Thomas Locke

Michael Crichton: My inspiration for techno-thriller writing

Behind the Mind of author, Thomas Locke

In this new feature, I’m responding to reader questions about writing – specifically, writing fantasy and techno-thriller novels. Here’s today’s reader question… and my response.

Q: Author Michael Crichton has been an inspiration to you. Can you elaborate on that?

Thomas Locke: When I started writing, I read how 90 percent of a professional athlete’s exercise time was spent on strengthening the 10 percent weakest part of his or her abilities. Every author has weak points.

As I struggled to learn this new craft, I had to come to terms with what my weaknesses were. Before I could correct them, I needed to identify them. Which was very hard indeed.

The creative work is not something “out there.” It is visceral, which means I was not criticizing a work external to me and my character. It is at the heart of who I am and the life I yearned to begin.

One issue I identified was a need to craft my characters more swiftly. How to merge this hunger I had for living breathing people who literally rose from the page, to a swift-moving story.

Michael Crichton was a master at this. His dialogue and his descriptions carried great depth, while being very terse, very taut. Like his plots. I modeled my early work on his example, and gradually learned how to form my own voice.

Your turn!

Ask me anything about writing, about my writing techniques, about writing fantasy and techno-thrillers. Watch for my responses in upcoming blog posts.



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