Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 19 - The inner editor

After I started writing regularly, a problem arose.  Unbeknownst to me, (I always wanted to use that word :))  an editor had taken birth within me.  And that is a good thing, but it can be a bad thing too, as I am finding out the hard way.

Previously, I first wrote whatever came into my head, and then I edited. But now, as I write, my editor is on alert, and I find myself editing as I write.  This is kind of limiting.  I need to have that openness, nothing-can-stop-me attitude when I am first putting my thoughts down.  The editing is necessary, but it can happen later.  I now need to figure out how to work around this.

The second problem with this annoying editor is that she is interfering in my enjoyment of books.  Well-written books are not a problem.  I can immerse myself in them completely.  And sometimes, when the writer deals with something particularly well, the editor pauses, and takes note, and even says, "aaaah!"

But when I am reading books that aren't quite well-crafted, the editor keeps screaming.  
"That adverb is unnecessary!"  
"Use the active voice!"  
"Yikes, imagery is overdone!"  
"Come on, you could have been more subtle!"
"Oh, stop with the description!"

Imagine reading a book with somebody screaming inside your head.  Not happening.  Good thing, I suppose, in one way - it is an automatic filter - I'll know instantly when to stop reading.  But on the other hand, if the story is good and I want to complete it, it is agony.

Please tell me whether this happens to you, and how you deal with it.


rajk said...

OMG, Shruthi! I so identify with this. Especially after I've taken up editing more seriously, I feel I'm always criticizing the author, for somewhat the same reasons you mention. In fact I even mention this (need for better editing) in my reviews (Sorry, but they are my opinion after all, right).
Sometimes I feel like telling this internal editor to "shut up and let me enjoy the book"...

Shruthi said...

RajK , ha ha! :) so I am not alone!

Unknown said...

Just write the editor, Shruthi.You can rewrite the editor anyways you want. You might as well kill the editor in your head, so that your head can be free, and you can continue your writing skills.

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