Why Write If ‘There’s Nothing New Under the Sun’?

stack of books over the natural backgroundWhat’s the point of writing if everything has already been said?

Many writers face this alarming question at some point. Every time I enter a bookstore, I wonder, Does anybody need to write anything more about anything?

That there is nothing new under the sun is true, of course, if for no other reason than that it’s from the Bible. King Solomon wrote, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again…”

So what is the point?

Is it really worth it to labor over your story idea or nonfiction message when someone else has already trod that ground?

The Short Answer: Yes!

You know what makes your message unique? You do!

Regardless how many authors or scriptwriters or bloggers are already proclaiming the same message, you feel compelled to say it again.

Why? Because it’s that important, and because no one can write it the way you can.

Oh, there may be better writers, and they may have even included slants you’ve never thought of.

But they can’t write your book.

And don’t worry, you won’t be merely adding to the noise. If you’re careful not to copy, to imitate, or to mimic, your unique voice on the subject will be welcomed in the marketplace of ideas.

Here’s why:

1.  Because your take will be one-of-a-kind and will appeal to people like you.

They’ll resonate with you because you understand them. Your story will reflect their stories.

Stay away from trends and fads that can be passé already by the time you’re done. Publishers will look kindly on fresh perspectives on a topic of universal interest.
Entering a space with so many voices means others are selling books like yours. That proves there’s demand for it.

2. Because there’s more to say on the topic.

Countless readers with distinct tastes and struggles and desires may not have connected with the competing books the way they might with yours.

People have trouble getting into books for plenty of reasons:

Maybe it started slow and they lost patience.

Maybe the author’s approach wasn’t interesting.

Maybe they didn’t resonate with the writer’s experience.

But your book could be the one that will strike a chord with them.

3. Because last time, no one was listening.

André Gide says, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”

To truly grasp a concept, people need to see it, hear it, read it multiple times in multiple ways.

Infuse your book with yourself, your character, your personality, your voice, your angle. Yours could be the fresh perspective that makes all the difference.

How will you give your story a unique perspective? Tell me in the comments below.

Related Posts:

How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps

How to Write a Short Story That Captivates Your Reader

How to Write a Memoir: A 3-Step Guide

  • mmodesti

    I feel like I’ve read this before… ;-) It beard repeating. Thanks!

  • mmodesti

    I feel like I’ve read this before… ;-) It bears repeating. Thanks!

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Ha! Been there, done that?

  • Linda VanderWier

    I’m wanting to get my book about praise published. I promote praise in my manuscript as not only a means of magnifying God, but also a means of minimizing my fears and temptations. My own struggles with depression and anxiety have taught me much regarding the power of praise. In my manuscript, I have been quite transparent regarding my own struggles. I pray that my potential readers will connect with my writing as I approach this somewhat taboo subject. Helping someone else would make my struggle worthwhile. ????

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      That’s a worthy goal, Linda. Be sure to cherry pick from your own experiences for anecdotes that support your theme. That’ll keep you from feeling you need to cover the entire progression of your life from birth to the present.

      • Linda VanderWier

        Thank you for your input. My goal is more to express feelings I’ve experienced rather than the story behind it. I am sharing brief incidents to convey my message. I hope that will suffice. I figure no one needs to hear how I got into a mess, but rather how I dealt with it and got out of it. Am I right?

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          Just be sure you’re thinking reader-first. If the story begs the question of how you got into some entanglement, then you need to tell it. Otherwise, straight to the good stuff.

          • Linda VanderWier

            Great! Thanks, again!

  • Nancy

    I find that because it’s my story, I get caught up in the details and then I get too wordy and then it becomes boring to the reader. Learning the fine line between making my story real and interesting to the reader is the challenge.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      That’s everything, Nancy. Elmore Leonard said it this way: “…leave out all the parts readers skip.”

