Uninvited guest, that pesky inner editor!

DaydreamingI’m happily lost in a wonderful story told from multiple perspectives and I’m there! Immersed! Until…..I notice that the writer’s dialogue is just not completely realistic. Hmmmm. None of my Hispanic friends say “dat” when they mean “that.” Awww, nuts. Now I’m peeved. My inner editor has hijacked the story and I’ve lost my reading mojo. Errrgh.

Writers are the most critical readers ever. It bleeds over into our writing life. I can be busily clacking away on the keys, deep in the bowels of a lost mine when that darn editor shows up again. “They couldn’t be down there for that long,” she says. “It’s 2014. They’d have left word of where they were going. The mine entrance would have been properly secured. And really, you’re not going to find bats that far down in the tunnels.” Blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I really can’t stand that inner editor! Oh sure, I know she helps me write more believable scenes, but sheesh. She can get on my very last nerve.

Nothing’s to be done but to keep pushing forward in the draft version and tell that inner editor to keep quiet until the revision stage. Likely she’s not going to obey, but if I let her hijack my story, I’m never going to get the manuscript done. There’s a proper time for that inner editor to do her thing, but not during the creative phase.

One final point, (and don’t tell my editor.) On occasion, my very best writing has happened when I banish my inner editor to the closet during the plotting stage, the initial phases of a project, and just sketch out some key ideas/scenes. Free and unfettered, those wild, fantastic scenes flow with reckless abandon. That is when the best, most ‘out of the box’ ideas happen. (Until I have to let her out of the closet again.)

Do you have that annoying inner voice that gives you a little too much guidance sometimes? Maybe that work critic or the housekeeping advisor? What advice do you usually hear?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shanda on April 24, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Sometimes crippling is how I think of my inner editor. Harping, nagging, obsessing. I’m also one of those people who obsesses over mistakes and dreams about ways to fix them because I just can’t let it go. Editor says to delete “just.” I left it. 🙂

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  2. Posted by Sarah on April 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Yes, I have an inner voice that tells me what to do and not to do. It’d be nice if it’d just stay away until I want it.

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