1/7/10

The Evil Inner Editor


The Inner Editor is quasi-evil when writing a first draft. Don't get me wrong. He ensures I avoid fragments and run-ons. He proofs my basic grammar. He spell checks for me, although MS Word does it too, just not as well as the evil inner editor. These are all good things.

But he's always poking at me while I write, making me feel bad.

"That sentence makes me angry. When I get angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, people die!" "

"Your protagonist's dialog is insolent. When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds."

"How dare you use an adverb there. I demand the sum of ... one million dollars."

"That scene. Throw me a friggin' bone here."

In short, the dude slows me down. And yes, he's a dude. He's a bald dude with a bald cat and a miniature clone living in an underwater lair.

I very well know it's fine to write crap, at least in the first draft. But will the Evil Inner Editor let me? How do I turn him off? Why can't he just have a look at the first draft once its written, and then give me one cohesive critique? I'll tell you why. The Evil Inner Editor doesn't work that way.

He's an omnipresent, mojo-draining taskmaster that needs to be locked away in a space ship in geosynchronous orbit around the moon until I'm ready for him. Until then, I'll agonize over each paragraph, sentence and word. I need to stop that. I need to stop him. Sometimes, I'll have the mojo flowing. The story finds its way from my head to my fingers, and the word count shoots up. I need to bottle that. That's the genie that keeps the Evil Inner Editor at bay.

I'm going to start paying careful attention when the words rush out. What am I doing to keep the Evil Inner Editor out of my head so that the story can flow freely? Once I get that figured out, I'm going to try it on purpose, and see if it's repeatable. I'll blog about the results in a few weeks.

6 comments:

Iapetus999 said...

Try writing faster. Then your Evil Inner Editor won't have time to get a word in edgewise.

Jay said...

:-) I'm thinking of humming loudly while writing. Then I won't even hear the bugger.

Medeia Sharif said...

I know that editing really shapes up my book, but sometimes I get stuck on the same sentence trying to figure out how to rewrite it, even though it's correct to begin with. I hate times like those. There are so many ways to write the same sentence. If editing is really needed it's one thing, but sometimes I obsess.

Annie McMahon said...

LOL!! I have one of those too, but she's not bald. I just keep ignoring her until she finally gives up and leaves me alone. Haha! I guess she's not as persistent as your bald guy.

She bothers me when I write blog comments, though. I'm terrified of discovering I made a major typo right after I press "Post Comment" so I read it like five times before posting it. Sometimes I change my mind altogether and delete the whole comment. Any cure for that?

SM Blooding said...

I don't have one of those when I write. I mean I used to, but now I write entirely too fast for one to even say so much as a peep!

However, now I'm getting people reading my first draft and wowing over my fabulous premise and going, "Uh, hon, do you even KNOW what a complete sentence is?"

"Uh, yeah. Noun verb (period). Complete. Sentence. Get it?

Jane ran.

Stop. Halt. Go to presses. This is good!

*stalks off with hands in air, ms pages going everywhere*

Jay said...

Medeia - That's it! I totally obsess - I cannot leave it alone till it seems "just right".

Annie - I really need to let my Evil Inner Editor loose when I'm posting comments on blogs. I've had more typos than I care to note.

Frankie - Dude - You are just so awesome. I'm laughing my butt off. *stalks off with hands in the air, ms pages going everywhere* !!!! I can see it!