10 Writing Tips From Jeffery Deaver

10 Writing Tips From Jeffery Deaver


Are you a fan of American thriller writer, Jeffery Deaver? In this post, we share 10 writing tips from Jeffery Deaver.

To celebrate Jeffery Deaver’s birthday (6 May 1950), we are sharing some of his writing tips.

A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an American author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world. His 35 books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has sold 50 million books worldwide.

Deaver has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention and by the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy. The Strand Magazine also has presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Deaver has been nominated for numerous Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony, a Shamus, and a Gumshoe. He was President of the Mystery Writers Of America organisation in 2017 and 2018.

He is well-known for creating the characters, Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance. His novels include The Cold MoonThe Bone Collector, and A Maiden’s Grave.

His latest book is The Goodbye Man, featuring Colter Shaw, an itinerant reward-seeker.

Follow him on Twitter: @JefferyDeaver

10 Writing Tips From Jeffery Deaver

We found these tips for writers on the author’s FAQs Page of his website.

  1. Write the book that suits your writing style. Deaver says: ‘I spend much of my time during the early stages of a book sitting in a dark room and trying to think up a story line that will fit the typical Deaver novel: one that features strong (though possibly flawed) heroes, sick and twisted bad guys, deadlines every few chapters, a short time frame for the entire story (eight to forty-eight hours or so), lots of surprising plot twists and turns and plenty of cliffhangers.’
  2. Revise a lot. Deaver says: ‘I revise a great deal. My publisher doesn’t even get a peek at my manuscript until I’ve revised it at least twenty or thirty times (and I mean major revisions).’
  3. Write wherever you can. Deaver says: ‘I write pretty much anywhere — on planes, in hotel rooms, anywhere in my house. (My office sometimes gets so cluttered I end up working in the kitchen. When the kitchen goes, it’s up to my bedroom. And so on and so on. I wish I had a bigger house.)
  4. Read other writers. Deaver says: ‘The best way to learn about writing is to study the work of other writers you admire.’
  5. Make sure you have a good idea. Deaver says: ‘I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. If you have a craftsman’s command of the language and basic writing techniques you’ll be able to write — as long as you know what you want to say.’
  6. Look after your plot and your characters. Deaver says: ‘My books are primarily plot driven but the best plot in the world is useless if you don’t populate them with characters that readers can care about. So I work hard to present the human side of my characters while not neglecting the plot.’
  7. Include conflict in your sub-plots. Deaver says: ‘ I like to integrate the human issues into the suspense story itself. In suspense novels even sub-plots about relationships have to have conflict.’
  8. Do your research first. Deaver says: ‘I spend about eight months researching and outlining my book. Most of this is through books, publications and the Internet. I do, of course, interview individuals who’re knowledgeable about the subjects I’m researching but doing this often results in too much information.’
  9. Know your setting. Deaver says: ‘Write about settings you’re familiar with. If I’m setting a book outside of New York (where I lived for twenty years) or where I live now, I’ll travel there and spend some weeks researching. I try to add some local colour and description, but also try not to go overboard — too much description can detract from the story.’
  10. Stick to your style and genre. Deaver says: ‘Trying to write books with a subject matter or in a genre or style you’re not familiar with is the best way to find the Big Block looming.’

You can also read our Interview with Jeffery Deaver

Source for image: Writers Write Events

 by Amanda Patterson

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