I love this post from Caroline Leavitt‘s blog. I just sent a member of my own writing group feedback: “Better, but no.” I’ve been feeling bad about that, but I’m heartened by Caroline’s words. “No” is critically important. It takes time to find the right note.
Basically, my feedback was that it was almost all there: just cut away, cut to the heart of it.
I remember the moment I felt like a “real” writer. I had just cut the one scene I considered to be the best in the book. With every draft, I had marvelled at that scene, and now it was in the trash. Proudly, but somewhat bewildered, I walked into the living room and announced what I’d done to my husband. I had blood on my hands, as every writer must.