The Bogeymen in the Closets of Writers
As writers, there are two boogie men in our closets. The first is our internal editor, the voice that criticizes as we write. For most of us, that voice is reminiscent of the first teacher to grade our writing. I’ve yet to meet a writer who doesn’t shudder at red comments splattered across a manuscript. There is a place for that voice but it isn’t during the writing process. What do I mean by the writing process? In this instance think of it as your draft. The draft is the no rules – free zone, with one exception: page layout.
Page layout is not the time to be creative. If you plan to submit your work, set up page layout to meet publishing standards: one-inch margins, top, bottom, left and right, Times New Roman font at 12 pitch and one-tab return at the beginning of each paragraph.
Really? Yes. Let the words come without judgment. Allow yourself to push your boundaries to achieve story. Write until you hit a wall or paint your characters into a corner. Step away to clear your head. Come back when you’ve recharged. Don’t need recharging have your character make a sandwich, stare in a mirror or make a call. Nanowrimo refers to this trick as a plot ninja. Move the action move the story.
Write and write and write without your internal editor. Write when your stomach churns or your chest tightens. Both are signs that the current writing makes you uncomfortable. A hard truth to accept is that your best writing comes when you are vulnerable. Surprise yourself and your reader.
Stay tuned, next time we let your editor out of the closet and put her to work.