Friday, February 13, 2009

The Editor in My Head

by G.Parker

Nichole mentioned how the conversations we have with fellow writers sound strange to those who aren't writers. They should listen to what's going on inside our heads.

I realized this morning that I was editing the conversation I'd just had with my son. I'd put feeling words in it, I'd taken his name out. It was weird. It was like, “hey, if you were writing this in your story, you wouldn’t put it that way, you’d put it like this…”


This only happens when I'm really in the writing mode and having to interact with my family at the same time. It reminds me of Nano -- which, in case you don't remember, is when you are supposed to write 50,000 words in 30 days. There are many pep talks during that period of time, but the one I remember most is: Turn off your inner editor. That was a hard thing to do, and I still find it hard.

In our critique group last week, we were giving one of our members a bad time because she was rewriting her story when she hadn't finished it yet. That's like the big cardinal rule of NO-NO's: One does not start editing the story before one has finished it -- because you'll never finish. It will never end. You'll continue editing until you've forgotten what you originally intended to write.

She was frustrated, because she had already gotten into the rewrite mode. We assured her it would work much better, especially since she claimed there were only a couple of chapters left to write, so she committed to finishing the story. We all liked the new start she'd penned, but there was too much between that beginning and where we were in the story.

Editing is something that I hear most writers hate. I know I go in shifts. There are times when I procrastinate working on my story by editing it.

Many of the writers here have expressed how they'll have conversations going on in their heads by their characters. I don't usually have that issue; I have the whole editing thing in my head. I often think of a better way of saying something between characters, or how a scene would read better. It seems like the editor in my head is constantly going.

This habit only bothers me when it starts editing my conversations with family members. Doesn't it my private editor believe in privacy?

No comments: