Monday, September 05, 2011

A Lifeline for Aspiring Writers - Mini-Review of "The Forest for the Trees" by Betsy Lerner

Betsy Lerner has recently updated and revised her acclaimed work that is subtitled: "An Editor's Advice to Writers." Lerner herself has worked as a poet, editor and literary agent, so she brings a 360 degree view to the task of advising aspiring writers.

This is not a "how to book," on writing, but rather a carefully written work full of pithy anecdotes about authors, editors, agents, publishers, publicists, booksellers and the rest of the pantheon of individual needed to put a well-written book into the hands of a reader.

The author lovingly and frankly shares with her readers the good, the bad and the ugly lessons she has learned first-hand and vicariously in several decades of inhabiting the publishing world. As someone who writes on a regular basis and who is intrepidly plodding along on writing a novel, I found her advice both practical and heartening. She does a wonderful job of describing the idiosyncrasies of writers of every stripe, identifying common obstacles - lifestyle-related and psychological - that can trip up an aspiring writer.

Her love for literature,for the written word and for the peculiar type of person who is compelled to write books comes across loud and clear. It feels that we writers have someone in our corner on an otherwise sometimes lonely and hostile planet.



1 comment:

popsicledeath said...

Might have to check it out if it's not one of the many 'how to' books on writing fiction that are usually lessons in little more than how to market a book to a susceptible audience.