Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Guest Post: That Pesky Inner Editor

Thank you, Pamela, for hosting me on your blog. It is a pleasure to visit and I have enjoyed reading  the posts from your other guests. It is a fabulous way to discover new books to read.

The more experienced you become at writing, the more you learn and the journey becomes easier.

I would like to talk about the joy and frustration of our inner editors and when to keep that voice under control and when to give it free reign.

Recently, I set myself two strict deadlines. I am travelling to the United States in a couple of weeks to meet with my publisher and I decided to finish and polish two manuscripts to take along with me.

Well... that was the plan. I ended up with too much polish and not much finishing!

Three days of writing for six hours each day and I gained one thousand words in one story.

I actually wrote three thousand words but my inner editor would not let me keep writing and insisted that I go back each morning and revise each chapter. I wrote three thousand new words and pruned two thousand off earlier chapters.

I am usually a ‘put my head down and go for it panster’ and then I come back and edit when I have finished. Last week when my inner editor was constantly at my shoulder my productivity slowed to a crawl and I became frustrated. Writer’s block started to creep in...and then it wasn’t long before creativity flew out the window.

But, self reflection is a marvellous thing!

Instead of giving up and bemoaning this constant nagging voice, I analysed the changes I had made.

What did I find?

My chapters were stronger and the plot was a lot tighter. Dialogue had improved. Reading back over my changes I realized that my inner editor had stepped in, in a timely fashion and saved me hours of work at the end. And then I was able to put my fingers to keyboard and start flying again

So a good lesson learned.

Often we blame the inner editor for a lack of confidence and use it as a reason to procrastinate and not write. However, there are times when the inner editor can be listened to and can direct your writing in positive ways. It is a skill that comes with experience.

The more you write, the more savvy you become when dealing with that pesky inner editor.

My favorite story has recently released by Musa Publishing. Blind Lust is a sweet little paranormal romance with many unexpected twists and turns.

When Venus has a wager with Cupid, that prudish librarian, Lizzy Sweet cannot be enticed to love, she neglects to tell her son that Lizzy is a three hundred year old witch. The first man Lizzy sees after Cupid shoots his arrow is Josh Deegan, a famous country and western singer who has come to town to rediscover his muse, in an old farmhouse haunted by a culinary ghost. Local warlock, Wesley Gordon, who has been hitting on Lizzy to no avail for over one hundred years, is not impressed. The quirky old folk of Silver Valley watch fondly as the battle between love and lust plays out. Leaden and golden arrows zing around, spells are magicked, potions stirred, and ghosts hunted. Who will fall in love and who will let the other go forever?

Excerpt 1
Slowly, silently the full moon walked the night sky as Lizzy sat cross-legged in a circle of red candles on the damp grass in her back garden. Tall trumpet lilies bowed their heads elegantly to the moonlight, silver licorice plants formed long draping sweeps illuminated by the soft light.  The vanilla scent of white heliotrope mingled with the sweet smoke drifting across her hands, as they rested lightly in her lap.  Voices whispered in the silver birch trees and she chanted softly under her breath, repeating the incantation twenty one times.

“Unwanted love leave me be, cease your ardor, my warm regards have no path.”
At the end of each seventh incantation, Lizzy lit another candle and closed her eyes to begin the next round. 

When she finished and the candles died, she stood, stretching, her body and soul renewed, clear of any carnal desires. She frowned. It had been a most peculiar day. Her body yearned for Josh, and now for the first time in thirty years, Wesley’s naked chest stayed in her mind.

Excerpt 2
“Do you believe in ghosts, Josh?” she asked quietly.

He laughed uneasily, shaking his head. “If you had asked me that a couple of days ago I would have said you were crazy, but honestly now I don’t know.”

“What about witches?” She paused. “Magic spells and potions?”

“Give me a break,” he said, running his fingers through his shaggy hair. She was silent as she gathered her thoughts.

“You’ve been here for a week, haven’t you Josh?” she asked softly.

He nodded.

“Have you felt your Aunt Helen’s presence?”

