Sunday, October 03, 2010

One of the very best books on writing ever

Betsy Lerner's THE FOREST FOR THE TREES has been revised and updated.  I think it's one of the very best resources for writers at all stages of their career, but particularly helpful to those starting out.

I'm not the only one:

“Lerner doesn’t preach on how to write a book but rather tries to help writers and would be authors cope with such problems as ‘being alone with it.’ It’s a survival course. She wants to help the writer who cannot get started embark, the writer stalled between projects ingnite; She wants you to be an effective self-promoter and not a self sabateur. The book is also an affirmation that late bloomers can become successful writers.”
-The New York Times



“Lerner has a wicked sense of humor. But don’t think that means her book isn’t brilliant. It is. Cleverly disguised as a sensible reference work, [this] is in fact a riveting safari throught the wilds of a writer’s brain, as well as an honest and unpatronizing guide to publishing from every angle. Its tone is singularly authoritative, compassionate, irreverent, and unafraid.”
-Newsday



“Lerner describes the self-promoter, the natural, the wicked child, and the downright mentally ill. She explains the ambivalence that almost every writer feels about writing for oneself versus for the public…Her beautifully written book of observations and advice seems to be coming from a friend.”
-Columbia Journalism Review



“Remarkably generous about inviting writers behind the editorial curtain, [Lerner] sings like a canary the trade secrets of editors and agents, offering solid, insider advice on every step of the publishing process…with this book, Betsy Lerner becomes what every writer hopes for — a friend in the business.”
-Chicago Tribune




“With an early promise not to ‘Strunk you over the head with rules about style,’ Lerner, a former editor in New York’s top publishing houses, provides inspiring, uncondescending advice for writers.” 
-Entertainment Weekly





The new edition goes on sale this Tuesday.  Three words:

Buy it now.

27 comments:

lotusgirl said...

Thanks for the recommendation. This one looks like a must read.

Corey said...

I just added this to my Amazon wish list! So, if you're looking for something to buy me for Christmas ...

adrienne said...

Betsy Lerner is a genius. This book has been on my shelf for a long time. It's so worn out I might have to purchase the new revision.

Susan M. Boyer said...

Somehow I missed this one. Thanks for the recommendation! I'll have to add it to the library.

Chambray Blue said...

Thanks for sharing...

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I absolutely love this book. It's what kept me writing with little kids at home.

Alii Silverwing said...

Definitely one of my favorite writing-oriented books and I strongly recommend it for all levels of writers.

It's just plain interesting in addition to being helpful. :) I must get the new one to find out what revisions were made. ^^

Sarah W said...

I've bought Forest the week it came out, and I still pick it up for advice and encouragement.

Ms. Lerner had me examining the kind of writer I am and the kind I want to be.

To make a long story short, I finish things now.

Salted with Shadows said...

Sounds like just the book I need right now. I loved her book "Food and Loathing".

Buffy Andrews said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I will add this to my Christmas list.

Ebony McKenna. said...

I am reading this book right now and it speaks to me. It's so insightful.

adam.purple said...

I first stumbled across FFTT last year at the local library. Ms. Lerner's book inspired me to truly examine what--and why--I was writing. As much as I love using the library, the new addition will have a permanent place on my shelf.

Jennifer Ambrose said...

You're right, I need to buy this book!! Now I'm wondering why I waited this long.

Betsy also has a fantastic blog that has cheered me up on more than one hard writing day: http://betsylerner.wordpress.com/

Jan Markley said...

I love the cover! I think I'll pick it up when I'm at the Surrey International Writers' Conference this year.

Lola Sharp said...

My old, well loved copy is threadbare, my DNA and pizza sauce fingerprints embedded on its pages.

I agree, it's an excellent resource for all writers.

Margaret Yang said...

Like many here, I have worn out my copy. Now I'm eager to see what's in the new edition.

I'm not one to paste inspirational quotes all over my work space, but something in The Forest For The Trees spoke to me deeply, and above my computer, it says:

"Write the book that takes everything you've got."

Scooter Carlyle said...

I'm sure NO ONE else has ever had this problem, but I'm really struggling with my edit. I'm afraid the changes that I'm making are solving some problems, but creating others. I've recruited a beta reader, but would love to find more to help in the process.

bbtaylor said...

I've read this book at least three times...a must have.

Bill Plante said...

Read i'd know you anywhere, Evocative. Ordered The FOREST for the TREES, Good Dog, Good Dog.

Em-Musing said...

Thanks for the recommendation.

jdh said...

Ok-It is being delivered via whispernet. You gotta love that, whispernet...

Lisa said...

My copy has been shipped. I have to go stand by the mailbox now.

Laura Lyle said...

I ordered it too! Should be here any day. Thanks for suggesting it--I was looking for something to give me a fresh perspective and some good guidelines. Going through a series of edits and it's so easy to lose sight of what I'm trying to do! Thanks again!

Trinity Faegen said...

Betsy is made of awesome. I loved this book so much, I gave out two copies at a talk I gave to the RWA PROs this summer at the national conference. It's not like other How To books. It's way more than that.
I'm itching to get my hands on the revised version.
And if you don't visit her blog, why not? It's sad and funny and thought-provoking. And the most interesting people comment. :)

Amy Tripp said...

Yes, yes I am a sheep. You said "Buy it now" I immediately bought it. Thanks for the reccomendation - it looks awesome and I can't wait to dive into it.

jdh said...

Thoroughly enjoying this book.

Melanie said...

It took me a little while, but I finally bought this book today.

You getting commission? No? You should.