      And take the tack that it’s NOT your story. It’s you cherry picking incidents from your life to support your overall theme–which should be some universal truth with principles easily transferable to the reader.

  • LagunaLady27

    My newest book is non-fiction. Although there are many books on the subject of this book, there are none addressing the issue I write about, how to get more free cash for college. When it comes to college scholarships, size does matter.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Seriously? I just Googled ‘How to get money for college,’ and here was the result: “About 315,000,000 results (0.66 seconds)”. Are you saying none of these are books? If that’s true, your horizon is unlimited. All the best with it…

      • LagunaLady27

        No, of course not. But you googled how to get money for college. The question my book answers is why do some students get a little money and others a full ride. As it turns out, although they all fulfilled the A- G requirements, had high GPA’s and great SAT scores, those who receive more money, do several things the other students fail to do.

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          Sounds like a good angle. And it’s a broad market.

          • LagunaLady27

            Yes. I helped many students increase the amount of scholarship money they received. Many earned full rides. I know the secret sauce, and I’m willing to share it.

  • Denise Armstrong

    Hi Jerry,
    Thanks for this piece; it might be just the extra nudge I need to press forward. I confess to having thought along the self-discouraging lines you highlighted.
    However, at the top of the year, when I first signed up full of renewed zeal, I registered for a writer’s retreat, which comes up in two weeks; with my blog still stuck, sheepish describes me as I look to the event.
    I have been hindered by a bit of ‘techno-phobia/malaise’, having had trouble getting my blog published through the site I started with. However, the theme of my blog had to do with the idea of traversing bridges: cross-cultural, inter-denominational, trans-generational, even trans-culinary! The possibilities seem endless and speak of the commitment to diversity built into the human experience by our amazing Heavenly Father.
    Your article reminded me of that inspiration and helped me to tearfully recommit to pursuing my call to write as only I can.
    Thank you,
    Denise

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Good, Denise. And sometimes it’s best we just concede the technical stuff and concentrate on our responsibility: writing. In other words, find a techie–one of your kids or grandkids (sorry, if you’re only 28) or one of their friends and offer them a deluxe homecooked meal or a couple of concert tickets or something else you can do or afford that they’d love–and have them set up your blog page to where all you have to do is know where to put the cursor and start writing. Lots of kids would love to do this, because it’s easy for them, makes them feel needed, and they get something nice in return.

  • Rebecca Hricko

    Thanks for the reminder, Jerry. I’ve discovered from writing my blog that I need to dig deep in my mind for the treasures, and leave the ordinary things behind. God has created me uniquely, and I can only put my flavor on my writing when I embrace that. It’s painful to dig, but it’s worth it; like that song you like, “Closer to the Bone”.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Wow, Rebecca, as our Southern Baptist friends like to say, that’ll preach: “dig deep in my mind for the treasures, and leave the ordinary things behind”

      Elmore Leonard said it this way: “…leave out all the parts readers skip.”

      Put the chairs on the wagon, the meetin’s over!

      • Rebecca Hricko

        To be honest, Jerry, that’s my take on a sermon I hear preached by you and other writers; don’t be wordy. I guess I was just putting it into practice! Thank you for your response and encouragement, it means a lot.

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          Well, here’s what I’m tweeting in the next 4-6 weeks:

          From writing my blog I’ve discovered I need to dig deep in my mind for treasures, and leave the ordinary things behind. —Rebecca Hricko

          • Rebecca Hricko

            Wow, I am so honored! Thanks, Jerry!

  • Jim

    Absolutely, Jerry. As a missionary I was always asking people to write. Then it struck me. I need to writer! So, I’m doing a Memoir. Maybe more than one. The story of missions has not be written. Many are the laborers and few are the stories. I’ve also been a pastor. Pastors do not write their stories. Perhaps they are too embarrassing. I asked a Pastor friend to lead a family conference in my church once. He said, “No, I’ll have to wait and see if my kinds grow up ok.” So, I’m going to try a memoir something like The Saga of the Small Church.
    Then, there’s the sad fact that no one is listening. We are great in talking but not too good at listening. The most hopeful community to target for listening is the student community. They pay to listen. Sometimes they listen. There’s hope there for those of us who are talking/writing.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Good thinking, Jim. (I wrote B.J. Thomas’s autobiography years ago, and he said, “You know you’re getting old when your kids start getting off drugs.”) Ha!

