Musicians know this term well: “Develop your ear.” In its simplest form, it is the ability to hear what is going on inside of the music – it goes beyond just understanding the melody and the rhythm section. Musicians who develop this ability quickly mature and often take their playing to a higher level of artistry.
Writers can get attached to their syntax and feel that their way of writing the world is better than possible alternatives, simply because that writing is theirs. Often that does not turn out to best serve the author’s work.
How many writers have sat at their keyboard, or at a desk with a pad of paper, pen in hand, trying to figure out the story arc for their protagonist? For some of us it’s an easy task, for others it’s a brain cramping event.