(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.