All you need is………

…… some-one who tells you the truth.

You’re reading through a story. The first page is easy. You’re alert. Frisky even. Then by the end of page three you’re getting lost in your exciting plot. At this point it’s easy to read what you think is there. Everything is perfectly clear, because you invented it all. And hey presto, you’ve missed something that needs attention – a repeated word perhaps, or an omission. Or something more serious.

The answer may be your own personal truth-teller, a friend who will not wreck every last shred of your confidence, but is willing to read and appraise honestly.

P1160379What you need is a buddy who will say things like:


  •  ‘This is good stuff mate, but I got a bit lost here.’

  • ‘I like such and such a character, but I’m not sure he/she would do this.’

  • ‘This guy is so bad. Nobody is that bad. Give him some sort of redeeming feature, and I’ll start to believe he’s real.’

What you don’t want is a buddy who says:

  • ‘This is lovely, dear. I can’t fault it at all.’

  • ‘I wish I could write like you.’

  • ‘A work of genius. If they don’t accept this, they’re a load of idiots.’

So. A buddy, not necessarily a fellow writer, but definitely a reader.

And then all you’ve got to do is listen to them, and tell them (maybe through gritted teeth) that you understand what they’re getting at, and you will work on it.

Frog:(merrily): I’m hopping off to editP1130023 my Christmas list. Add what you like. Don’t take anything away.