Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing
Claire Kehrwald Cook
The Modern Languages Association of America
If you think you write well (as I did), I strongly recommend reading this book. I have a number of helpful books on the creative and technical aspects of writing prose, but Claire Kehrwald Cook’s book is by far and away the most helpful I have read. Where other books help in curbing the tendency to overwrite, this book puts a scalpel in the writer’s hand that enables him to explore and cut deeply. You will be surprised at how much the resulting excisions and rearrangements improve your writing. I found the chapters ‘Faulty Connections’ and ‘Il-matched Partners’ the most helpful. Without doubt this book has improved my writing. It will continue to do so as I regularly return to it.