Into the Book

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I’ve always heard that you are only truly addicted to a hobby once you buy books about it. Whether that’s true or not, I can safely say that I am addicted to writing. So it stands to reason that I have a lot of writing books. But this book, The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction, by Jeff Gerke, stands to become my favorite of them all. Read on to find out why.

Perhaps the single thing which I enjoyed about this book is that Gerke’s faith and his writing are not estranged. In fact, they’re very closely linked. He begins this excellent book by examining our writing before an Audience of One, namely, God Himself. This book is the first I’ve seen which connects so clearly and logically our writing and our faith. Jeff goes even further than this, however, examining our very motives for writing, and pointing us always to Him. In short, his take on writing from a Christian perspective is a unique approach to a writing book, and one that I appreciate greatly (His chapter on swearing, in particular, shows his faith most clearly).

The book is made up of individual Masteries, which are short chapters containing a single tip. The author expanded this book from a weekly column of writing tips he wrote on his web page, thus the book is also divided into many individual bite-size chapters. But don’t think you’re being shorted – the book runs at 320 pages, and contains 50 excellent Masteries for you to sink your teeth into. Much of the book is clumped into what the author calls Mega-Mastery clusters, or clusters of multiple Masteries which all deal with the same major subject. . These cover major aspects of writing. Altogether, the five of them address these major subjects: Character, Show vs. Tell, Description, Point of View, and Dialogue.

These Mastery clusters are useful because they provide a much more indepth look at each of these subjects. As each of these clusters holds about a dozen individual masteries, you are treated to Jeff Gerke’s full perspective and teaching on the above subjects. And, as a writer, I can tell you this: his advice and teaching is really good. Seriously. I have been writing for five years yet Jeff’s clear explanations of common flaws in beginning writers many times applied to me as well. I look forward to re-reading this book in a methodical manner and working on applying each Mastery to my work-in-progress novel.

In short, if you’re a writer of Christian fiction, or plan on becoming one, I recommend this to be the first book that you add to your shelf. It’s a valuable resource I will use many times in the future, and you will benefit from it as well, I hope. It can be purchased from Jeff’s website or on Amazon (If you have an ebook reader like the Nook, it’s available for cheaper in digital format). I highly recommend that you at least pick this up and give yourself a chance to learn from a published Christian author.

Andrew

Published on 8 August, 2011. Last updated on

9 Comments

  1. The Director

    Ergh, checked it out from the library earlier this year…. some good points, but as every how-to writing book, should be taken with some liberal grains of salt. Wasn’t a fan of his comparison of writing to filmmaking among other things. Not bad for a lot of people, I guess, but it’s not for everyone 😉

  2. Eustacia Tan

    Sounds good! Thanks for sharing the book, I probably wouldn’t have been able to find it by myself(:

  3. Andrew J.

    @The Director: I agree; not every writing book fits every person. For me personally, a lot of his mega-mastery clusters show areas I really need to work on.

    Andrew

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ABOUT ItB REVIEWS

Into the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. Since 2009, we've been providing high-quality book reviews to the world through our blog. Into the Book has grown around reviews since then, but it remains our oldest project.

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