released for 2019. This new version has approximately 10 more pages. It has the same action-packed plot with a few typos fixed and more detail added in a few places; plus one more final chapter. At over 80,000 words, 3 WISE MEN continues to be a thriller that is ‘difficult to put down’ and has received rave reviews. Yours for just under a few cups of coffee, or less for the Kindle version. 3 WISE MEN, 2nd Edition, is available from Amazon at this link.

Countdown Deal for 3 Wise Men – Starts tomorrow!

Take advantage of a special countdown deal for the Kindle version of 3 WISE MEN. Click here for details and to purchase at an eye-watering price, then wipe your eyes and enjoy reading! Feedback is always welcomed. Thanks to my good friend John for ordering 2 copies and thoroughly enjoying this thriller. He is promised another copy after providing some feedback!

Spine-tingling action in 3 WISE MEN

Yes, it is very encouraging to get such great feedback on the tension and pace that keeps readers of 3 WISE MEN engaged and unable to put the book down! One reader commented that the book had no title on the spine. I agreed that this was an oversight and remedied it by making a change to the cover to include the spine. But then I discovered something very interesting – bookstores have to show the front cover when there is no text on the spine. Therefore, I decided to drop the spine text and leave it blank – an action that suits a thriller in some ways. Therefore, dear readers, 3 WISE MEN now has a blank spine – all the spine-tingling action is in the body of the book! Even the Chapters section is deleted too. Why? Since it added nothing to the plot or layout and took up space. You will notice that 3 WISE MEN is now just less than 80,000 action-packed words.

Rave Review from Books Monthly (UK)

In 3 Wise Men James Hayden takes a formula that’s been tried and tested by Dan Brown, turns it on its head and brings in an edge of seat thriller based on fact and markedly better than any of Brown’s thin and insubstantial efforts. This is a classic thriller with fairly short chapters, which is always good, punchy, gritty realism, gloriously exotic locations and chapter endings that leave you hanging, another tried and tested formula that began with Edgar Rice Burroughs back at the turn of the last century. Thrillers don’t come much better than this – huge fun and very entertaining!

from: booksmonthlyreviews


What is significant about 4,000?

Well, for starters, 4,000 yrs ago an old document gave a vivid description about a potent formula – one that is pivotal to 3 WISE MEN. And, 4,000 is about the number of ebooks that are uploaded each day to Amazon! Why does 3 WISE MEN deserve a mention among this number of wannabees?

  1. 3 WISE MEN is a thriller based on fact – not some far-fetched, unlikely scenario.
  2. 3 WISE MEN has enough sudden surprises to keep many other thrillers on their toes.
  3. 3 WISE MEN combines math and scientific work with spy overtones and authentic locations – yum!
  4. 3 WISE MEN is less than 300 pages, with mostly short chapters. “This makes it ideal reading,” said one reader.
  5. 3 WISE MEN follows our protagonist through some very exotic locations.
  6. 3 WISE MEN has had quality input from a number of on-location experts for added authenticity.
  7. 3 WISE MEN is affordable and, if not, a quick reply in the Leave a Comment section will ensure it is for you.
  8. 3 WISE MEN has proven to be “easy to read” (my wife’s comment, and I would be a fool not to trust her judgement).
  9. 3 WISE MEN is contemporary and covers everything from Trump, Putin, social media, and cryptocurrencies, etc.
  10. 3 WISE MEN revisits the biblical trio and brings a modern twist to ancient times. Enjoy 3 WISE MEN!

3 WISE MEN Continue to Captivate

More raving response on this novel from the author’s youngest daughter who said that she “couldn’t put it down” and that it was “really good.” And, at a special price for October too. Purchase 3 WISE MEN here and enjoy this contemporary thriller – complete with up-to-date references to Trump, Putin, The Vatican, crypo-currencies, etc.

“An excellent spy thriller based on an ancient document”

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