Friday, February 23, 2018

“Must Go Faster! Must Go Faster!” by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

This iconic phrase comes from a movie wherein three people in a Jeep are about to be eaten alive. Can you picture the scene? Can you see the dinosaur’s head in the side mirror, with the little message on the bottom: OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR”?

Do you ever feel like that sometimes as a writer? If you don’t go faster, the world of writing and consumerism will eat you alive? While you’re writing your second or third book for the year, another author just published his or her eighth?

In a world with things like binge watching, fast passes, and freaky-fast food deliveries, it seems everything has to happen yesterday. Procrastinate a day, and you’re a week behind. So, we combat those assaults with personal and group-oriented binge-writing events. Pay good money for formulas on how to write a novel in thirty days. Some authors even go so far as to have someone else write the novel for them (with their input, of course). That’s how some famous authors can publish 13-14 novels a year.

But I have a question? If you could write a great novel or a good novel, which one would you choose? Do you like wearing mass-produced shoes, or hand-crafted ones? Would you rather eat frozen, store-bought pizza or freshly hand-made pizza from a local pizzeria? Do you like adorning your house with hand-made wooden furniture, or the kind made out of particle board with the plastic veneer? I think you see where I’m going with this.

Little in this life worth having and cherishing was made quickly. That’s not to say a good novel cannot be written in a mere few weeks. A Christmas Carol was written in about six weeks. And that’s not to say good writing cannot come from the computer of a person who types 40,000 words in a cloistered weekend. But those works are the exception, not the rule.

In most cases, however, good writing comes from careful word choices. Meticulous research. Edit upon edit. But it also comes from a story not quite told that way before. A tale that is a little different from the rest in its telling. Not a formula wherein the names and places are interchangeable, and the story is just like the previous one. Not a cookie-cutter pattern of rising action, climax, and happily ever-after. Good writing stretches the mind of a reader. It pokes them when they expect a slap. It needles them when they thought you were about to unload whodunit. It screams at them when they puckered up for a kiss.

If you can do all of that and more and still accomplish 40,000 words in a weekend, then you have my applause. But for most people, it’s not about the number of words thrown at the pages, it’s about the words placed on the pages themselves. It’s about how they are arranged. How they emote. How they live.

In a world drowning in books, it’s usually the dead ones that rise to the top. Those that have weight and merit and depth and life are the ones that withstand the tides of time, surviving even the harshest of droughts, to become the water upon which thirsty souls may find respite. If you don’t believe me, get a group of people together and see if they can name ten New York Times Bestsellers from 1990-2000 that are still recommended reading today and will probably be on recommendation lists for decades to come…like the works of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or Earnest Hemingway are recommended. (Good luck.)

Do you see my point? “Faster” isn’t always better. Neither is “Popular.” For faster and popular often look like a flare in the night sky. Easily seen and easily forgotten.

So, write well, my friend, so that your writing may become a well readers will want to come back to time and time again.






The Blake Meyer Thriller Series, Book 3

A Perverse Tale. A Precarious Truth. A Personal Tribulation.

Supervisory Special Agent Blake Meyer is at an impasse. Bound and beaten in a dilapidated warehouse halfway around the world, Blake finds himself listening to an unbelievable story. Right and wrong warp into a despicable clash of ideologies. Life quickly becomes neither black nor white. Nor is it red, white, and blue any longer.

Every second brings the contagion's release closer, promising to drag the United States into the Dark Ages. Tens of millions could be dead within months.

Every moment adds miles and hours to the expanding gulf between him and his family. What is he to believe? Who is he to trust?




C. KEVIN THOMPSON is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a kid at heart. Often referred to as “crazy” by his grandchildren, it’s only because he is. He’s a writer. Need he say more?

The first three books of his Blake Meyer Thriller series are out! Book 1, 30 Days Hath Revenge, Book 2, Triple Time, and Book 3, The Tide of Times, are now available! Book 4, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen, is coming soon!  Also, the second edition of his award-winning debut novel, The Serpent’s Grasp, is now available!

Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too. It’s quite elementary, actually.

Website:                                www.ckevinthompson.com/
Kevin’s Writer’s Blog:         www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/
Facebook:                              C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Twitter:                                  @CKevinThompson
Goodreads:                            C. Kevin Thompson






4 comments:

  1. Kevin, I really appreciate this post. You hit on something I struggle with at times. I try not to compare myself to other writers, but sometimes I wonder how they can possibly pump out the number of books they do every year. I realize that we become faster writers as we figure out our own "formula" and learn from more experienced authors their techniques. But, in the end ... I'd rather produce one great novel instead of ten mediocre stories.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. It is a struggle. And it's not to knock formulas or cloistered, mad writing weekends, per se. It's just that we cannot lose who we are in the "hurry" as we write our best. Michael Crichton, one of my faves, wrote about one or two books a year, and that seemed to work okay for him. :)

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  2. Kevin, you know those moments that happen and, without a doubt, you know it's a God thing? Well, you are a God thing today. The one-year anniversary of my debut is approaching, and I'm struggling to write my second book. I'd hoped to have a complete ms ready to submit by now. But I teach full-time, and the older I get, the less brain I have after work. I finally decided last week that I can only do what I can do. I want my writing to be my best effort, not my leftovers from the day. I have one more year to teach. I will keep writing, but if I'm not able to finish my book until I retire, that's just going to have to be okay. I've been stressed from telling myself, "Must go faster!" Ever since I gave myself permission to slow down, I've had a little more joy in my days. Your post confirmed that for me. Blessing, my friend.

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    1. Karen, I'm sitting at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, navigating those same waters. I, too, am in education (an administrator), so I KNOW that of which you speak. Keep on keeping on. When He's ready, God will give you all the words you need and more.

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