novelists break the rules of
good fiction and have
terrific sales doesn’t mean
Jeff Gerke is a novelist and professional book doctor. He is popular at writers conferences across America as a fiction teacher. His style is informal and droll and tends toward the speculative. Gerke spent twelve years on staff at various publishing houses before launching his own small publishing company, Marcher Lord Press, in 2008. He writes under the pen name Jefferson Scott having authored such books as Virtually EliminatedI, Fatal Defect and the Operation Firebrand series. He’s also the author of The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction, Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction, and The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors, and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel For Success.
I’ve edited a couple of Gerke’s books and I can tell you first hand, he was made for this. From writing to editing to running his own publishing company, Gerke does it all, does it well, and loves what he does. In this interview he discusses writing and publishing advice, how movies can help you understand storytelling structure, and more.
In my fiction, it’s the stories I want to tell. I got into this biz because no one was writing the stories I wanted to read, and that hasn’t changed.
For my nonfiction, which is mostly about the craft of writing fiction, I do it because I love to help and encourage novelists. I love to equip them to better do what it is they’re trying to do with their fiction.
yourself repeating over and
over to writers?
Just because some famous novelists break the rules of good fiction and have terrific sales doesn’t mean you should. Their books succeed in spite of their low craftsmanship, not because of it. Think how much better their fiction would be if they applied an elevated skill-set. And think how great it will be when yours is better written than theirs!
advice you’ve ever
There are seasons in a writer’s life. Sometimes you can write all the time. In other seasons you’re not able to write because of schedule and other responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean you’re not a writer