(A brief peek into this odd-ball brain of mine since the beginning of the current work in progress.)
Me: Alright! It’s an urban fantasy about a marital counselor to the supernatural. Werewolves, vampires, and all those magical creatures! It’ll be great.
Internal Editor: You can’t be serious. Urban Fantasy is full of women in tight leather pants running around killing things.
Me: Well, Nora is a counselor so she won’t wear tight leather pants unless she wants to.
Internal Editor: You need more romance. Romance sells.
Me: It’s all about romance! She’s a marital counselor so she’s helping people reconnect.
Internal Editor: Readers want to see her happy too, not just the people she’s helping.
Me: I’ve got that covered. Derrick King is the romantic interest for her.
**Several weeks into the project**
Me: I should change this to alternate history steampunk.
Internal Editor: That doesn’t sell.
Me: I don’t care. I like the premise, I like the 1890’s…
Internal Editor: They didn’t have marital counseling in the 1890’s.
Internal Editor: Research if you like. I’m not even sure women could vote back then. The clothes are weird too.
Me: (after some research) Maybe she’s just an empath and a counselor and the rules for Fairy are vastly different than the mundane?
Internal Editor: Still doesn’t sell. Even if you manage to make this believable.
Me: If I cared about what sells better I’d be writing straight romance novels with all the steamy scenes that make standing in the same room as my mother difficult.
**Makes the change from Urban Fantasy to Steampunk Alternate History**
Internal Editor: We’re nearly done!
Me: Maybe I was wrong. I can’t feel this setting. Maybe I forced this steampunk business and broke the whole story.
Internal Editor: The outline looks fantastic. You can worry about that on the next pass.
Me: But if I stop and go back, alter it all to be urban fantasy again…
Internal Editor: Tempting, but you’re so close to the end, you should finish first and then go back.
Me: And every time I read the blurb it feels like Urban Fantasy.
Internal Editor: Probably because you wrote the blurb when you still thought it was urban fantasy. Finish the book. Tell the story.
Me: Steampunk alternate history doesn’t sell. If I want to sell this, I should make it young adult. And I can’t have a marital counselor as the main character in a young adult novel.
Internal Editor: … Just tell the story you want to tell, the way you want to tell it.
Me: How would this even be marketed? Did I just waste the last four months of my life on a novel that has nowhere to go?
Internal Editor: It’s only a waste if you quit.
Me: I should just tell the story.
Internal Editor: The way you want to tell it.
Me: Alright then, 1890’s Boston alternate history steampunk. Adult. Because even when I was a young adult, I absolutely did not understand young adults.
Internal Editor: Back to work, lady!
Me: Deep breaths. Just tell the story the way I want to tell it.
3 thoughts on “Arguments with my Internal Editor”
Yuuuup! Tell the story you want to, the way you want to tell it!
It’s so difficult to remember this sometimes when you read all the market reports and advise from publishers/agents.
True. But in my limited experience, the stories that burn in your belly are the only ones that matter. I simply sort out the genre/marketing later!