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I don’t make a habit of reading email during church, but as I was following the biblical text on my phone on Sunday, July 6, I was alerted to a message from Eva Marie Everson, a novelist from Florida. Okay, I peeked.

Serendipity

I don’t make a habit of reading email during church, but as I was following the biblical text on my phone on Sunday, July 6, I was alerted to a message from Eva Marie Everson, a novelist from Florida. Okay, I peeked.

Jul 23 · in All Posts, My Books
Tony Gwynn. He was born the same month and year as my younger brother (May 1960) and died June 16 of mouth cancer attributed to an addiction to chewing tobacco.

Tony Gwynn: A Life Cut Short

Tony Gwynn. He was born the same month and year as my younger brother (May 1960) and died June 16 of mouth cancer attributed to an addiction to chewing tobacco.

Jun 18 · in All Posts

The Aim is Not Success; It’s Obedience

 

At times like this, writing my WordSmith column while enjoying a view of Manhattan from the 48th floor of a luxury hotel, I am struck by the privileges I enjoy at this end of my career, compared to …

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Apr 23
The great conservative pundit and writer Bill Buckley, who died five years ago, was a fascinating thinker and conversationalist.

William F. Buckley Memories

The great conservative pundit and writer Bill Buckley, who died five years ago, was a fascinating thinker and conversationalist.

Apr 02
I thought the e-book phenomenon was a tsunami—and a welcome one. Even as an author, I hardly ever buy a real book anymore.

Paper vs. Plastic

I thought the e-book phenomenon was a tsunami—and a welcome one. Even as an author, I hardly ever buy a real book anymore.

Mar 12
I wouldn’t call it an epiphany. Just a glimpse of grace. You stumble onto such things in unlikely places. For me it was at Washington’s National Airport years ago, before it became Ronald Reagan National.

Are You Stingy with Grace?

I wouldn’t call it an epiphany. Just a glimpse of grace. You stumble onto such things in unlikely places. For me it was at Washington’s National Airport years ago, before it became Ronald Reagan National.

Feb 05
My dad took my two older brothers to a father/son activity at church, but at six years old, I was too young to go.

I, Jerry B. Jenkins, Am a Believer Because…

My dad took my two older brothers to a father/son activity at church, but at six years old, I was too young to go.

Jan 29
This week's news is naturally - and rightly - replete with stories of the legendary civil rights martyr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Little Known and Seldom Told–From the Sad Life of James Earl Ray

This week’s news is naturally – and rightly – replete with stories of the legendary civil rights martyr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 22
A psychologist once told me, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel.”

So You Want to Write a Christian Book

A psychologist once told me, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel.”

Jan 15
It wasn’t until I had been an adult for several years that I learned that loving Christmas was not universal, even among Christians. I was shocked to learn that many people find Christmas and New Year’s the most depressing holidays on the calendar.

When Saint Nick Doesn’t Deliver

It wasn’t until I had been an adult for several years that I learned that loving Christmas was not universal, even among Christians. I was shocked to learn that many people find Christmas and New Year’s the most depressing holidays on the calendar.

Jan 01

‘I, Saul’: Chapters 1 and 2

Just for you, the first two chapters of I, Saul. Click on the chapters to read them now, and see if you don’t agree the novel might be the perfect Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy-for loved one. If you do …

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Dec 11
Several years ago my assistant buzzed me and said, “Stephen King on the line for you.”

Strange Bedfellows

Several years ago my assistant buzzed me and said, “Stephen King on the line for you.”

Jul 31
I like movies that aren’t afraid to be quiet. The film adaptation of John Irving’s The Cider House Rules was a masterpiece, which I confess despite the fact it was a pro-abortion bromide. Why?

What’s Your Point?

I like movies that aren’t afraid to be quiet. The film adaptation of John Irving’s The Cider House Rules was a masterpiece, which I confess despite the fact it was a pro-abortion bromide. Why?

Jul 24

Early Breaks

One of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me was a subscription to Sports Illustrated. I’ve read it religiously for decades. You’ll find in S.I. some of the best writing published. I couldn’t have asked for better …

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Jul 16

Paying Your Dues

I don’t believe in luck.