      I did a novel with just what you’re saying as a counterpoint theme–how churches treat pastors. The bigger story was one of murder and retribution and forgiveness and reconciliation, but I sure heard from a lot of pastors about how the story nailed their experience. I’d love to send you a copy with my compliments if you could shoot me a mailing address. If you’d rather not do that publicly, send it to me at jerry@jerryjenkins.com, but make sure to tell my team that I asked for it so I could send you a free copy of Riven.

      • Jim

        Thanks, Jerry. I’m afraid that I really don’t want to read about murder, retribution, forgiveness and reconciliation since with the exception of murder I have experience all of the above in my pastorates. On the other hand, if you have a memoir or any sort that you can send me I am researching how best to do my memoir and it might help. Or, alternatively if you can recommend a memoir for me to read. I can’t find any so far that deal with a student’s experience in college and seminary. 5396 Derron Ave, Memphis, TN 38115.

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          So because you’ve experienced all that in your pastorates, does that mean you’re not reading your Bible any more either? As you know better than I, it’s full of that kind of stuff. :)

          The best memoir I’ve ever read is All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg.

          • Jim

            Ok, you got me. Of course I am still reading my Bible. Check it out if you like. My Blog is at jarden1937.bogspot.com where I am exploring the Book of Genesis.
            Thanks for the the recommendation of the best memoir. I’ll find it.
            While I have your attention I want to mention how much I appreciated Tim LaHaye’s book on anger that literally changed my life.

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            Thanks, Jim. If you’re interested, here’s my brief segment at the LaHaye memorial 8/12: https://vimeo.com/user24808495/review/180330830/175adeea6c

          • Jim

            Jerry,
            I have a question that may be relevant to this discussion about anything new under the sun. I do a blog and intend to write some guest blogs. There is so much available that I want to give credit to my sources. How should I do that? Should I use MLA, simply refer to an author and a work or do a full footnote? How do you do a footnote in a blog?
            Thanks for your help. -Jim

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            You don’t, Jim. It would be too formal and academic-looking, and you want your blog to be conversational and accessible. So, I would opt for the second of your three options–unless you’re copying large blocks of someone else’s work–which you wouldn’t want to do anyway (synopsizing all but a few direct quotes is best).

            As Johnny Author says in his book, ‘Stuff I Hope Will Be Quoted,’ “These are the times that try men’s blogs.” He goes on to say that… [and here you summarize].

            That’s plenty of credit and keeps the tone of your blog.

          • Jim

            Thanks. The adjustment to the “non-academic” world is not easy. I like the sample you gave me. It relieves me in a world of plagiarism. In my reading I have discovered that much of what is written is a revision of much that has been written. This is the constant challenge of any writer. To be honest, we probably don’t think up a lot of “original” thoughts. Occasionally we make a connection that someone else has not made. It seems that God has so created us to be creators with words. Great stuff, huh!

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            Good point, Jim, and the reason for the theme of this blog:

            You know what makes your message unique? You do!

            Regardless how many authors or scriptwriters or bloggers are already proclaiming the same message, you feel compelled to say it again.

            Why? Because it’s that important, and because no one can write it the way you can.

            Oh, there may be better writers, and they may have even included slants you’ve never thought of.

            But they can’t write your book.

            I think that’s one way out of the academic milieu. Just take the tack of saying – after you’ve quoted someone else – “That reminds me of the time I…” and you’re on your way to a decidedly unique angle on the subject.

