Writer Vs. Self-Editor
Once upon a time, there was a writer…
Whoa, hold on there. Wait one darn minute, mister.
“Once upon a time”? Really? Where’s the originality in that? Surely someone who calls himself a “writer” can do better.
There was a writer…
Look, I’m just trying to…
“Was.” Passive verb, my friend. You should know this by now. Passive verbs suck. Spice it up a bit. Put some life in your words or you’re going to put your readers to sleep.
I appreciate your concern, but I’m not trying to write the Great American Novel. It’s just a blog post on…
Just a blog post? Attitudes like that are the clumsy sausage fingers pulling the Jenga blocks from the very foundation of literacy today.
Here. I’ll give you a little help. Kick off the opening with something surprising. Like, “First she broke his heart, then she broke his kneecaps.” Or maybe, “Melinda dove into the water a girl, but came out a mermaid.” Wait, I’ve got it, “The tornado-ravaged mobile home park lay before them like a toppled Jenga tower.”
What is it with you and Jenga?
I like building things and taking them apart. And then re-building them. Sometimes I knock things down for the hell of it. And, no, this sort of behavior does not fit the clinical definition of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and therefore is considered perfectly normal. My therapists all agree.
Do all self-editors have multiple therapists?
Well, thanks for your help, but I can’t use any of those opening lines.
They don’t make sense. Not with the post I’m trying to write.
Okay, fine. What’s the topic?
It’s about silencing your self-editor when writing first drafts.
Ouch. That hurt.
First drafts are the bane of my existence. They’re the windless sky to my kite of purpose. The decaffeination in my coffeepot of determination. The upside-down-shake of my Etch-a-Sketch hope…
Okay, okay. I get it. You hate first drafts. And you overwrite. How did you ever get to be an editor, anyway? Don’t answer that. Please be patient. You’ll get your say. Just not yet.
Fine. But make your first pass better this time, okay? I’m still feeling nauseous from the “Once upon a time” bit.
Then you might want to get a bucket.
Once upon a time, there was a writer who couldn’t finish a novel because his self-editor kept interrupt…
I’m going to be sick…
…because his self-editor kept interrupting him before he could get the story on the page. But then one day, just as his self-editor was preparing to correct his spelling of “qeue”…
…he kicked his self-editor in the groin and plowed on ahead. He wrote his story without stopping to fix spelling errors or labor over perfect words or even solve gaping plot holes.
And wouldn’t you know it? He actually finished that novel. And it was perfect.
Kidding. It wan’t perfect. It was better than he expected, but there were still lots of problems. So…he helped his self-editor to his feet and said, “Have at it.”
Feel better now?
I will after I fix your crappy post. Okay, first of all it’s spelled “q u e u e.” Now, about that “Once upon a time” thing…