INTERIOR, OFFICE. The author, ME, has just sat down at his desk.
ME: Okay, here we go! Second draft of the novel. I've gone over the whole manuscript, made notes for every chapter and scene, even got myself a nice slice of time to work in.
ONE HOUR LATER
ME: Well the prologue went well. Good rewrite of existing material, fits in with the new plot structure I've come up with. On to chapter one! Harald is climbing up a cliff...
INNER EDITOR: What the fuck are you doing?
ME: Wait, what are you doing here? I'm not done drafting yet!
INNER EDITOR: This is your second draft, asshole. Why is your main character climbing up a cliff? He was working in the woods with his brother last time.
ME: Yeah, but that was boring. This cliff is where the last battle of the book is going to take place, so it's like... bookends. And this way I can have him look out to sea and talk about how he wants to leave home, 'cause I'm going to give that to him in spades.
INNER EDITOR: Hrm... yeah, okay, go ahead.
FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER
ME: So Harald yells at his older brother to wait up, and goes running down the trail...
INNER EDITOR: Trail? What trail?
ME: The trail back down to the village.
INNER EDITOR: There's a trail from the top of the cliff to the village?
INNER EDITOR: So why the hell did you open with Harald doing some death-defying climb up a sheer cliff?
ME: Well the thing about this cliff is that it's a widow's walk. If somebody gets lost at sea their wives or friends go up there to pray to Suibhne for their return...
INNER EDITOR: What's a Suibhne?
ME: He's god of the sea.
INNER EDITOR: Really?
ME: Shut up. The point is, if Suibhne doesn't answer the people who go up the cliff jump have to jump into the ocean to their deaths.
INNER EDITOR: Why don't they just walk back down?
ME: Because Suibhne will get pissed and kill them anyway.
INNER EDITOR: With what, fucking Air Sharks?
INNER EDITOR: So let me get this straight, anyone who goes up to the top of this cliff either gets a loved one back or dies, no exceptions, right?
INNER EDITOR: And your boy Harald can just climb up there with impunity?
ME: It doesn't count if you climb up the cliff.
INNER EDITOR: It doesn't...
INNER EDITOR: And this Death Cliff is just there? The villagers don't have a guard up in case some dumbass kid goes up there on a dare?
ME: Well I don't know! There's like these... arches along the trail, and if you go up there to pray to Suibhne they try to scare you off so only serious people try it.
INNER EDITOR: But if you go up the cliff by climbing he's totally fine with it.
ME: Yeah. Suibhne respects strength.
INNER EDITOR: Brilliant. Hey, genius, do you understand how stupid that sounds?
INNER EDITOR: I mean it's bad enough you named your main character Harald. Everyone's going to end up calling him Harald Fucking Potter, the Boy Who Ripped Off J.K. Rowling.
ME: Shut up! It's a meaningful name! For reasons!
INNER EDITOR: Sorry, sorry. Hey, different topic, remember you've been reading Mistborn lately?
ME: Yep. Great book.
INNER EDITOR: Love that magic system, right?
ME: Oh yeah.
INNER EDITOR: So how does yours work again?
ME: Uh... well, there are eight gods, and you pray for the power to cast spells...
INNER EDITOR: Any particular kind of spells?
ME: You know, spells... associated with each god's, uh, domain...
INNER EDITOR: And that sorcerer you introduced in the prologue, he uses what kind of god's magic, exactly?
ME: Okay, I didn't think through the magic system as well as I thought.
INNER EDITOR: Or the cliff.
ME: Or the fucking cliff, yes. These are not crippling problems, I can still push forward on this draft.
INNER EDITOR: Suuure, you can do that. Hey, you want to talk about how Harald Potter's gonna hike across an island and back before his father dies of dehydration praying on the Death Cliff?