I've spent the past week tweaking my latest novel following a rather excellent edit by my agent.
An excellent edit. What does that mean?
It's not that he corrected the spelling or tidied up the word order, though he did that.
It's not that he pointed out inconsistencies in the plot, though again these were flagged up.
It was an excellent edit because he showed how to make the story better. He highlighted the areas where characters acted inconsistently, where I'd withheld information unnecessarily, where I'd missed a trick on the story development.
Basically he pointed out where I could be a better writer.
Just to put the above in context, I'd already edited the novel myself several times, I'd had extensive feedback from my wife and two other well known and very experienced authors.
If I'm honest, when I hand my work across to others, I'm really hoping for unadulterated praise. I want them to say that they've just read a work of genius. Until that day arrives, I'm delighted to have such talented people offering me advice.