Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction

Do you have a story in your head? Characters who want to come to life on paper? If so, settle in with Jeff Gerke for a do-it-yourself workshop (one-semester, high school level) on writing Christian fiction. Its design as an independent study means there is no teacher book and no requirements for parental involvement except for providing grades, if needed. The 308 pg, pb Book is conversational, written to you, the writer, in the same tone you would expect from a mentor or a seminar presentation. The over-arching message is 'keep it simple but strong', and the author doesn't just leave you with that maxim; he gives you point after point on how to accomplish that goal. Growing out of the author's Writing Tip of the Week column, each "tip" is now labeled a "mastery." The aptness of this label reveals the author's message - conquer these skills, one by one, and the result will be a masterful, publishable piece of Christian fiction.

Determined to keep first things first, Mr. Gerke covers the spiritual aspect of writing (motivation, calling, etc.) in Part I before going on to strategic matters (creating characters, plot development, creating suspense, etc.) in Part II and process matters (point of view, dialogue, etc.) in Part III. The 77 pg, looseleaf Workbook provides a plan for each lesson. Sometimes the student is told to Read, Consider, Look-Up, and Apply before being given a homework assignment and time to work on their story. At other times they are only expected to read a portion of text and work on their story. A writing assignment rubric is included covering general, organizational, and skills improvement. The student might choose to make notes, etc. in the Workbook but it is essentially a non-consumable except for the Writing Checklist included as an appendix along with a very helpful four-page Glossary of Literary Terms.

This course is obviously designed as a writing course, but by transporting the student to the writer's perspective, it also provides excellent insight into literary analysis. ~ Janice

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