2021 - The Artful Edit

I am always looking for ways to improve my editing and writing skills. To that end, I have read a lot of books on the topic. Yet, somehow I missed this one until it was recommended by a friend. The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself by Susan Bell is a fun and informative read.

The artful edit by  Susan Bell cover

The Artful Edit explores the many-faceted and often misunderstood―or simply overlooked―art of editing. The book brims with examples, quotes, and case studies, including an illuminating discussion of Max Perkins’s editorial collaboration with F. Scott Fitzgerald on The Great Gatsby. Susan Bell, a veteran book editor, also offers strategic tips and exercises for self-editing and a series of remarkable interviews, taking us into the studios of successful authors such as Michael Ondaatje and Ann Patchett to learn from their various approaches to revision. Much more than a manual, The Artful Edit inspires readers to think about both the discipline and the creativity of editing and how it can enhance their work. In the computer age of lightning-quick composition, this book reminds readers that editing is not simply a spell-check. A vigorous investigation into the history and meaning of the edit, this book, like The Elements of Style, is a must-have companion for every writer.

Back cover text

I appreciate this being more than just a how-to book. It provides wonderful anecdotes, historical lessons, and some challenging exercises. If you are looking to improve your skills as an editor and writer, I encourage you to check out this book.

What other books have you found to be helpful in your writing and editing?

On My Shelf: The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself

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