I recently got my hands on the latest JR Ward, Crave(thanks, Molly). The book is great, so far, at least. And as usual, she builds her world really convincingly. A large part of that world building is in the character's voices, their word choices. And she has a different voice for each character, and their convincing, and real, and she commits to it completely.
There is always a point in a book where I wonder, am I going too far with this? Is this realistic, and when I think about it too hard, I can pull back, not commit completely and some of the magic dissipates.
It's why at a certain part of the process, primarily the rough draft, I have to shut down the outside world, forget about what everyone else is saying, selling, where certain books failed, really, what anyone else will think. Because it screws with my head, kills my productivity and can kill the magic.
Basically at this point, I'm just trying to stay out of my own way. I can fix something that isn't working, and my critique group will tell me what needs to be fixed, but it's really hard to add magic after the fact. The best magic, for me, always comes from the first draft, and as Molly pointed out earlier this week, we have to protect the magic.
I'm completely not jealous that three of the drunk writers are at a conference together. Not jealous at all.