Bell’s book is inspiring. Every bit of advice makes me want to run to the chipped mug that holds my pens and pull out a red one, so that I can simultaneously underline things I don’t want to forget, and go to town on my story: analyzing characters’ intents, looking for sagging points and uncovering the structure of my plot. I was so delighted to see the checklist for macro editing that I once again pulled myself from my cozy nest to grab scissors and tape, so that I could cut out the list and post it on my wall. But now for the screeching brakes– I cannot put this inspiration to work. Cannot because my fingers and mind are concentrated on this blog, and by the time I’m finished I’ll be so tired I won’t have the time or energy.
The Artful Edit is my favorite read for this class. Bell manages to both inspire and reassure me: she gives the reader a peek into famous, successful writers’ minds, revealing both their insecurities and initial troubles. To the inexperienced writer, this is godsend. Reading The Artful Edit is like seeing my innermost writing dilemmas poured out before me; it gives me the courage to chop out sections, to acknowledge that it’s okay if I have to rewrite an entire section, or even the entire thing. And it gives me insight into the informed choices that I must make when it comes to my storyline, characters, and tone, and how I can purposefully twist the structure to best show off my plot. In other words, thank you Bell, for creating something that’ll give me the knowledge (and courage) to try.