Andrew T. LePeau’s Write Better is a comprehensive guide for nonfiction writers of all experience levels who are Christians. Writing well and living a spiritual life are two topics that are difficult to make plain, but this volume tackles them both with wisdom, heart, and a bit of humor.
The first two parts of the book offer nuts-and-bolts writing advice, from strong beginnings to crafting structure. Their instruction strives to demystify the mysteries of writing as an art, and includes how and when to break the rules and what a muse is and how to find one. Many examples come from fiction, giving nonfiction writers distance from their work and renewed vision for vibrant, image-filled, narrative prose.
The final third of the book is revelatory. It explores the spirituality of writing. It is not about writing for Christian audiences, but about how writing affects the writer’s spiritual life. It’s an eye-opening look at how the writer’s life and the Christian life can be one and the same, showing that the two realms enrich and challenge each other. It tackles finding “calling” with a sensible yet spiritual five-step approach and detangles issues of the self and authority when writing on spiritual matters.
The book is authoritative and clear while grappling with the nebulous, nuanced world of writing. LePeau is an editor as well as being an educator, so the book’s voice is that of a teacher: orderly, lively, and empathetic, because writing is downright hard.
To lighten the load of its advice-packed chapters, the book uses real-life examples with humor and humility. Fun literary references, like Shakespearean titles including “The Coauthor Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks,” appear, as do appendices about the business of publishing.
Write Better is a reference that helps writers deepen their understanding of their writing and their faith.
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