How many times has this happened to you: You hand over your precious novel to a trusted friend, and if they're honest enough, they'll tell you that a certain scene, or phrase, or even character, isn't quite "working." That something just doesn't fit. And how many times do you find yourself already knowing it? Deep down inside, as you were writing that particular scene or chapter, you knew it, too. That something wasn't quite right.
That's happened to me MANY times. Especially when an agent in the past would be gracious enough to offer me feedback and make suggestions on my novel. Nearly every time, I found myself nodding at their email, agreeing with the change, already knowing something was wrong.
How much time I could've saved myself, if only I would've LISTENED to that inner editor! But I'm getting better at it, paying attention to him.
Just this morning, in fact, I spent lots of time reworking the beginning of Book 2 in my series. That all-important first paragraph. I ended up writing about five different versions of the first paragraph before I was satisfied. Before I found the one. And you know what? When I wrote the one, I didn't pause, not for a second. It flowed out of me. I didn't stop to question whether it was right -- I just knew it. I guess I was getting confirmation from my inner editor. No red flags, no snags, no doubts. Whew.
It takes extra brain power, extra time and energy, to keep fighting until you get it "right." But it's always worth it!