Advice from Professional Writers (4)

A few weeks ago, I began a series of posts with words of wisdom from different authors. I ‘collect’ these whenever I come across them. I will share these with you – (my readers) for October and November as I work on my outline for NaNoWriMo, as well as teaching my class, ‘Mustang Patty Teaches Writing.’ I hope you find them as valuable as I do.

Jerry Jenkins*, author of the best selling ‘Left Behind’ series, gives us some advice from another great writer. ‘Dean Koontz**, the great author, says you have to plunge your main character into terrible trouble as soon as possible. Now that means something different for each genre. You may have your character hanging by his fingernails from a railroad trestle from the first sentence for a thriller or a suspense story. For a romance, the terrible trouble may mean that a woman has two suitors, and she’s trying to decide which one to go with. But still the terrible trouble has to start from the first word. There just isn’t time to ease into a story and do what editors refer to as throat clearing and setting the scene.’ 

I found this quote from Dean Koontz to be fascinating. It IS imperative to get to the point of your story quickly—especially in the short story. While it is nice to create the setting and ease into the storyline, your readers will lose interest if you take too long.

Jerry Jenkins teaches several classes through his website, and I’ve taken three or four. He is a great inspiration to other writers and me because he describes writing in great detail.

Happy Writing!

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

*Jerry Bruce Jenkins is an American writer. He is best known for the Left Behind series, written for Tim LaHaye.

Born: September 23, 1949 (age 72), Kalamazoo, Michigan

**Dean Ray Koontz (pictured) is an American author. His novels are billed as suspense thrillers, but frequently incorporate elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and satire.

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

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