I believe in faithfully, steadily paying your dues. You grow as a writer, and one assignment leads to another. Sorry, but there are rarely shortcuts.

After a few rejections, a few ego scrapings, someone’s going …

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Jul 09

Operation First Novel

I’m looking for fresh, new talent in Christian fiction. Might you be the next as-yet-unpublished novelist to burst onto the scene?

At the Christian Writers Guild, we host Operation First Novel, an annual contest that pays the winner $20,000 and …

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Jul 03

More from Tom Sawyer

Last week I offered insights gleaned from my well-worn copy of Fiction Writing Demystified. Here’s more from Thomas B. Sawyer’s great book:

“Don’t be afraid to give your protagonist an attitude that may be irritating to others in your …

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Jun 10
On vacation shortly before tackling a deadline, I took Fiction Writing Demystified with me and nearly beat it to death. The cover is curled; chlorine from the pool stains the pages whose dog-eared corners mark many aha! moments.

Learning from Tom Sawyer

On vacation shortly before tackling a deadline, I took Fiction Writing Demystified with me and nearly beat it to death. The cover is curled; chlorine from the pool stains the pages whose dog-eared corners mark many aha! moments.

Jun 03
The last thing I wanted was to leave a memory of myself as just another moocher.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Ask

The last thing I wanted was to leave a memory of myself as just another moocher.

May 27
Writing needs to be a high priority. But for as long as you have a family, writing should never be number one.

The Quality Time Myth

Writing needs to be a high priority. But for as long as you have a family, writing should never be number one.

May 20
It’s as if I can hear a still small voice reminding me, “C’mon, dude, I’m trying to help.”

A Little Birdie Told Me

It’s as if I can hear a still small voice reminding me, “C’mon, dude, I’m trying to help.”

May 13
If you tire while working, take a nap. But if you wait until you’re completely cogent, coherent, and inspired, you may never get to the keyboard.

Timing Is Everything

If you tire while working, take a nap. But if you wait until you’re completely cogent, coherent, and inspired, you may never get to the keyboard.

May 06
You can find free almanacs, dictionaries, and encyclopedias online. Simply Google almanac or dictionary and investigate your options.

Crucial Reference Works

You can find free almanacs, dictionaries, and encyclopedias online. Simply Google almanac or dictionary and investigate your options.

Apr 29
For me, often the best way to make description work in my fiction is to leave it out and depend on the reader’s theater of the mind.

Making Description Work for You

For me, often the best way to make description work in my fiction is to leave it out and depend on the reader’s theater of the mind.

Apr 22
I have been asked when I knew I loved writing. I’ve never loved it. Writing is way too hard to love. What I really love is being a writer and having written.

Why Write?

I have been asked when I knew I loved writing. I’ve never loved it. Writing is way too hard to love. What I really love is being a writer and having written.

Apr 15
Christina-Taylor Green, who ironically had been born on a day of national tragedy―9/11/01―and died on another at age 9.

As Good As She Imagined

Christina-Taylor Green, who ironically had been born on a day of national tragedy―9/11/01―and died on another at age 9.

Apr 08
How do you work? Where do you write? For some reason, this seems of interest to other writers, even readers.

Eliminating Distractions

How do you work? Where do you write? For some reason, this seems of interest to other writers, even readers.

Apr 01
Learn to write, polish your prose, hone your craft, but become an idea producer so you always have something in the hopper.

Coming Up with Story Ideas

Learn to write, polish your prose, hone your craft, but become an idea producer so you always have something in the hopper.

Mar 25

Writing Is Hard Work

Don’t agree so quickly. Wait till you’ve been dragged down the bumpy road toward publication a few times. For now, admit that you suspect you’re something special. The exceptional exception.

For you, writing will be a breeze. Editors will clamor …

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Mar 18
Character is the foundation for fiction. Put interesting characters in difficult situations and you’ll find your plot emerging. The operative words are interesting and difficult. If you wonder why a scene lies flat, examine it for interesting characters and a difficult situation.

