Book Review: The Artful Edit by Susan Bell

Below is my Goodreads review of The Artful Edit by Susan Bell. If you are in need of a great book on editing, this is your new go-to manual.


The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing YourselfThe Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself by Susan Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read two other books that claimed to be about editing and revising. While they did provide some helpful tips, after reading, I felt they focused more on what to do while crafting a first draft so that one had less work to do during the editing stage.

That does nothing to help the author that has already completed a first draft.

On the other hand, Susan Bell's book, The Artful Edit, has provided me great insights into what I can do while editing to improve my prose. This book isn't about grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but rest assured, there are great guides out there on those points. This book focuses on the art and skill of editing and revising one's work after the first draft has been completed. The title of this book proves to be rather accurate, thankfully.

Broken into five sections, Bell's book jumps right into useful tips from editors and writers on how to edit and revise a text. The best part about this book is that it assured me as an author that whatever methods I use are, in fact, the right ones. I find that all I need some times is reassurance that I'm on the right track and the rest is a cake walk.

Some of the advice will work for certain writers, others will adopt tips that run counter to what the former subscribed to. The beauty is that no one method is the absolute correct one, and no one type of author is considered the stereotype to be catered to. Outliners, non-outliners, rushed, and torturously slow writers will all find advice that can be helpful to them in this book.

The other sections make this book a true variety pack. Within the binds, Bell includes essays from authors, and other artists that detail how they edit their work. She also offers a history of editing that is really rather interesting.

If you are like me and find yourself looking for advice on editing that truly isn't easy to locate, this book may be meant for you.

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Happy reading!

C