  • Connie Schisler Vellekoop

    Wow–so very true! I look at the sheer volume of books (doesn’t the Scripture say something about that??) and think, “Why would anyone be interested in what I have to say about my life and experience (missionary kid, polio survivor, missionary wife, etc.)? So I’m still plugging away at making it a unique expression of my sort of unique experiences…hoping and praying for the best! Thanks for your encouragement!

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      And the key for you, Connie, will likely be to make yours a memoir–as opposed to an autobiography–so you can build it around universal truths and transferrable principles, which you dramatize and illustrate with your own experiences. Rather than being tied to the task of getting you from birth to the present (as an autobio does), you’re then free to establish that you spent X number of years on the mission field, and then cherry pick the best anecdotes to fit your theme.

  • Linda Larson Werhane

    Thank you.
    This sentence will be posted on my bulletin board at my desk.

    “Infuse your book with yourself, your character, your personality, your
    voice, your angle. Yours could be the fresh perspective that makes all
    the difference.”

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Thanks, Linda. Feel free to Tweet it too. :) Here ’tis in 140 characters:

      IInfuse your book with your personality, voice, and angle—the perspective that makes all the difference. —Jerry B. Jenkins (JerryJenkins.com)

      • Jerry B Jenkins

        But of course spell ‘Infuse’ correctly. :(

  • Keith Heron

    My last runner’s blog included a young runner who signed my racer’s bib number in 2007. Yes, she ran in the 2016 Olympics in Rio in the 10,000 meters:
    Molly Huddle. I voiced my opinion about her incredible accomplishment from an average runner’s perspective. And I felt pretty good about it.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      That’s fun, isn’t it, Keith? I was watching one of the distance races and heard the announcer mention that one of the Americans was coached by Lee LaBadie. I immediately Googled the name, because I had covered Lee 45 years ago in high school and college where he became the first sub-four-minute miler in the Big 10. Was able to drop him a note and reconnect. A couple of days later, his runner, Clayton Murphy, took the bronze. You probably know which event.

      • Keith Heron

        You can find Lee LaBadie coaching at FloTrack.com: Men’s 800m Final: Quick Takes & Picks, August 15, 2016, by Dennis Young. Lee does a great job with Clayton Murphy and his fellow runners.

  • Paul Harmening

    How timely.

    Several days ago I asked myself that question, reflecting upon King Solomon’s search for value (all is vanity) in Ecclesiastes. Of course I’m struggling at the moment. I’ve completed about 3/4 of my manuscript and have hit the wall. My last chapter is the best I’ve written to date and now I’m wondering how I can better that? It’s still nothing compared to what the really good writers do in each chapter of their books, I think to myself.

    So, I’ve been silent for several days now, breaking one of the writers commandments…But along comes Jerry to my rescue once again. What you shared in this blog is so true and I needed to be reminded once again why God has asked me to take this pathway.

    Thank you once again sir, for your commitment to this craft. It is indeed a blessing.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Happy to be of help, Paul. Now back to work. :)

  • John Tucker

    In my non-fiction devotional on integrity for men I’m picking subjects that men specifically deal with, but don’t often use that “word” to describe their experience: attachments, awe, practice, unheard, substance, wholeness, and forty-six other topics to complete it. I feel that my voice, my take, on these subjects is unique and will be helpful. Like other devotionals I’m trying to make each reading concise but relevant, have a focus Scripture, and use these “words” in each title. My sacred deadline November 1, 2016. I’m unsure if I should add one or two questions to ponder after each reading. Writing non-fiction has been one difficult mountain to climb.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      I can tell you from my own experience, John, that I don’t like discussion questions at the end of devotionals. If the writer has done his job, I have plenty to ponder without feeling I’m being led by the hand. Such questions make me feel like he thinks I need to told what the point was. But maybe that’s just me. You have to do what works best for your manuscript.

