I was in the car once with my dad. Approaching a corner at speed he changed down into the third, then coming out of the turn, back up into fourth. ‘Good driving that,’ he said. Not for me it wasn’t, clutching the inside of the door. Good driving is when you don’t notice it.
I recently met with the woman who did the editorial report for my second novel. She had suggested changing the male lead to make him more distinctive. I agreed with her, but was bemoaning the fact that it will mean taking out a lot of the writing I’m most proud of. She told me how often these sort of changes meant writers having to do this. That ‘good’ writing often takes you out of the story rather than allowing you to get absorbed.
There is a temptation, when I learn a new skill, to want to take it out on the road, exceed the speed limit and show off. Forgetting that beyond is a more genuine ability. One that gets the passenger from A to B without them ever being conscious of why they enjoyed the journey so much.