The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself

The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself

by Susan Bell


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The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself by Susan Bell

"Bell's prose is elegant and wonderfully readable in this artful guide."—Publishers WeeklyThe 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393332179
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/28/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 420,890
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Susan Bell has edited fiction and nonfiction professionally, including at Random House and Conjunctions magazine, for almost twenty years. She lives in New York City and teaches at The New School and Tin House Writers Workshop.

Table of Contents

Introduction     1
Gaining Perspective     8
The Big Picture: Macro-Editing     42
The Details: Micro-Editing     95
Master Class     146
Servants, Dictators, Allies: A Brief History of Editors     182
Basic Copyediting Symbols     216
Bibliography     218
Acknowledgments     226
Credits     229

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The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
DCWriterMom More than 1 year ago
Susan Bell offers fresh insight on the problems that bedevil every writer. The sections on the editing collaboration between F. Scott Fitzgerald & Maxwell Perkins for The Great Gatsby are especially inspiring for writers and good readers.
txanna More than 1 year ago
Ms. Bell shares her deep understanding (and love) of editing in a lively and thought-provoking style. She touches on virtually every facet of editing, including the often overlooked topic of "macro-editing" (read: seeing and the big picture). She makes copious use of F. Scott's Fitzgerald's own editing of The Great Gatsby, illustrating how astute revisions can help create a masterpiece. If nothing else, it's comforting to know that even a great writer doesn't always get it right the first time. I've read many books on writing, and this is one of the best, hands down.