I found this book to be really helpful, not because it told me stuff I don’t know, but because it reminded me of things I knew but have sometimes been shortsighted about. Also, the examples and suggestions were great. Every single time I read a chunk of this book, it made me want to go write, or edit, which is how I want to feel after reading something like this.
There were sections that didn’t apply to me or felt too basic, so I just skimmed over those. That’s to be expected though, as every writer has different strengths and knowledge. There were sections that explained something I thought I was confident and competent with in a way that made me realize I could do even better if I’d put a little more editing focus on that particular topic or subject. Since first drafts are terrible, it’s easy to focus on the major issues first and never get back around to those smaller things that can make a huge difference.
I didn’t read this to perfect the first 5 pages of any of my novels. I read it, because I think all the pages in a novel have to be as good as the first 5. I figured the advice would apply to a whole novel, and it definitely does.