I have a tiny little voice in the back of my head. Sadly, it does not give me football scores before the games. It does warn me when there is something wrong with my writing.
But, it is SO quiet. So distant. So almost not there…
I ignore it a lot.
Can’t do that. Not ever, because it’s always, always, always right.
Generally, what happens is… it says, so softly as to be inaudible, “This isn’t working.” And, generally, I drown it out with, “It’ll be fine.” You think by now, I’d have learned. When the tiny voice tells you something isn’t working, and you think it will be fine anyway, most likely you are wrong. But it may take draft after draft after draft before you realize that the thing is NEVER going to work, and you’re going to have to buckle down and do the work and fix it.
As long as you do the work before you hand in your writing, you’ll be fine.
This thing I’m working on, has two scenes in a bath house. As I write this down, it seems so obvious, but I can tell you, it wasn’t. The little voice would tickle me and say, “One of those scenes is kinda like the other one.” And I would tamp the voice down… which is VERY EASY TO DO, as I weigh a lot and the voice is thin as smoke. Finally, after getting notes from a friend, I saw that the two scenes were basically saying the same thing, so I combined them into one. Saved some pages. Saved some dead weight. Saved some useless repetition. And finally shut the voice up.
The instant I made the change, I knew the scene worked. At last I felt better.
Disregard the Little Voice at your peril. Find a way to listen. Which is a lot more difficult than you may think.