I was reading something a friend of mine wrote today.
It’s quite fascinating reading it, because my friend is really very talented. And when it’s good, it’s absolutely great: really lively, witty prose. But there are some bits that are just wrong. If I was a publisher or agent, I’d definitely sign her, but then I’d need to work with her to train her to write… “commercially”.
It’s full of potential and occasionally delievers, but frequently misses the mark completely.
The irony is that she probably thinks these bits are the best bits. But they are the bits that really need to go.
The thing is, it’s probably easier for me to edit it than her. What’s it’s shown me is just how important it is to look at your writing with a clear set of eyes, and also just how rutheless you need to be. And it’s very ruthless indeed.