If the opening sentences of what you write are just right, they can be a balm to readers and a joy to you.From Write Better by Andrew T. Le Peau
Andrew T. Le Peau sets out in Write Better to share his wisdom and experience gained through years of writing and editing. He creates an extensive book which offers inspiration and guidance whilst also being a reference.
The first section focuses on the art of writing. The power of the written word is highlighted. This section resonated with me and echoed much of what I’ve learnt in marketing storytelling.
While opening with a strong, compelling story is always a good option, be sure the story is consistent with your main point as well as your target audience.From Write Better by Andrew T. Le Peau
The second section, the craft of writing, is extensive. It feels less like a section to be read straight through, but rather, a reference to be drawn on as one tackles different writing challenges. Andrew explores all the elements of writing, such as grammar, metaphor, tone, and then all the difficulties such as writer’s block. He offers careful analysis and practical suggestions for both.
Grammar has one—and only one—purpose: to facilitate clear, effective, powerful, artful communication.From Write Better by Andrew T. Le Peau
To each element, Andrew adds his well-researched opinion giving one benefit of his vast experience.
But the more we know, the harder it can be to communicate that effectively.From Write Better by Andrew T. Le Peau
The last section focuses on the spiritual element of writing, writing as a calling. Christianity is in each section and used as a guide for decision making. In this section though, it is put centre stage. Andrew discusses discerning one’s calling, the challenge of Christian writing and how to handle the rejection and success quoting supporting Biblical examples. Ultimately, he reminds us of the goal of writing, to answer God’s call and bring Him glory.
When readers remember the miniature stories we’ve created with our metaphors, the advantage is clear. They are more likely to be convinced of the information or perspective we offer.From Write Better by Andrew T. Le Peau
Whilst being Christian-centric, the guidance is applicable to any style of writing, Christian or not, fiction, non-fiction, prose or poetry. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciated the clarity offered by Andrew. I found it a little long-winded in sections and probably shouldn’t have tried to tackle section two in one fell swoop! I recommend it to all who are looking for a guide and reference to improve their writing or as a starting point to understanding the call to write. There are several useful appendices. It’s a four out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale.
From the back cover
Writing is not easy. But it can get better. In this primer on nonfiction writing, Andrew Le Peau offers insights he has learned as a published author and an editor for over forty years, training, guiding, and cheering on hundreds of writers. Here are skills that writers can master—from finding strong openings and closings, to focusing on an audience, to creating a clear structure, to crafting a persuasive message. With wide-ranging examples from fiction and nonfiction, Le Peau also demystifies aspects of art in writing such as creativity, tone, and metaphor. He considers strategies that can move writers toward fresher, more vital, and perhaps more beautiful expressions of the human condition. One aspect of writing that rarely receives attention is who we are as writers and how writing itself changes us. Self-doubt, fear of criticism, downsides of success, questions of authority, and finding our voice are all a part of the exploration of our spirituality as writers found in these pages. Discover how the act of writing can affect our life in God. Whether you’re a veteran writer, an occasional practitioner, a publishing professional, or a student just starting to explore such skills, Le Peau’s wit and wisdom can speed you on your way.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from InterVarsity Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.