If writing a first draft is an exercise in silencing your inner critic, editing your first draft is an exercise in silencing your ego.
You may have wondered, back at the beginning of the series, “But Lisa, when do you actually write the story?”
“Why would I outline?” I hear you saying. “Doesn’t that kill the magic?” Or, if you’re like me, you flash back to having to write outlines for essays in school. God, I hated that.
Okay. So you have your germ of an idea, and you hopefully have some characters. Now what? Now you start sort of trying to fit them together. At this point, you probably don’t have a full plotline in your head. Or at least, you may not realize that you do.
Characters are usually one of the first things that come to me when I’m working on a story. They’re one of the things I started with a natural ability to do–which means when I needed to take the next step to improve my characterization, I had no idea how the hell to do that, because it had all been instinctual up to that point.
The more engrossed I am in improving my writing skills, learning new techniques, the more difficult it is for me to turn off the analytical part of my brain when I’m watching or reading something.