Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Secret of the Master Novelist.

The following post is an excerpt of my new book, The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe, coming February 2012.

The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe is meant to help any author whether he or she is traditionally or self-published. This book will encourage those who travel through the easily discouraging planetary system we call publishing. It also includes tips and quotes from best selling indie authors like Scott Nicholson, Blake Crouch, Joanna Penn, Saffina Desforges and more. I'll keep you posted on the exact release date.

Secrets of the Master Novelist

“To be successful, you have to be an entrepreneur and treat your books as products.
Stop thinking of yourself as just an author. Those days are long gone.”
~ Ann Charles, Deadwood Mystery Series

Like many people, I’ve had multiple occupations in my life, scrounging through positions like a dumpster-diver, digging for the secret to my soul. I’d go to work and think about writing a book some day. Then a few years later, I’d think about it again. Sometimes I felt inspired to write a few songs or poems, but determined that I had experienced a chemical imbalance, melancholy blues, or lack of vitamin D. That was probably an accurate diagnosis, but the point is, I never noticed the red flags flying, waving, snapping their thunderous threads, clapping for my attention.
The red flags had a message. And if you could’ve analyzed my life, and examined the evidence, you might’ve noticed that I was on the wrong track.
I didn’t see it. 
I was too busy with my fledgling attempts at success to hear the call. I had strapped on a pair of fulfillment-blinders and kept my gaze firmly fixed on that which left me passionless. I was spiritually self-medicating on a false perception of what life was meant to be and who I was. I didn’t know that I was a writer. I didn’t know, although I suspected that God had gifted me in that area. Yet I had never experienced the level of satisfaction one gets when transposing his thoughts and dreams into a full-length novel.
Oh sure, I enjoyed writing college papers and telling my kids absorbing bedtime stories, but that was different. That was business. That was just being a dad.
That was also my ignorance.
I was clueless about what it meant to be a writer until sometime in 2007’ish. I’ll save you the gory details about what I’ve penned since then, because at this point, only three of those works are even worthy of discussion. However, I will tell you this; my literary reviews cover the full gamut from, “This is the best thing since bottled spring water!” to “Poor writing skills...One Star...YOU SUCK!”
Most writers can relate to the pain and joys of writing, a craft that can never be perfected, at least not in the eyes of the author. The way I see it, the craft of writing requires diligent study, loads of reading, thick skin, saint-like humility, and a consistent routine. But there is one secret that the master-craftsmen never reveal. It’s a secret that’s been kept in literary vaults since Moses locked the Ten Commandments into the Arc of the Covenant.
What’s the secret?
The secret of a master novelist is that writing, as in good writing, has nothing to do with money, it has nothing to do with an author platform, snagging an agent or getting that elusive contract. The secret every would-be, aspiring, want-to-make-it-someday author needs to know is simple; if you don’t love it, if you don’t drink literature by the gallons, if you can’t enjoy sitting still, dreaming, rewriting, plotting, taking criticism, breathing life into a new character and feeling absolutely passionate about your words and what they mean to no one else but yourself, you will never know how excellent you can be.
In my opinion, writing has less to do with the skill of carving stories out of words, and more to do with the love of the sculpture, including the pieces of stone that crumble to the ground.

~ Jeff Bennington, best selling author of Reunion, Twisted Vengeance & Creepy

Follow The Writing Bomb by email (top right) and let me know if my new book sounds interesting to you. Comment & visit often. And if you can spare a dime, buy one of my novels.


  1. I agree about being a "good" writer, in the sense that if you are really, truly passionate about writing, you'll keep doing, and you more than likely will improve. I love telling stories - it's something I have to do, I can't not do it :) That's a true writer lol.
    Good luck with your new book.

  2. Can't wait for this! I'm in it a little too, so by Thor it must be splendid!

  3. Love it! Great timing. I recently decided to take the digital dive and have been on the lookout for the most current books on indie authorship.

    Catchy cover and title, by the way.

  4. @Christina ~ Halleluja! Glad you liked that.

    @Renee ~ Thank you. You def fit the profile.

    @Robert ~ Exactly. Already added.

  5. @Nikki ~ Thanks for dropping by. Looking forward to seeing ya around and wish you luck as an INDIE!

  6. Thanks, Jeff! And good feedback... on expletives.

  7. Hear, hear!! Love it, Jeff. You are so right. Kudos to you and wishing you great success in your life and career!!

  8. That post read like beautiful poetry to me.

  9. @Nikki ~ My pleasure. Thaks for reading.

    @Jo ~ What a nice comment. Thank you so much!

    @E.B. ~ Thank you, EB. That is very kind of you to say.

  10. Fabulous. Write 4 you & I always quote the three R's to success- Read, Write, Repeat til you get it, then repeat again. Well written & gr8 advice.


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