How to Write a Michael Crichton Novel

"A team of genetically enhanced monkeys band together to write a thrilling novel about sentient voting booths..."

Well, now that he’s been dead for awhile…


How to Write a Michael Crichton Novel


  1. Scour newspapers for hot button topics with a technical slant, like cloning or on-line predators or the race to create the largest flat screen television
  2. Alternately, try to create a situation or innovation that would cause great concern if it existed, like robot monkeys who learn to pick pockets or a deadly virus that only targets good mechanics and air traffic controllers
  3. Create a cast of rich, compelling characters and place them in a dire situation so the reader will care about the final outcome, thereby creating suspense; scrap those plans and sketch cardboard, ersatz humans who belch paragraphs of technospeak and then lay a monotonous line of hurdles before them
  4. Remove multi-syllabic words from your  vocabulary, and only use verbs when absolutely necessary; if it doesn’t read like an insurance claim, then you’re aiming too high
  5. Plan your novel first by writing a quick outline; upon completion, shrug and submit outline as finished product
  6. If your outline is a little thin, consider fattening with a couple of subplots, one a romance and the other, I don’t know, a car chase?
  7. Lobby Webster’s to accept Crichtonesque as an entry for the new edition, thereby validating your career and protecting you from future lawsuits from the Chrichton estate
  8. Consider the dullest aspect of your novel’s setting/premise and let that dictate the title; e.g., if your novel is about the creation of a teleportation device in post-Stalinist Russia, it should be titled Quantum State Preservation or Borscht
  9. Find an empty box and fill it with all literary ambitions; tape that sucker tight and put it in the garage because, brother, you won’t be needing it

One Comment on “How to Write a Michael Crichton Novel”

  1. […] course I included it as a tag for a piece on How to Write like Michael Crichton but this was a while before he died, so get off my back. I do like that neophyte authors arrive at […]

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