Friday, September 1, 2017

I Hate My Internal Editor Because It's Right

Hey everyone! Before I get to today's vlog post, I just wanted to let you know that I signed up for a charity auction for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I'm offering to format a book for paperback and ebook, so if that's something you need, you might end you getting my services for a steal. You can click here for more information.

Okay! Time for today's vlog. As always, I left the script at the bottom for those of you who just can't get into the vlog thing. Enjoy!

If I was to think of one word to summarize how I am right now, it would be:



Because I have this brain that tells me things like “Hah. You really want to just edit and publish this shit?”

Sarcastic voice and all.

Which I tend to ignore because often, that voice is dead wrong. However, out of two books I’ve wanted to pick up for revision, this voice chimed in twice. And it was right… twice.

Not that this is really a bad thing. I’m taking a long-term view of self-publishing. Yes, I could be publishing once every three months right now, but would I be happy with the quality of my books? Eh…no.

Which isn’t to bash people who are able to do that.

I just can’t.

It’s hard enough to let go of a book as it is. Let’s not rush the process.

But the thing is, my method has always worked as follows: Rough draft by hand, rewrite to computer (with a plan), revise, edit a million times, proofread a few times more, and then I’m ready for formatting.

Except now it’s not working that way. Because now, when my inner editor takes a look at my rewritten draft, it’s seeing glaring weaknesses that would be better solved with yet another rewrite than with revisions.

The previous three times this inner editor chimed up, I could say, “Hey chill out. Yes, it’s not perfect. But a scene here and there would be all this needs to be perfect.”

The last two times, though, my inner editor helpfully pointed out that somewhere between a half and three quarters of my plot wasn’t written.

And that’s a rewrite-scope problem. How do I know? Because the first time it happened, it took me almost a years’ worth of rewrites and FOUR TIMES the amount of words to tell the story in the right way.

But at least there I had the excuse of wanting to split a book in two.

This time, no such luck. This time, I just let major plot points occur way before intro and build-up was done. And so it feels like at least the first third of a story is missing.
Can I fix it by inserting those scenes? Not this time. Because stuff that’s missing now will impact reactions later.

So it’s another rewrite for me. On a book that’s been rewritten four times already, over sixteen years.

Kill me now.

Have you ever prepared to edit, only to realize the underlying draft isn’t worth editing? Did you ignore that feeling or did you rewrite? How did it work out for you? 


  1. Well done Misha - you certainly sound comfortable vlogging - just sorry about the frustration - I can only add "practice makes perfect" ... and that's not what you want to hear! Take care and yes see you in a week after you've done some writing or editing ... cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary!

      Practice does indeed make perfect. ^_^

  2. I know exactly how you feel - it happens to me too. Take a deep breath and listen to your inner editor. Although, to be honest, with one book I shelved it and took the main character with me into a completely different story. I'm working on that new one right now.

    Good luck!

    1. I know I have to listen to the IE; even if it's annoying as hell, when it's right, it's right. :-/

  3. I don't think anyone's internal voice is ever satisfied, but so long as you keep writing you have a chance to impress yourself, or ever prove yourself wrong in a good way:)

  4. It's very generous of you to make such an offer to benefit those in need.


  5. I am fortunate to never have been in that position...prepared to edit, only to realize the underlying draft isn’t worth editing. But among authors it is not uncommon.

    1. You're lucky! It's really deflating when you want to finish up a project, only to realize you have to start again.

  6. Hell yeah! I ended up removing books one and two of a trilogy from sale because the first draft of the final book almost destroyed me! I wrote it quickly - done. Set it aside to begin rewrites in a months time, with fresh eyes. Then a manic episode hit and I filled it with a bajillion 'great ideas' and new plot threads (without saving the original draft). When I climbed down off the cloud to read what I'd done, it was illiterate nonsense. I tried for over a year to redo the thing but lost my love for the series and eventually removed it from sale. Looking back, none of it was 'ready' for publication anyway, so I tell myself it was a good thing. :) I still shiver when people ask when I'm going to write the third book.

    1. It must have been heartbreaking to experience something like that.

      Hopefully one day you'll figure out a way to bring that story to life in a way you love.


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