The One Thing That Will Kill Your Manuscript

The Artful Edit by Susal Bell

We all have writing or writers we admire and aspire to. It is not easy to abandon your ideal in order to accept what you perceive, at first, as your own meager self. It can take time to hear the power of your own voice, and until you do, you may keep hoping that you sound like George Eliot or Djuna Barnes, Stephen King or David Halberstam. Trying to sound like so-and-so is a fine exercise when you’re building your chops, but once you start your work in earnest as a relatively mature writer, it is literary suicide. To write falsely is not to write at all.

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

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