Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday Review—Revision & Self-Editing

Revision & Self-Editing
by James Scott Bell

This week the Thursday Review is done by fellow writer, Mary Denman.

No author today has published a novel without an editing. Behind every great story is a great editor. But how do you get your manuscript in front of a busy editor to polish it if it has problems in tension, or dialogue or story line? Well, you have to become your own editor. How, you might ask? By reading James Scott Bell’s book, Revision and Self-Editing.

An accomplished novelist in his own right, Jim distills the lessons he’s learned into a fantastic book that teaches you what problems to look for in your own novel. Dialogue not right? He covers that. Struggling with POV or descriptions? Want to understand showing vs. telling? He covers that and more in the Self-Editing section. He also provides concrete examples and exercises throughout the book to teach you what he’s talking about.

But how do you revise the entire manuscript you’ve produced? Read the second half of his book. He includes the Ultimate Revision Checklist which is worth its weight in gold. He takes you step by step through the process and you’ll have a stronger novel for it.

So how do I know how great this book is? Because my copy is pink and green from highlighters. And it’s written in from cover to cover. Literally. Jim Bell inspired me to tackle the project of self-editing. And I’m glad he did.


  1. I love this book and highly recommend it. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I'm convinced..and I NEED this! I just put it in my Amazon cart!

    1. Celeste, I've bought this book more times than I can remember. I keep giving it away, it's so good!

    2. Thank you, Mary for writing this article & sharing it! Just what I need to 'help me' finish the editing for my book! Seem to be stimided!

  3. Edie, the next time you want to give it away, send it my way.