He looked at her without answering and a strong gust of wind rattled the kitchen windows. The storm clouds scurried across the moon, the sky cleared and a shaft of moonlight shone through the kitchen window. Lizzy stood bathed in moonlight, the lace of the curtains fracturing the beam, and the power of the moon goddess entered her strengthening her will.

“Thank you, mother,” she breathed, her eyes closing as she let the power do its work. She stood motionless for a full minute.

“Lizzy, are you all right?” Josh sounded wary.

She stood tall and straight, holding her hand out to him. “It’s all right Josh, I’m sorry I upset you.”

He hesitated before crossing the kitchen and taking her hand. The look of adoration in his eyes sent sparks running along her nerve endings, all she needed was his touch. Closing her eyes, Lizzy focused on the power of the mother within, to resist succumbing to temptation once again.

Annie Seaton lives on the beautiful east coast of Australia, where she loves sitting in her writing chair, gazing at the ocean and writing stories. She has always been fascinated by all things historical and has found her niche writing contemporary romance and steampunk, where strong heroines and brooding heroes fight together to make their alternative world a better place.

Her debut novel, Holiday Affair, a contemporary romance set in the South Pacific was released as part of Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line in March. The sequel Italian Affair is currently underway. Watch out for the story of Tom and Brianna the sex therapist who spices up his life!

Winter of the Passion Flower was released through Lyrical Press at the same time. Currently immersed in the creation of Book Two, a full length novel, the adventures of Sofia and her Scottish laird, Annie is already looking forward to the rest of the series, particularly the adventures of Indigo’s four boys: Jago and Jory, Ruan and Kit. Strong sassy heroines and rebellious heroes have a rollicking good time as they work to make the world a better place-- albeit their own steampunk world.

Blind Lust, a paranormal novella (and her favourite story) was released by Musa Publishing on 15th June.

Annie lives with her husband, and ‘Bob’ the dog and two white cats, in a house next to the beach in a small coastal town of New South Wales. Their two children are grown and married and she loves spending time gardening, walking on the beach and spoiling her two grandchildren.

Visit Annie Seaton at

Check out her blog at

Twitter @annieseaton26


Buy links:

Barnes and Noble

Musa Publishing

Contest: Annie Seaton will give away a copy of Blind Lust to one lucky commenter. The contest ends Wednesday, August 1 and the winner will be announced Thursday, August 2. The winner will get to choose either a print copy or an eBook copy.


Taryn Raye said...

When I'm writing, I tend to push the internal editor into a time-out in the corner, but I have seen times where the story just wasn't flowing well and needed the input. Glad yours, though being pesky, helped to your advantage!

I'm intrigued by Blind Lust! Love stories with interesting twists on mythology!

Sue said...

I loved Blind Lust, and both your other stories, and am excited about reading Tom's story in Italian Affair.
Thanks for these comments, Annie. My inner editor is jumping up and down in my current wip. But after what you've said, I may just give her free rein for now!
Best wishes, Sue

Karen Kennedy Samoranos said...

I loved the characters in "Holiday Affair," Annie. You made people I could cheer for. "Blind Lust" was a sweet book. I enjoyed Lizzie's intellect and wisdom taking over her primal side--probably because I appreciate strong female characters who can be vulnerable as well. And I do understand about writer's block. I have four open manuscripts on my laptop, which I'm able to revisit and make fixes on without confusing stories, characters, etc. When I find myself blocked on one, I go the next. But it's worse to force writing. The bloc becomes a brick wall. Thanks for your insight.

Mae Clair said...

Although I am a panster, my inner editor constantly has me tightening and reworking scenes as I 'pants" ahead. I'm not sure I could write any other way.

Blind Lust sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the opportunity.

Michele de Winton said...

Thanks for the post Annie. I used to be a complete pantser with my inner editor striding forth to knock me down every so often but after plotting out a recent novel and flying through it I'm now a convert to being somewhere in the middle. I dont like to know exactly what my characters want to happen (although my inner editor would prefer it) but if I know everything in advance I find it, well, boring!