A Word From Jack London

“Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club.” So said Jack London, one of my favorite writers and a man who wrote 50 books before dying at the ripe age of 40.

One of my favorite London books is The Sea Wolf, a magnificent study of human nature, the limits of endurance, and the will to survive, all of which were typical subjects for London. I don’t know if books like this are taught these days. It’s a shame if they aren’t, and I highly recommend this and the others for their powerful portrayals of man’s ability to overcome. Too often in modern writing, failure is laudable, chicanery portrayed as wisdom, and competence derided as arrogance. This attitude is nonsense peddled by the feel-gooders who lack the honesty to recognize nothing improves without the sting of failure as a guide to what doesn’t work. Then again, that class of parasites doesn’t mind if nothing improves as they usually have a cushy seat under their posterior.

I would like to give credit once again to Jack London for producing books that influenced my own writing. In particular, readers will see a bit of the London archetype in Tommy Bonk, the lead character in my novel, Bonk’s Bar. There’s also Nathan Beck, in An Island Away. As London said, I sought out inspiration, not with a club mind you, but voraciously read excellent books of his and others, studying the techniques employed to tell a story. While classroom instruction with fine teachers provided a foundation and valuable feedback for my early efforts, nothing assisted me more in the process than carefully analyzing well-written books. I highly recommend it for anyone considering taking the plunge with pen and paper.

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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