Synopses & Reviews
explores the many-faceted and often misunderstood--or simply overlooked--art of editing. Brimming with examples, quotes, and case studies that include an illuminating discussion of Max Perkins's editorial collaboration with F. Scott Fitzgerald on , this book proves how fundamental editing is to great writing. Bell also offers strategic tips and exercises for self-editing, and a series of remarkable interviews, that take us into the studios of established authors such as Michael Ondaatje, Tracy Kidder, and Ann Patchett to learn from their various approaches to shaping their work after its initial creation. Much more than a manual, inspires readers to think about both the discipline and the creativity of editing and how editing can enhance their work. A vigorous investigation into the history and meaning of the edit, this book, like and , is a must-have companion for every writer.
"'Every writer is an editor if only for choosing one word over another. However, the ability to edit your own work consciously as you go along or after the work is done is another thing altogether and one that leaves many a writer nonplussed. Enter Bell, a long-time professional editor of both fiction and nonfiction (Dare to Hope: Saving American Democracy) as well as a teacher of editing at the New School in New York. Bell flat out states that self-editing is not only possible, it's necessary, and it can be learned. She provides a slew of ingenious methods for viewing your work with fresh eyes (hang the pages on a clothesline, use a different font when printing out). She also supplies exercises on macro-editing (dealing with structure, character, etc.). Neither how-to nor memoir, the book includes a little bit of everything: Bell's own experiences editing writers; a long section on how F. Scott Fitzgerald the consummate self-editor produced The Great Gatsby; lengthy quotes by well-known authors on their self-editing process; and a list of editing symbols. Bell's prose is elegant and wonderfully readable in this artful guide.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
An intimate, lively guide to the magic and mechanics of editing by a veteran editor and writer, this book explores the many-faceted and often misunderstood--or simply overlooked--art of editing.
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.