Writing Excuses 8.42: The Internal Heckler vs. The Internal Editor

Mary pitched this subject to us — it’s a discussion of the difference between that voice that says “this will make your story better” and the voice that says “nothing can save this story because you’re awful and should quit forever.”

You’ve probably heard the staple bit of sage advice that which says, in essence, “silence your internal editor.” Some of us need that internal editor, though, and the distinction between the editor and the heckler is critically important. And some of us need to train up those voices in our heads so that they say something useful.

Play

Oh no! We forgot to give you a writing prompt! Fine… Your internal heckler turns out to be a real person/entity/being/whatever. Not everybody’s internal heckler—yours. Why?

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, an anthology edited by John Joseph Adams, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Mary Robinette Kowal, Justine Eyre