Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins

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KeithMN
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Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins

Postby KeithMN » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:28 am


KeithMN
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Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins

Postby KeithMN » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:28 am

Has anyone else read this book? If the author sounds familiar but you can't place the name, Jerry B. Jenkins is co-author (with Timothy LaHaye) of the wildly acclaimed Left Behind series.

The book is an excellent resource. I've gleaned so much wisdom from it and wondered if anyone out there would enjoy reading/discussing it here. If you're interested, just chime in!

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Dostxbook
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RE: Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins

Postby Dostxbook » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:19 pm

Hi Keith.

Yes, I've read the book and posted a thread on it, though that was probably two months ago now.  I think Mr. Jenkins's format is somewhat similar to Stephen King's On Writing--a little biography, followed by some advice on the craft.  I particularly enjoyed his excerpts and commentary on the various people he's written about.  My personal favorites were the pieces on Mike Singletary and Walter Payton from the Chicago Bears, as well as his reflections on Billy Graham.  I felt these added pieces enhanced the points Mr. Jenkins was writing about in their relative chapters.  It's a good book, and I recommend it to all fiction and non-fiction writers, regardless of their standing on religion.  Thank you for bringing it up again.

-- Stephen


KeithMN
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RE: Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins

Postby KeithMN » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:45 am

Hi Stephen,

I agree about the format being similar to On Writing. I remember buying my copy of On Writing just before I boarded my plane when I moved to the Czech Republic. Stephen King gave a lot more biographical information (albeit a bit too much for me) but both books have fantastic writing tips and wisdom. I also read Madeleine L'Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life .

Reading books like these, by those I respect in the industry (as well as biographies), shows me new ways to think. When you get advice/information from others who have different strengths and habits from your own, it really unlocks paths in all directions.

As for Writing for the Soul, you're right. There's a lot of information available in it whether you are a novelist or a freelancer, no matter what genre. He says things in this book that I've heard before, but in a way that opened my eyes more. We can all hear someone say the same thing and all hear it a bit differently. That's why hearing several people say the same thing might spark something new in you.

I tend to be pretty hard on myself. I think we all do. For me, I get that way during my first draft. Although I know I shouldn't be, I am. But something Jerry said made all the difference. He said,

"My characters all tend to sound like me in the first draft. Man or woman, old or young, they sound like Jerry."

I have this problem, too. I then stick to a scene until I get it right. But, in those two sentences, I realized that even those I respect the most struggle with the same things I do. I mean, of course I knew that before, but for me the head-knowledge became wisdom when Jerry said it. It finally sunk in. Now I have a lot of fun writing my first draft, no matter how long or lousy it might be. Through those two sentences it finally sunk in that a first draft is for getting the story out of you; getting every idea you have on paper. The first draft is not the time to be strict and self-editing. You have revisions and final drafts for that. Again, I knewall of this before, but it finally went from my head to my heart so I could act on it.

Writing for the Soul did a lot of that for me.

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RE: Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins

Postby Dostxbook » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:50 am

Two other books I would recommend:

The Lie That Tells A Truth by John Dufresne.  If you want more liberation about your first draft, he has a great chapter on that very issue.

Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers.  She offers some great wisdom about writing books.

-- Stephen



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