Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction - Jeff Gerke

The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction: The Complete Guide to Finding Your Story, Honing Your Skills, & Glorifying God in Your Novel by Jeff Gerke
Marcher Lord Press 2009

Rating: 9
Readability: 9
Impact: 10

Read it Again: I should refer to it every day. ;-)
Recommend it: YES!

What to Expect

The title is pretty self explanatory. :-)

Very applicable, funny, engaging, and practical this is probably the most influential writing book I've read (and I collect them).
Jeff Gerke is organized and direct, tackling difficult topics. This is a book for the twenty-first century! So much of Christian writing is riddled with problems or preachiness. Lets dig it out and have it lead the way, not follow the pack.
(There is some great Christian fiction out there, don't get me wrong!)

There is wisdom for newbie and experienced writers from beginning of the idea to the publication of the novel.

The book is divided into three sections.
Part 1: The Spiritual Heart of Writing Christian Fiction
Part 2: Strategizing Yourself, Strategizing Your Novel
Part 3: Writing Your Novel
Each of these sections is broken up into what he calls "Masteries", basically points, skills, or aspects to get under your belt.

My Squib

Loved this book! Can't recommend it enough.
It had so much I needed and was ready to hear. I'm extremely eager to apply it. He's directness and humor really made it an amazing read.

The only thing that slowed me down at all was the fact that he uses Star Wars for so many examples. Nothing wrong with that. Time for a confession...I've never watched Star Wars. So, yeah, sometimes I was lost.
He also uses "she" most of the time instead of "him". Just throws me off.

Confession number two...I had this book recommended to me before but I didn't buy it. And it was a pretty lame reason. The cover.
First, the capitalization oddities through me off, and then the color (orange is not my fav...but it sure looks nice with my blog, doesn't it?), and then the cup of dark liquid. I have mild allergies to chocolate and coffee, so seeing something so tasty on a book cover I couldn't have made me sad.
Lesson = I was dumb.

Read the book! It is AMAZING!

From the Book

"What you want is a reader who is so into the story that she forgets she's reading words and turning pages. You want her breathlessly moving beyond the sentences and directly onto the front row of the story. Your words cease to be ends in and of themselves and instead become the vehicle that conveys her into the reality you've created."

"Writing fiction is pretty much the coolest job in the world. And writing Christian fiction takes a cool job and turns it into a ministry and privileged. To serve God by imagining wonderful story people and telling amazing tales of adventure, woe, romance, and truth.
It doesn't get any better than that."

Look back for the give away of this awesome book!


Stina Rose said...

I just came across your blog and am enjoying what I'm reading. I'm looking forward to seeing more of you site.

Thank you,

Christina Banks

Jubilant Wife said...

Thanks for telling us about this!