      • John Tucker

        I feel that the devotions for men need to be positive, encouraging, scriptural and, like you say, “have plenty to ponder.” I appreciate your comment on the questions. That will help me be careful not to be preachy or condescending.

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          Good, John.

  • Tina

    Thank you for your article. Your focus rings true with the four gospels of the Bible. Each writer walked and talked with this amazing man named Jesus and witnessed some of the same events.Yet each gospel records these events in different ways. My heart rings true with the words of John , “the one whom Jesus loved…..” John’s perspective was from one who knew his God and the deep, unique love they shared. Likewise, God loves us all uniquely and works in our lives in special ways. Each of us has a story to tell about the day Jesus made himself known to us and the miracles we saw. We too have stories that need to be told again and again. After all, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      I wrote four novels based on the Gospels: Matthew’s Story, Mark’s Story, Luke’s Story, and John’s Story. Great fun.

      Good point, but but Luke did not walk and talk with Jesus. Never met Him.

  • Elizabeth

    André Gide is one of my favorites.

    I love the theme of this blog (probably my favorite one). Yes, people aren’t listening…That’s why we writers have to continue doing what we are doing (as some of you know, I lost my files using Scrivener and I thought…that’s enough for me…but one month later–it took that long to heal–I’m back at the keyboard because I have a story to tell, in a way that only I can tell, because this is my story.

    Thanks for the wonderful theme (one month has been the longest vacation I ever took from writing, but it felt more like hell than a vacation).

    • Glenda

      Sorry to hear about your lost files. What a gut-wrencher! The closest I can come to relating is losing a ten page letter to my in-laws, once. Glad you’re healing and back to the keyboard, Elizabeth. I took a six-month hiatus from writing and the fire inside couldn’t be extinguished…I’m back, too. :)

  • Wendy Spencer

    Hi there Jerry! Once again, I wanted to thank you for such encouraging words.
    “To truly grasp a concept, people need to see it, hear it, read it multiple times in multiple ways.” This spoke strongly to me, since just yesterday the Lord reminded me of the importance of hearing things over and over, if I want to see a change take place. After all, He tells us several times in His Word…”remember.” It’s crucial to our faith walk with Him. That we may be men and women of praise and gratitude for all He’s done and continues to do.

    We are thankful to have your words to give lift to our countenances when we may be doubting or struggling to know where/how to begin.

    Sincerely, Wendy.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Thanks, Wendy.

  • Susan Tackitt

    Whatever I write about, it will have my story woven through it in bits and pieces, showing up here and there ~ my story. my fingerprint. No matter what the story is it will have my brand on it.

    • Glenda

      “Your fingerprint.” Great line! :)

  • Marcia Berger

    I love fiction, so that is what I hope to write and get published. Loving stories, even if they are fictional or fictionalized, help me to see things in a different pespective. This is why in the story (stories eventually) I am writing, one would think it is “old hat” and been dealt with too many times, however, I believe I have a new twist. This story comes out of a play that I wrote originally for church. I want to expand it because it deals with the hope that we seek God to fulfill yet God is doing things in a totally different way then what we expected. This is why we run into dispair, we can’t see what God is doing. You people talk about using a keyboard, but I don’t have one. I use the old hand and pencil method because it goes faster for me. ( i hope that is okay)Then I go to the library and print it out. Right now I’m using a note phone, (? I think it is called that) that my kids thought I should get. Hey I’m learning.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Good, Marcia. As long as you’re learning, here are a few quick lessons for today:

      Loving stories, even if they are fictional or fictionalized, help [assuming ‘Loving’ is a verb, your first word after your dependent clause needs to be ‘helps.’ ‘Loving helps me…’]
      me to [could delete ‘to’] see things [differently]. in a different pespective. This is why in [of] the story (stories eventually) I am writing, one would [might] think it is “old hat” [no need for quotes around words used in a different context; give your reader credit to get it] and been [could delete ‘been’] dealt with too many times, [run-on. end sentence here] however, I believe I have a new twist. This story comes out of a play that [could delete ‘that’] I wrote originally for church. I want to expand it because it deals with the hope that we seek God to fulfill [comma] yet God [‘He,’ to avoid echo] is doing things in a totally different way then [than] what [delete ‘what’]we expected. This is why we [run into] dispair [despair], [period or semi-colon] we can’t see what God is doing.

