Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Infernal Internal Editors

I just posted a rambling, long-winded blog about my love/hate relationship with my internal editor/critic at SF Novelists, and I was thinking that I’d continue the conversation with myself over here. (This sentence reminds me of one of my current favorite lines by Spider-Man in Bendis’ New Avengers “Breakout” in which he says, “Man, my Spidey Sense is tingling so much I can hardly hear myself talk to myself.”)

I should be starting Tate’s newest Garnet Lacey novel, but I haven’t.

Normally, I allow myself a little bit of a hiatus between books to recharge. I do a little reading, TV and movie watching, and generally stare mindlessly at the passing clouds Calvin and Hobbes style. But, the deal has always been that once there’s a new contract, I get started.

This has often been a great delaying tactic since sometimes it takes a long time for this stuff to get hammered out. Oh, I’ll say, I can’t -- must wait, superstitions, you know. I’m not foolish enough to actually need to see the contract in hand (because THAT takes months), but to my mind there has to be a formal agreement between my editor and my agent before I’ll type word one.

Thing is, the deal’s already been struck. More than that, we negotiated a tighter deadline in exchange for a sweeter deal, so I know I need to get going on this one pronto.

So why haven’t I started? Every once and a while my internal editor gets switched up to high gear. I don’t know what triggers it. Sometimes it’s reading a really good book by another author. It can even be the opposite – reading something I consider sub-par by someone I think ought to know better. Sometimes it’s reading one too many reader’s comments on Amazon.com, or having a critical review sing my praises (or damn my faults).

Whatever causes it, what happens is that I find myself having trouble starting because I want every word to be professional from the get-go. I get seized by a preemptive stupidity strike – that is, I declare every idea I have to be dorky before I even think them.

Usually, I wait it out. I take a break from writing until my internal editor deflates back to its more reasonable size. I’ve never actually come up with a successful way to combat my internal editor/critic, other than ignoring the deadlined project for a week or so and writing something silly and fun. (Although lately, I’ve even been stymied in attempts to write complete fluff -- which may be, in fact, the root of my particular problem right now.) But, rather than delve deeper into my own psychosis, I’m curious. Does this ever happen to you and what do you do about it?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

To try and turn around a short story a week this summer, what worked pretty well was:

1) when really blocked, finding some mythic or fairy tale or psychological theory that was relevant and researching it, seeing what mental doors it opened up, and seeing if the dramatic movement inherent in it was useful to structure the story.

2) starting with the protagonist and doodling about what they want, need, fear - all that character crap. That's most like pulling teeth to me, but eventually works.

3) Dipping in the big toe- starting with just the first scene and really planning it out in every possible way before 'actually writing' it - listing setting details, making sure the setting will contrast with the action and changing it if necessary; working out the conflict arc in the scene, what the text and subtext of dialogue need to be, etc. Wonky displacement of anxiety...

What worked in helping someone else come up with a last-minute story after several failed starts was the 'oyster' theory of inspiration - finding some story hook that irritates you enough to spur you to jus thave to write whatever it is you need to write, like a fiery demon hopefully.

-CJD

Kelly Swails said...

It's only happened to me once (so far). When I got the invitation for the DAW anthology, I froze. "What if the editor doesn't like it? Should I curse in my story? Should I do X or Z?" What helped be was to just say, "Fuck it. If the editor doesn't like it she won't take it, and I'll be in the same boat I'm in now."

This obviously won't work for you. Sorry. :)

Anonymous said...

I think you should deliberately torture your Internal Editor until she curls up in the fetal position and whimpers. Write something short that really (intentionally) sucks. If you can suck enough, 300 words or so might do it. ;)

--Xochiquetzl

Tim Susman said...

A little late to the party (long week), but this might help: when my editor is making actual writing arduous, I take a break and think about the story as a movie, without actual words being involved. What happens next, and how would it look on the screen? Where would the characters go from there? In the visual world, my internal editor is powerless--at first he seethes at this, but hopefully he gets drawn into the movie and then will grudgingly allow me to write it.

sexy said...

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,A片,視訊聊天室,聊天室,視訊,視訊聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,上班族聊天室,成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,一夜情聊天室,情色聊天室,視訊交友網a片,a片


免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,免費AV,色情網站,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人影片,成人網站,A片,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,情色網,日本A片,免費A片下載,性愛

A片,色情,成人,做愛,情色文學,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,情色電影,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色,情色視訊,免費成人影片,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,言情小說,愛情小說,AIO,AV片,A漫,avdvd,聊天室,自拍,情色論壇,視訊美女,AV成人網,色情A片,SEX,成人論壇

情趣用品,A片,免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,色情網站,免費AV,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人網站,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,成人影片,情色網


情趣用品,A片,免費A片,日本A片,A片下載,線上A片,成人電影,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,微風成人區,成人文章,成人影城,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,臺灣情色網,色情,情色電影,色情遊戲,嘟嘟情人色網,麗的色遊戲,情色論壇,色情網站,一葉情貼圖片區,做愛,性愛,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,美女交友,做愛影片

av,情趣用品,a片,成人電影,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,情色電影,aio,av女優,AV,免費A片,日本a片,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,聊天室,美女交友,成人光碟

情趣用品.A片,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,情色電影,色情遊戲,色情網站,聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,免費A片,日本a片,a片下載,線上a片,av女優,av,成人電影,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人影城,成人網站,自拍,尋夢園聊天室