Making Your Readers Care

Character is the foundation for fiction. Put interesting characters in difficult situations and you’ll find your plot emerging. The operative words are interesting and difficult. If you wonder why a scene lies flat, examine it for interesting characters and a difficult situation.

Mar 11
Many writers—or would-be writers—talk about waiting for inspiration. If you’re called to write, inspiration and passion should permeate your work. But don’t confuse inspiration with initiative.

Waiting for Inspiration

Many writers—or would-be writers—talk about waiting for inspiration. If you’re called to write, inspiration and passion should permeate your work. But don’t confuse inspiration with initiative.

Mar 04
We are trying to make the same kinds of points that preachers do. But no one complains that his preacher is too preachy. That would be like saying a ballerina is too dancy. But preachiness on paper offends readers’ sensibilities.

Giving the Reader Credit

We are trying to make the same kinds of points that preachers do. But no one complains that his preacher is too preachy. That would be like saying a ballerina is too dancy. But preachiness on paper offends readers’ sensibilities.

Feb 25

Writing as a Process of Discovery

About half the novelists I know are outliners, and half are not. Some need the safety net of an outline. Some outline so completely that the writing becomes filling in the blanks, yet somehow it works.

I prefer to write …

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Feb 18
You simply need to remember that publishing has to be a byproduct of your writing, not the end goal.

Don’t ever apologize for . . .

You simply need to remember that publishing has to be a byproduct of your writing, not the end goal.

Feb 11
Write for the joy of it, to see your name in print, even if you’re giving your work away or being paid in copies. You need to work countless clichés out of your system, tone writing muscles and learn both the business and the craft.

Start Small

Write for the joy of it, to see your name in print, even if you’re giving your work away or being paid in copies. You need to work countless clichés out of your system, tone writing muscles and learn both the business and the craft.

Feb 04
CWG Publishing (CWGP) is where writers with a work-in-progress would complete a six-month, mentored course called Published, and then we would publish their book.

I want to publish your book

CWG Publishing (CWGP) is where writers with a work-in-progress would complete a six-month, mentored course called Published, and then we would publish their book.

Jan 30
To Whom Are You Writing?

To Whom Are You Writing?

Force yourself to write to one person at a time. It’ll change how you word things. You’ll find it brings more power to each word.

Jan 28
Writing is tough. People who don’t, can’t, or won’t write have no idea how difficult it is to consistently put coherent words together. If you hope to one day become a real author, you need to get past the idea that writing is a hobby—something you do in your spare time. It’s a calling and it’s work.

Dealing with Writer’s Block

Writing is tough. People who don’t, can’t, or won’t write have no idea how difficult it is to consistently put coherent words together. If you hope to one day become a real author, you need to get past the idea that writing is a hobby—something you do in your spare time. It’s a calling and it’s work.

Jan 21
I hope you’re planning to come to the Christian Writers Guild’s Writing For the Soul™ conference in Colorado Springs this February (for all the details visit http://www.ChristianWritersGuild.com/conference); but regardless where you go, you’ll be happier and more productive if you follow a few simple guidelines.

Writers Conference Tips

I hope you’re planning to come to the Christian Writers Guild’s Writing For the Soul™ conference in Colorado Springs this February (for all the details visit http://www.ChristianWritersGuild.com/conference); but regardless where you go, you’ll be happier and more productive if you follow a few simple guidelines.

Jan 14
Whenever I’m on deadline, I like to be reading another book at the same time. It’s seldom a novel, as I look for something wholly aside from what I’m immersed in writing. The reading allows an escape from the 24-hour-a-day obsession with my own story without throwing me off track.

Reading While Writing

Whenever I’m on deadline, I like to be reading another book at the same time. It’s seldom a novel, as I look for something wholly aside from what I’m immersed in writing. The reading allows an escape from the 24-hour-a-day obsession with my own story without throwing me off track.

Jan 07

Dianna, my bride of 43 years, is my everything.

Family Life
Every good story of a family begins with a love story. Dianna and I met on a blind date in 1970.  She was one of four daughters, I one of four sons.  We had three sons, so the …

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Mar 22

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