      • Marcia Berger

        Thank you Jerry

  • Glenda

    The band, Switchfoot, played in our area recently. They let us know there was nowhere they’d rather be than with us at that moment. With their unique “emotionally intelligent and uplifting brand of alternative rock” they invited us into the experience with a fun college anecdote, and opportunities for hand-clapping, hand-waving and woo-hooing back to them in several songs. Jon Foreman mingled with the crowd and wore one fan’s sunglasses, took a bottle of water from another (and drank it all), had us laughing about two fairground eateries in his line of vision and reminded us of the extraordinary in the ordinary; the trees, the skies, the rides…They poured themselves into their songs, insane instrument solos and gave their all- delivering a concert none of us would soon forget. I want to write like that.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      You just did, Glenda.

      • Glenda

        Thank you! :)

        • Tam0871

          yes, you did!! Great job!

          • Glenda

            Thank you, Tam0871 :)

  • Raymond Wilson

    Although many books have dealt with the subject about a family who has experienced the death of a child, I have not read any that primarily deals with the subject on how to properly and effectively minister to the family in their journey of grief. To me, this is needed. Having gone through the death of two children myself, I have learned that very few people know how to do that, unless they have gone through a similar experience. Far too often, people think that all they can do for the family is to show up at the funeral, give them a sympathy card, some money, some flowers, and drop over a home cook meal. Other than praying for them and hope that time will heal, nothing much beyond that gets done. My book shows the painful grief of the death of a child and how it affects the family, AND how to effectively help.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Sorry for you losses, Raymond. I can’t imagine.

      If you can broaden the scope of your book to include how to effectively help anyone who has lost a loved one, you’ll increase your chances of placing it. Anything you can do to broaden the audience without diminishing the message will benefit the chances of getting published without having to resort to paying to be printed.

      • Raymond Wilson

        Thank you Jerry. I do appreciate this.

  • maribetho

    I liked these words that you shared Jerry.

    I too, often struggle with why in the world would anyone want to read what I am writing? I also teach and work as a counsellor in a school. Years ago during a class where I asked my students to tell me what their favourite form of writing was, one student asked me what mine was.

    When I hesitated, another student jumped in and said, “she likes to write on us – we are what she is writing.” I was stunned to hear such a profound comment come out of a mouth of a seventh grader. I was humbled that she would say that about me.

    I never seem to tire of the relationship between words on a page and myself- either those I am reading or those I am writing – they can fill me with such peace and sense of having accomplished what I am here for; when I write there is a sense in me of ‘completion’.

    I continue to write but most often it is private, and yet perhaps I will find that spot that needs my story. Thank you for that encouragement.

    Maribeth

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Thank you, Maribeth. Interesting.

  • Jamie Jenkins

    I don’t know how else to answer this question except like this: I believe my personality, voice, and angle come through in my writing based on my experience. The novel I’m currently writing reflects a lot of stuff I’ve been through. The main character is a lot like me. Therefore, it’s easy to understand my story. The hard part is getting it down on paper!

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Until you do, only you find it easy to understand. :)

  • Elizabeth

    Hi, Glenda, so good to know people are listening. One of the greatest advantage to belonging to a forum is to find other writers that show empathy and care. I do appreciate your remarks and I hope others will print or save their files somewhere else (I would to if David from Scrivener had not told me not to worry about…just click the link to get a new license…all because I decline their charges that came under another name and suspected they were fraudulent…that was a revenge plot to lure me to click on that link…but, being a Christian, I know there’s a day of Judgment and evil doers will not escape and I think there’s a great difference between sinners and evil doers…so I leave that up to God. My conscicence is clear and I know that God will lead me to build better chapters and a better book but the wound is severe because they were my edited files, not the files I post on forums…) Anyhow, as you can see, the hurt is still there and I had to vent a little bit….

