Banishing your inner editor11 May 2012
Some time ago I was reading a Tess Gerritson novel and fawned, just a little bit, over how well she had written a particularly effective and utterly gruesome scene. Unexpectedly my Dad popped into my thoughts and I could almost hear his disappointment should I ever write such a script. My lovely (proud and very supportive) Dad is the manifestation of my internal editor. He would prefer me to write about nice things, in a nice way, befitting a nice person.
My Dad has for many, many years learned to cope with words I have shoehorned into his routine vocabulary – such as “feminism” and “vegetarian” but it would be a step too far to expect him to cope with me using words like “fuck”. Asking my internal editor to kindly leave the creative room in my head while I get text nasty is an ongoing personal challenge. I have to write the kind of stories I like, that chill me, that offend some.
My technique is to think of my own personal critical reader. Sara. Sara and I love the same kinds of crime thrillers and in the days before Kindle we would constantly swap novels and share critiques of the level of chill to be found in each. If Sara said it was a good book, I knew it would be. So, I sweep my Dad out of my creative psyche by thinking “what would Sara think of this – is it scary/grisly/cliff-hanger enough for her?”
Who is your internal editor? How does your internal editor impact on your writing? What techniques do you use to banish your internal editor?
PS Sorry for using the f word Dad.