I have previously mentioned in other posts that I was a molecular biologist and ICU nurse. Sadly, that means I am bedeviled with a double dose of bad writing habits: academese and medicalese. Just write simply may be the response of many to this post. But, this is a real and possibly incurable condition: http://stevenpinker.com/files/pinker/files/why_academics_stink_at_writing.pdf
Yet others suggest scientists are naturals at storytelling since we make a living translating raw data into a narrative designed to convince others: http://venpopov.com/2017/01/09/all-scientists-should-be-storytellers/
Surely, this isn't a universal issue, Crichton was after all both an academic and a medical doctor. I must admit I was surprised to discover why I was never impressed by his presentation of science; it seemed way to simplified or even wrong to be written by a Harvard trained medical doctor.The reason it isn't good science is because Crichton actually didn't initially write the Andromeda Strain in its final version. His editor, Robert Gottlieb, rejected the story and made Crichton rewrite the story several times until it suited Gottlieb's taste. Here is what Crichton stated about the editing:
When I sent Bob a draft of The Andromeda Strain—the first book I did for him—in 1968 he said he would publish it if I would agree to completely rewrite it. I gulped and said OK. He gave me his feelings about what had to happen on the phone, in about twenty minutes. He was very quick. Anyway, I rewrote it completely. He called me up and said, Well, this is good, now you only have to rewrite half of it. Again, he told me what needed to happen—for the book to begin in what was then the middle, and fill in the material from the beginning sometime later on. Finally we had the manuscript in some kind of shape. I was just completely exhausted. He said to me, Dear boy, you’ve got this ending backwards. (He’s married to an actress, and he has a very theatrical manner. He calls me “dear boy,” like an English actor might do.) I don’t remember exactly the way it was, but I had it so that one of the characters was supposed to turn on a nuclear device, and there was suspense about whether or not that would happen. Bob said, No, no, the switch has to turn itself on automatically, and the character has to turn it off. He was absolutely right. That was the first time I understood that when there is something wrong in writing, the chances are that there is either too much of it, too little of it, or that it is in some way backwards. https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1760/robert-gottlieb-the-art-of-editing-no-1-robert-gottlieb
My novel is a fictional piece but I am presenting real science. The first few chapters teach actual science principles that will be used throughout the book, hopefully in a clear, concise format. But, writers HATE to delete their hard-crafted passages. Most of us cannot afford a New York City editor. How are we to know what sections most readers skip and therefore are best deleted to maintain the rapid pace needed in a thriller?