    Glenda, thank you for your words of comfort. May God bless you for your tender heart.

    • Glenda

      Hi, Elizabeth-it is good to know people are listening. Definitely printing out my pages as I go as well as saving them. Thanks for the heads up. I can see where the hurt would still be there. You’re welcome and thanks for the blessings.

      Hope to talk more on these posts. Blessings right back! :)

  • Many moons ago at FCA camp a speaker told us the average person hears the gospel six times before believing it.

    Recently I heard it takes eight times hearing something new for it to sink in. Tis true, “of making many books there is no end.”

    Thanks for teaching us to write. No better career in my book! :)

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Or in mine, Rebekah.

  • Michael Tolulope Emmanuel

    Hm. Sunk home with a splash. Thank you very much for this lesson.
    I love the, “if you are careful not to copy, to imitate, and to mimic…” I must chew on that. I really must.
    Thank you sir.

  • Charlotte Wheat

    Thank you, Jerry, for all your help. My protagonist, an avid Torah follower, yearns to be the Messiah who restores glory, honor and praise to God, the temple and Jerusalem. From his perspective He can’t miss. In reality he works against God, yet, serves God.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Interesting, Charlotte.

  • Karen Crider

    My stories are unique because I am me, and no one can do me the way I can. No one can emulate the voice of another author. They are as unique as a fingerprint.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Hear, hear, Karen!

  • Deborah Walker

    Throughout my adult years people have commented that I write a memoir. In college I was told I should take classes on how to be published. However, life happened and I neglected to do both-until now. Meanwhile, it seemed adversity followed me wherever I went and sometimes held my hand. I am currently putting pen to paper mapping my journey of tragedy, transformation, and triumph. I cherish and eagerly anticipate your input.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      All the best with it, Deborah. We’ll look forward to keeping up with your progress.

  • Elizabeth

    Glenda, thanks for the blessings. I sure can use a ‘bunch’ of them.
    What genre do you write? Want an accountability partner? If so, drop me a line. Thanks. Elizabeth

  • Cathy Gross

    My history, coupled with God’s unique involvement in my life, makes me who I am and cannot help but seep into my writing. When three people see an incident, each will tell a slightly different version of that incident because what they see is colored by their experiences. Writing gives me a voice to share what I have learned, whether in fiction or nonfiction. But why preach when you can tell a story?

  • hornet316

    Hello Jerry & staff,
    I was pleased to receive your email this morning about the NaNoWriMo2016 project. I would like to participate IF I am qualified. I enter this caveat because the first draft of my Christian military-thriller was finished quite a few years ago. I later had substantial editing help from John DeSimone thru the Christian Manuscript Critique Service, and who used to run the annual Orange County (CA) Christian Writers Conference. He also is a published author in his own right, “Leonardo’s Chair.” Also, a literary agent believed in my story and represented me for more than a year about a decade ago, but we failed to find traction in either the CBA or ABA markets. Publishers said they liked my story, but the quality of writing was not up to their standards. The agent, Mark Gilroy, is well known in Christian circles as an experienced publishing executive for Christian houses and wrote two Christian crime thrillers, but at the time he had practically no experience writing or editing thrillers. DeSimone’s help came later, and he coached me on how to write proper thriller fiction. My book, free preview available at http://www.swordofthecovenant.com, was published on smashwords.com as an eBook in 2012, then I revised and updated it before submitting it to amazon’s Kindle Store last year, also as an eBook.
    So, my question is, since I have a completed novel of 169.000 words — they tell me that is considered a “brick” in the publishing world, should I submit a piece of it or all of it for this project?
    — Mark Andrews

    • I don’t think NaNoWriMo has you submit anything but your word total, the point being to try to write a 50k novel in 30 days to prove to yourself you can do it. Your project, being done already, likely doesn’t apply to what they’re doing.

