Are You The Next Ted Dekker?


Kevin Kaiser, Ted Dekker’s literary agent in charge of global domination, has asked the question of who is the next Ted Dekker—and he is serious. So serious that he has opened up his normally closed agency for one day and one day only.

On November 15th (now closed), he will accept a query letter, synopsis, and sample from unpublished writers of suspense.

The great thing for us speculative fiction writers? It doesn’t matter what genre you’re writing in, as long as your story has strong elements of suspense. In his own words, Kevin is “looking for the next Thriller writer”, and since Ted Dekker is certainly in the speculative fiction camp, the door is open.

With my personal THIRST™ System of writing, I’m in a good position to enter the contest. But even though I have worked hard to build suspense and keep the reader turning pages, I doubt I’m the next Ted Dekker. But one never knows. Certainly Ted didn’t know when he first began his writing journey how far God would take him.

So go on over to Kevin’s blog, read the rules, and prepare for the contest. In my estimation, this is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door with an amazing agent!

Thanks, Kevin!

5 thoughts on “Are You The Next Ted Dekker?

  1. Interesting news, Robert. Good luck with entering! I don’t think my novel could be categorized as a thriller, so I don’t think I’ll try my luck with this one. When I think of thrillers, I think of short, staccato chapters with lots of dialogue and bursts of action. Authors like Dan Brown or Michael Connelly or John Grisham come to mind. Also, I never find characters are as well-developed in these types of novels compared to fantasy or historical fiction or literary fiction.

    The THIRST model is an interesting concept as well. I’d say my novel fits in with 5 of the 6 letters. It’s lacking a bit in humor and also not real strong on the romance factor, though both are present I suppose to some degree. It’s pretty heavy on the other 4 letters: Tension, Incident, Suspense, Terror/Fear. Based on that model, are novels supposed to have an even balance of all six letters, or can some letters have stronger influence than others?

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Steve!

    The THIRST concept is more about each individual scene than it is about the novel as a whole. If you make sure each scene has a mix of those elements, any mix that makes sense, and you have enough, then the reader should keep their interest engine running.

    The “S” for Suspense is the tough one to understand as it is different from the other letters. I explain this a bit in part two of my blog explanation:

    There definitely is a certain writing style to thrillers, and I’m not sure mine is an exact fit. But for a fantasy, it’s probably close enough, so I’m going to give it a try. If anything, it doesn’t take much work to enter, as I’ve already got my “generic” query written, etc.

  3. Good question, Steve … as I looked over my posts on my THIRST method, I don’t think I answered that very clearly.

    The way I look at it (and I know I’ve read this somewhere :roll:) is that tension dissipates quickly in the reader’s mind, but suspense builds over the course of the book.

    For example, tension could be simple conflict shown through dialogue. But suspense would, for example, be a mystery that hangs over the book and builds with each chapter.

    Suspense is every unanswered question you raise, every “who did that”, every “what will happen”, every cliffhanger, etc.

    Tension is more simple … conflict, avoided conflict, inner-conflict. These are the minor things that keep a scene interesting.

    A commercial fiction novel (not literary) needs both. Every scene must have tension to keep the reader interested.

    Every book also needs some form of suspense to drive the reader to the end. The two work together.

    So for my THIRST methodology, I see Humor, Incident, Romance and Terror/Fear as other forms of simple Tension.

    The “S” is suspense, and is unique from the others.

    Hope that helps.

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