When I heard this book was coming out, I was immediately intrigued. There’s plenty of places where you can read about how to write better, but when someone whose life work is editing Christian titles, some of which I’ve read myself, decides to tell me how to write better I’m ready to listen. Andrew Le Peau gave 40 years to editing IVP titles. Along the way, he wrote a commentary on Mark’s gospel that I found fascinating before I even realized he was an editor of other books I had read. Since I knew I would be writing a review before I cracked open this book, I found something of a perverse grin come across my face as I thought I would have to examine his writing as he was telling me how to write better!
Let me, then, dispense with the question of whether this book that offers to be my guide was itself well written. It was. Strangely enough, imagine how easy it would be to fall into a dry writing style to explain something as technical as writing. He wrote so well, in fact, that now I’m going to always wonder if IVP publishes great writers or if editors like Mr. Le Peau just make them appear so. In any event, I’d be happy to write at the level of Mr. Le Peau and so am happy to consider all suggestions he makes for the craft of writing.
He divides his book into three parts: the craft of writing, the art of writing, and the spirituality of writing. He covers everything. Whether it be big picture ideas like knowing your audience or understanding persuasion or whether it be the smaller details like grammatical rules, he guides us with a deft hand. Every suggestion he offers made sense to me. He not only tells you the what but provides the why. Further, he is keenly aware of what’s important if you are writing a spiritual work.
This book manages to accomplish two feats: how to write better and how to publish. That is not to say that the book is in any way unfocused, just that the two are closely tied together and he knows the ropes for both. Still, if you had no intention of publishing and only wanted to write better for a blog or some other project, this book will be a magnificent help to you.
It would be unhelpful for me to drop more details from the book into this review, but I can say it’s the best book on writing that I’ve come across in more than 20 years. If this book can’t help you be a better writer, you must not be trying.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.