      As for the size of it, yes, you’re going to have trouble shopping it. But when it’s in the form you’re happy with (closer to 100k words will give it a much better chance), editors or agents would want to see the whole of it.

      That said, I took a peek at that link. The “By” on your cover is a self-publishing giveaway. It should just read:

      A Novel
      Mark Andrews

      I also took a peek at your first 175 or so words and immediately trimmed them by 40%. You can do this, and that 169k becomes a tick over 100k. Good luck with it.

  • hornet316

    Jerry, Thanks so much for your personal feedback and helpful instructions regarding my military-thriller eBook, “Sword of the Covenant.” I’ve always known length was a problem. If you happened to have saved your 40% trim of my first 175 words — I assume it was from the Prologue — and you are able to send it to me, I would deeply appreciate that. Either on this forum or directly to my email, mlandrews@embarqmail.com. I understand that the NaNoWriMo project is not for me.
    As always, I remain grateful for your prompt and thoughtful replies to my queries on this blog. You’ve never let me down with regard to excellent feedback.
    — Mark Andrews

  • Donna Oliva Burnett

    Thank you for these words. I needed to hear them!

  • Donna Oliva Burnett

    Great encouragement! I have wondered this very thing. Very helpful. Thank you, Donna

  • disqus_JsfC7s7QFS

    One series I’ve written ( I actually have drafts of all 9 books done) is a Young Adult Superhero series. Some have asked me “but aren’t all the good ones taken”. I would say yes, if not for the fact on my blog I spend a whole summer analyzing and dissecting various DC Comics and Marvel Superheroes and learned what makes them tick and why these characters have struck a cord.

    By the time I finished I was reminded of something comic book writer Grant Morrison said about how after all the deconstructing of superheroes no one has really bothered to put them back together. I decided, “Hey, why don’t I treat what I learned about superheroes like Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Iron Man and treat like it was a recipe and combine some of the things I’ve loved about these stories and make my own.”

    From the classic “cold opening”, to the hero trying to balance his civilian social life with his mask and cape, to a cool base of operations, and yes, even alliterative names, everything we associate with superheroes is in this series, wrapped in a subtle Christian world view. The end result, a series that respects everything that came before, and as one reviewer of Book 1 in my series told me, “It is definitely the best superhero novel that I have ever read. Most Christian superhero’s have been painfully cheesy. I think that your book stands on it’s own.”

    • Where would I see these?

      • disqus_JsfC7s7QFS

        Well, I haven’t published the YA series yet ( though final draft of book 1, Stryder and The Mysterious Stranger, is currently in the works and I’m actively researching publishers to submit it too) but if you are talking about the blog, I’d be happy to share the links.

        https://jonathondsvendsen.wordpress.com/tag/countdown-to-avengers/

        https://jonathondsvendsen.wordpress.com/tag/adventures-in-the-dc-universe/

        I’ve also done similar blog anthologies on Tolkien’s Middle-earth, CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars, Star Trek, and now, Charles M. Schulz Peanuts. I’ll confess the later ones are much better, as “Countdown” and “Adventures” were both done when I was still developing my craft.

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          Unpublished? What did you mean by “a reviewer…”?

          • disqus_JsfC7s7QFS

            A contact I made at a writers conference is editing and reviewing it for me for publication.

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            Aah, all the best with it.

          • disqus_JsfC7s7QFS

            Thank you! It is a delight to correspond with you. I

  • This is just what I needed to hear/read!

    To personalize: “INFUSE my book with MYSELF, MY character, MY personality, MY voice, MY angle. MINE could be the fresh perspective that makes all the difference.”

    I am going to keep this near me in my work space and repeat to myself to help motivate. Thank you.