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Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 860-1412733658 ISBN-10: 1582974179

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jerry B. Jenkins is the author of the Left Behind novels. He owns the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, and teaches at dozens of writers conferences yearly.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books (August 1, 2006)
  • ISBN-10: 1582974179
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,952,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of more than 180 books with sales of more than 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series, Jerry B. Jenkins is former vice president for publishing and currently chairman of the board of trustees for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.

Jerry's writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. Twenty of his books have reached The New York Times best-seller list (seven debuting number one). The Breakthrough, the final book in Jerry's Precinct 11 trilogy, released from Tyndale House Publishers in September 2012.

Jerry owns Jenkins Entertainment, a filmmaking company in Chicago, and the Christian Writers Guild, which aims to train tomorrow's professional Christian writers. Each student is personally mentored by a seasoned professional.

In January 2013, Jerry launched Christian Writers Guild Publishing (CWGP). Students take a six-month mentored course to guide them in writing their manuscripts, then CWGP publishes their books.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Jerry's book offers practical advice for all would-be writers.
Roberto J. Garcia
Book Title Writing For The Soul Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life Book Author Jerry B. Jenkins Publisher Writers DIgest Books Pub.
Lynda L. Blevins
I would definitely recommend this book to fiction or non-fiction writers.
J. Cottrell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
To be perfectly up front about where I'm coming from, I haven't read the "Left Behind" novels and I'm not religious, nor do I tend to read much in the way of inspirational writing. Perhaps this will make it clear that when I say "Writing for the Soul" is a lovely and enjoyable read that could teach any up-and-coming writer a thing or two, I'm not speaking as a fan or simply agreeing with Jenkins' religious ideals--I'm speaking as a reader and writer who has had the privilege to review dozens of books on writing.

Jenkins' religious convictions certainly permeate his manuscript; he is unashamed of his beliefs, and his desire to share them with others is the result of a moving personal journey that he also shares within these pages. However, Jenkins also possesses a wry, thoughtful tone and a realistic outlook on life that prevents this outreach from pushing or preaching. I never felt excluded in any way as a non-believer, nor did I feel that Jenkins' advice and words had no relevance to me and my experience.

"Writing for the Soul" is part memoir and part instruction to would-be writers. Much of the instruction is relevant to writers aiming for any market, while some pertains specifically to inspirational or religious writing. Jerry Jenkins has authored many books (fiction and non-), and has extensive experience as an editor and publisher. It is this latter experience that makes his advice particularly insightful and useful to would-be authors. He understands the common mistakes that would-be authors of inspirational material tend to make (such as being overtly preachy!) and offers pointed advice to help them avoid such pitfalls. As a non-religious reader I particularly found myself nodding at his advice; the kinds of things he advises against are exactly the sorts of writing that put me off when I read inspirational material. The fact that I found his book so enjoyable, and frankly uplifting, merely proves his point.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By H. G. Scott on February 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In "Writing for the Soul" Jerry Jenkins gives writers instruction and advice about the craft. The book has a conversational tone, making you feel as though you're sitting right beside Jenkins in his cozy cabin in Colorado. Through a devotional, autobiographical style, Jenkins covers a number of writing issues, including:

* What to write about
* How to equip your writing space
* The importance of reading
* Research
* Pace, Conflict, and Plot
* Character development
* Publication issues

There's a lot to like here. I appreciate Jenkins' writings and consider him an excellent author. If you're looking for the story of how Jenkins found success as a writer, this is a good book for you. However, I think this book is mistitled. "Writing for the Soul" seems to indicate that the book addresses the issue of writing as a Christian calling, which is not the purpose of this book. If you are, like me, searching for a book that does address writing as a Christian calling, you might be more satisfied with the classic work, "An Introduction to Christian Writing" by Ethel Herr.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on August 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was not a "Left Behind" fan. I thought Jerry Jenkins a great storyteller, but not a great writer. And I never would have bought his new book on writing if an accomplished and well published author friend hadn't recommended it.

And now I'd like to recommend it to everyone here.

Whatever you think of the "Left Behind" series, Jenkins is a very successful author. (He'd published 150 books before he ever wrote Left Behind.) Too, "Writing for the Soul" is thoughtful and well written.

Jenkins discusses how he worked his way up from newspaper stringer to author, talks about priorities and the Christian writer, gives lots of tips on writing better, gives some pretty good insight into the business of writing, and offers some great stories about a few of the famous folks he's written about (from Billy Graham to Nolan Ryan).

The only thing I wish he'd discussed--but didn't--is how more and more publishers are seeking writers (especially those who write nonfiction) to have "platforms," or "ready made" readers.

Nonetheless, I think EVERY writer, whether novice and well published, Christian or atheist, can learn something from this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erik Olson VINE VOICE on December 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although I couldn't get into the "Left Behind" series, I respect Jerry Jenkins' work. After all, you can't argue with success. I was curious about him and his approach to writing, so when I saw this book I immediately bought it. After finishing "Writing For The Soul," my curiosity was satisfied. The author appears to be a down-to-earth person, and his advice is straightforward and worthwhile. Plus, the book is written and formatted in an easy-to-read fashion. Mr. Jenkins strives to communicate complex ideas simply, and here he delivers.

"Writing For The Soul" is one part autobiography and two parts writing and publishing advice. Each chapter focuses on aspects of the craft such as "What to Write," "Writers are Readers," and "Pace, Conflict and Plot." Mr. Jenkins is a big sports fan, so there are short profiles of various athletes he spent time with while crafting their biographies. In addition to being interesting, they are used as examples of how a good interviewer works with his subjects (celebrity or otherwise). Also, there are "Q & A with Jerry" sections throughout the book where he goes over the nuts and bolts of being an author.

Of course, all the how-to books in the world are useless without personal action. Along with his practical counsel, Mr. Jenkins makes it clear that writing involves specific character qualities. He stresses the need for desire and discipline, for without those attributes one is only a wannabe. Indeed, the two best pieces of advice (admonitions?) Mr. Jenkins gives are: 1) most people don't want to write - they already want to have written something, and 2) get your seat in the chair, start writing, and make it habitual.
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