Monday, January 4, 2016

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to the next generation of thriller authors?

Quite honestly, I think that each generation of writers has the same job—to tell great stories to their audiences. As readers’ expectations continue to evolve, so should our stories. That said, here are a couple thoughts.

1 - Spend the extra time making your story great. Create a character we want to spend time with, want to cheer for, and want to worry about. Make it clear what the character wants, how far he is willing to go to get it, and what is at stake if he fails. Whether you consider your story character-driven or plot-driven, every story, at it’s core, is struggle-driven. Draw us into that world.

2 - Be concise. I’m finding that people today really do have shorter and shorter attention spans, and with the emergence of ebooks (which seem to sell better when they’re shorter), I’m afraid that we’re going to have to start telling simpler and less complex stories. Or maybe we just need to write leaner, sharper, more gripping stories. In either case, ruminating, meandering prose and long, insignificant descriptions are out; and taut, intense stories are in.


  1. I really appreciated these. It can be rather difficult to admit to myself when my story still needs work or when I just need to go back to the drawing board and start all over because my characters are falling flat. So it's nice to have another reminder of how important relatable characters are.

    I find it interesting that shorter ebooks sell better. When I buy ebooks, it's generally because the physical copy is too thick and heavy for me to read comfortably. So I wonder why it tends to be the other way around for most people.

    Thanks for sharing! :)