April 2016 – Jeff Gerke

Jeff Gerke trains novelists how to better do what it is they’re trying to do. He trains through his books for Writers Digest, which include The Irresistible Novel, Plot Versus Character, The First 50 Pages, Write Your Novel in a Month, and The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction. He trains through the many writers’ conferences he teaches at all over the country every year. He is the founder of Marcher Lord Press, the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction, which he sold after an award-winning 5-year run. And he trains through the freelance editing he does for his clients at www.jeffgerke.com. Jeff is known for his encouraging manner, which leaves writers feeling empowered and like they really can do this thing after all. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and three children.

I CAN’T VISUALIZE IT—THE POWER OF DESCRIPTION IN FICTION

There’s an old adage in theater: if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage. If the writer doesn’t describe it, the reader doesn’t see it. You may be picturing the people in your story or the setting of your narrative well, but those mental images haven’t transferred to the reader. Without good description, your story will seem to take place in a nebulous gray fog peopled with faceless people under dark cowls. Jeff says he doesn’t subscribe to the notion that you should simply let the reader imagine what she wants, nor does he favor parceling out bits of description so that by the end of the scene readers finally know what the place or person looks like. He believes in a more cinematic and theatrical approach. Come learn how, when, and why to describe your settings and story people so your readers see the movie in their heads.