Book Review of Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life by Jerry B. Jenkins

WritingSoulWhen a guy that has sold more than 70 million books writes a book about writing, aspiring writers should probably pay attention. While Tim Lahaye was the theological advisor for the Left Behind series of books, Jenkins was the guy who put pen to paper and made it happen. If I’m being honest, while I read most of the Left Behind books, I’m not nearly as rabid about them as most Christian readers. While I liked the plot, I felt some of the characters were a little wooden with dialogue to match. But Left Behind is only a drop in the bucket that is Jenkins’ writing portfolio. His book I Saul, a historical-fictional account of the Apostle Paul’s final imprisonment is very well written and represents the kind of fiction I would like to model my own writing after.

In Writing for the Soul, Jenkins gives readers a book that is part memoir (detailing his own life as a writer) and instructional guide that is packed with practical and useful advice. Jenkins addresses practical matters such as equipping your writing space, scheduling time to write, and pursuing publication while, at the same time, exploring matters such as motivation, pace, plotting, and tension. I would recommend this book for all writers, Christian or not.

Review of "I, Saul" by Jerry B. Jenkins

I, SaulTITLE: I, Saul
AUTHOR: Jerry B. Jenkins

This book by Jerry Jenkins (of Left Behind fame) alternates between the modern adventures of theology professor Augustine Knox and the Apostle Paul during the first century. Eventually, the two stories collide as Knox gets caught up in the discovery of Paul’s memoirs and the illicit activities of those who seek to profit from the find.

I enjoyed this book, however, Jenkins seemed to have a much better handle on the first century timeline than its modern counterpart. The characters of Paul and Luke (along with Timothy and Mark in bit parts) seem very believable and I found myself drawn into their story. However, it took me awhile to warm up to the modern timeline. The characters were less real and harder to like. By the latter stages of the story, however, I found myself fully engaged.

In my opinion, the writing in this book far surpasses that found in the majority of the Left Behind books and it was a fun read.