2016 Faculty Spotlight 6: Jeff Gerke
KCWC is pleased to welcome Jeff Gerke to our faculty roster!
Jeff Gerke, When you’re truly ready to make your fiction publishable, it’s time to call Jeff Gerke. Jeff trains novelists how to better do what it is they’re trying to do. He trains through his books for Writers Digest: 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 trained his authors when he ran 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 http://www.jeffgerke.com. Jeff is known for his canny book doctoring skills and 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.
Please note, Jeff will be joining us remotely via livestream, not in person.
- Rules, Shmools: If you’ve studied the craft of fiction very long, you have encountered many so-called rules of good craftsmanship. Don’t include a prologue, don’t use -ly adverbs, don’t head-hop, don’t bury your dialogue, don’t tell when you could show, don’t use to-be verbs, etc. And if you’ve studied fiction craftsmanship a bit longer, you’ve encountered teachers giving contradictory rules: Prologues are great, -ly adverbs are fine, omniscient POV is a legitimate style of fiction, buried dialogue is a silly thing to talk about, some telling is useful, to-be verbs are useful. It doesn’t take too much of that paradox to become paralyzed in your writing. How can you both have and not have a prologue? In Part 1 of The Irresistible Novel, I cover more than 100 of these rules. I show that they are preferences and opinions, not actual rules. I give pros and cons of each, I reveal what I personally do, and I give you permission to do it as you wish. I also give tips for how to write as you please and yet still get past the publishing gatekeepers. In this class, you’ll finally get unstuck and reclaim the fun of writing stories.
- Hacking Your Reader’s Brain: Did you know that neuroscience has shown what happens in a person’s brain when the story they’re encountering is boring? Or what’s happening when the story is engaging? Oxytocin, adrenaline, and dopamine are sent coursing through an engaged reader’s brain—and those things don’t flow at all in a bored reader’s brain. In Part 2 of The Irresistible Novel, I worked with a neuroscientist who studies reader/viewer engagement to arrive at the techniques you must use to 1) catch the reader’s attention in the first place and 2) engage her so utterly with your tale that she not only reads through the novel as fast as she can but also tells everyone about your book. Come hear the simple but essential methods for hacking your reader’s brain.