According to Jack, whether reading or writing, what makes a story great is how well it communicates to the reader. Whether presenting him with a hero he wishes he could be or a villain he chooses to hate, the characters must relate to the reader on a personal level. A reader will leave a good story in an improved condition. He may have learned something new about the world or himself, or simply been well entertained. That’s why Jack writes.
Every young man eventually arrives at the point where he is certain that, when it comes to smarts, he has it all over any of the adults in his life, especially his parents. As a rather precocious youngster, this idea came early for me, somewhere near my ninth birthday. I couldn’t pinpoint an exact time or day of this revelation. Rather, it rose slowly out of the mist of youthful self-doubt, and was forged gradually from the irrational arguments between adults on whom I had eavesdropped. Added to the mix were liberal amounts of the classic parental arguments, “You’ll do it because I say so” or “I’m your father, that’s why,” that always sounded suspiciously like Darth Vader. By my twelfth birthday, I was so convinced of my towering intellectual superiority that I began to doubt I was related to either of my parents. Oh, the heights from which one can fall. CONTINUE READING