On Protecting the Creative Process

Brilliant Reader (and hard-at-work novelist) CH considers our offer to share her first line and responds:

Although I’ve decided not to share my opening sentence here, I’m grateful for your post, Jacke. 18 K-plus words later, I honestly couldn’t remember what my first sentence was. Today was one of those days when I wondered if anything I had written thus far was worthwhile. Thanks to your post, I discovered that at least my first sentence and the paragraph that followed were worth keeping. The rest will have to wait until I’m finished writing and ready to edit from the beginning. Thank you for making me curious enough to look back today, at least for a moment 🙂

Great to hear! Someday I hope to be mentioned in the novel’s acknowledgments, even if it’s just as “…and many others who offered their support along the way.”

Our contest is still open. And let me tell you, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the ones where the novelist calls our special number and reads their first line aloud, or clicks on our webpage that lets you just read it aloud to your computer. (Or the ones where people just read their favorite first lines from their favorite novels ever, which is a separate contest, also still open, and also with a free book giveaway at the end of it.)

Onward and upward, everyone!

The Restless Mind Show 5 – Gar Discovers a Lost Recording of Walt Whitman!


Gar finds a lost recording of Walt Whitman reading his own poetry! Plus: Author Jacke Wilson gives an update on the Greatest First Lines contest.


Well Now, This Changes Everything…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man of Good Fortune must be in want to go.

–Google Voice, attempting to transcribe the first line of what it believes to be “Pride and Prejudice: Fight in Action” [known to human beings as “Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen”]

(And yes, this means I’m enjoying listening to the entries in our Greatest First Lines in Literature Contest and its sibling Calling All NaNoWriMoers! Tell Us Your First Line and Win a Free Book! Both contests are still open – follow those links and send me your entry today!)

Calling All NaNoWriMoers! Tell Us Your First Line and Win a Free Book!

Don’t cross the streams! Don’t cross the streams!

Well, guess what?


I’m crossing the streams!

What are these streams? First: the fabulous contest we’re running on the best opening sentences ever. You can still enter that one if you want.

And second: our full-throated support for National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. We renewed our support on Sunday.

Why do we care so much?

Take a look at the post Is Literature Dying? for a hint. Literature matters to me, or it did at one time. Now, I’m not so sure. Part of me thinks it’s on life support. We’re replacing it with other forms of communication, other forms of expression, other forms of art. Literature as we knew it 20 years ago is headed for the dumpster. A nice dumpster, maybe. The most museumlike dumpster you can imagine. But still: a dumpster.

So if we’re checking the vital signs of our patient Literature, and if we’re gearing ourselves up for the really hard questions of whether it can and will and should survive, what signs can we look for? Readership, certainly. Assessing great contemporary authors, maybe.

And… we can look at writers. Authors. Novelists. Successful ones and yet-to-be-successful ones. Like those writing a novel for this year’s National Novel Writing Month.

Maybe you’re among them! I hope you are!

So now that you’re in the middle of your slog, wrestling with your own words in the loneliest endeavor imaginable, take a few seconds to celebrate your achievement. Give yourselves some inspiration. Let us be your jolt of energy, your strong positive feedback, your tiny triumph on the way to (hopefully) a successful month of writing.

Send us your first sentence.

That’s it. That’s all. Just the first line or two. Give us some news from the front.

Leave it in the comments or, even better, read it to me out loud. I’ll choose my favorite entries, give you a little free publicity here on the Jacke blog, and send you a free book, no strings attached. A book of your choice. Hopefully a great novel that will help to fuel your own creative energies and spur you to greater novelistic heights.

How does that work? Simple. Either call my special dedicated voicemail line, 1-361-4WILSON (1-361-494-5766), and leave a message. That’s it, it’s just a call. Just tell me the name of your book, maybe your own first name if you want, and read away. No strings attached. If I like your first line I may run it on my podcast. And if I like it the best, I’ll send you a free book via Amazon or some other way.

If phone calls aren’t your thing, just jump over to my Speakpipe page, click the link, and read away. (Make sure your computer’s microphone is on.) I’ll get the message and again – we’ll celebrate your effort, maybe share it with others on the podcast, discuss its energy and where we think the book is heading, give you some fellow-writer love, and maybe send you a free book! Here’s the Speakpipe link:

Leave Jacke A Message

It’s easy, people. It’s not rigged like the McDonald’s Monopoly game lottery. (Well, that’s not rigged either. I just sort of rigged myself on that one.)

Don’t rig yourself! Write your heart out, and when you come up for air, share your progress with me and my readers/listeners. Then go back to writing and prove all those naysayers wrong.

Writing a novel is a good thing, people. DO write that novel. (And share the first line with us!)

Onward and upward!

Good Luck NaNoWriMoers!

It’s National Novel Writing Month! And once again, I’m astounded by people who hate this project. (Has Laura Miller written her annual screed yet? I can’t wait.) Here’s a post from a while back:

NaNoWriMo: A Full-Throated Defense

What better way to tune up than to pull your favorite book off the shelf, study the first line or two, and enter our contest?

Onward and upward, everyone! Good luck with the writing!

Good Luck NaNoWriMoers!

It’s National Novel Writing Month! And once again, I’m astounded by people who hate this project. (Has Laura Miller written her annual screed yet? I can’t wait.) Here’s a post from a year ago:

NaNoWriMo: A Full-Throated Defense

Democracy, Tolstoy (again!), NaNoWriMo, and hate. A good post.

Onward and upward, everyone! Good luck with the writing!