This is my inner editor, her name’s Illisa, The Corrector Kitty. Along with her friends, Flights of Fancy, Plot Bunny, Grammar Monkey, Insecurity Mouse, and Subplot Snake, she keeps me from writing a first draft. (Yes I drew this, and yes, a five year old could’ve done better. What, I never claimed to be artistic 🙂 When you’re writing your first draft, especially on a clock as we do during Nanowrimo and CampNanos, you can’t have her hovering over your shoulder, whispering in your ear. She’ll say things like the sentence is weak, the story is trite, that dialog isn’t natural, the characters are flat, the fight scene isn’t realistic, you have to drop everything to research how cyanide kills. You know, normal editing stuff.
And she’s supposed to do that. The final book would suck if she didn’t. But here’s the thing, you can’t get to that final draft, that polished perfect diamond, if you don’t start with a hunk of coal. And you have to shut that perfectionist up to get the hunk of coal out. If you don’t ever get that first draft done, as sucky as it may be, you’ll never have anything to work with to edit down.
So, put the editor away. At Liberty Con, Sarah Hoyt suggested one way to shut up the inner editor for a first draft. Draw your IE, name it, and pin it up or put it in a drawer, basically, do something to physically get it out of the way. Once the rough draft is out, taking out the IE and put it on your desk, because now it’s needed.
Happy Writing 🙂