Posted by: oneyearbook | September 16, 2009


Right now I’m going through the (mentally/emotionally) rough process of re-reading everything I’ve done so far on the novel, and trying to be honest about what’s not working and what is, so I can figure out what needs to stay, what needs to go, and what needs to be added in order for things to move forward. As I do so I’m typing up notes about my reactions in another file on the computer, and yesterday I noticed something funny: I word the notes as if I’m talking to a collaborator. “If this change was made, we could probably …” and “What were you thinking with this? We need to completely rewrite that stretch of dialogue.”

It’s as if there are two entirely separate parts of me at work on this novel, but I’m not sure exactly how the two parts are broken down: writer and editor? The person who spews out the ideas and the one who tries to interpret them on the page? Right-brain/left-brain? (I read in a book about brain function that scientists now believe that many early-human experiences of the ‘voice of god’ actually came from their inability to interpret messages from one hemisphere of the brain as coming from within themselves. The connection and communication between the two hemispheres is much stronger, so we now understand it to simply be one aspect of our own internal voice. Fascinating. I’m not explaining it very well, sorry.)

Whatever I want to call them – Tweedledee and Tweedledum might be the most accurate, or maye Thing 1 and Thing2 – this is the time for me to hone their working relationship and make sure they are both valued contributors to the project. I’d hate to see one of them off sulking in the corner, refusing to work, because feelings got hurt. Everybody’s got to be on board to bring this thing to conclusion.



  1. This post made me literally LOL. This sounds like something I would do. I also make notes to myself as I go through the editing process. So far I don’t think I have pretended to have an imaginary collaborating editor though. (Of course, all it takes is a few too many nights up late working on it and one’s sanity begins to slip.)

    Best of luck going forward!

    • Oooh, an imaginary collaborating editor, that’s good … my imaginary friend as a child was named Gerika and lived under the bed; maybe she’s back, and wants to tell me how to plot novels.

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