Dreaming in Character

G.L. Jackson


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I lied.

I wasn’t finished. I mean, yes, I was finished with the rewrite draft and the first edit pass, but I’m a perfectionist and I declare it not finished.

I did move on to the next phase, which was making it available to read as a Kindle document (I see so many more things when I read my own words that way). Also, this weekend I attended a SCBWI workshop on writing dialog and while this isn’t a children’s book, the same rules apply. I’ve been able to go back and pick out what one of our speakers (Bill Konigsberg) referred to as the Seven Deadly Sins of Dialog. I’ve read this thing on my phone app two and a half times so far, and I keep finding things to fix.

Editing, I love you. It’s like watching errors filter through an hourglass: they get to the skinny spot and disappear, a little bit at a time. I don’t think I’ve ever had this much fun editing my own work before, and I am so happy to say “I’ll take it.” My work keeps getting better and better, just like magic! It’s not magic–just hard work–but if it ultimately looks like it was easy, so much the better.


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I finished my book, now what do I do?

The title says it all.

I really love this book. Because I love it so much I’m going to put it away for a little bit and then reread on some device other than my computer to make sure I still love it and if I do, I’ll be looking for a few readers.

This is the longest book I’ve written. After the revision and first edit pass, I’m sitting at around 107k. It’s a pretty good length, I think, for an adult contemporary.

After writing every day for the past month, I want to:
1. keep going!
2. give myself a break.
3. enjoy this accomplishment.
4. start the sequel!
5. all of the above?


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Some days aren’t days for words.

Some days are. Since the middle of April I’ve done a rewrite to the tune of about 25k new words and brought the total of my WIP to >100k. That means there’ll be lots of room for editing.

In the meantime, before I get back to it, I’ll confess I’m not a fan of selfies. I tend not to like them–taking them, looking at them, much about them–but I took this one today and since I’m in a noir mood and haven’t posted here in a long time, I’ll share it with you.

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I love writing.

I was sitting here reading over today’s words and was happily struck by how much I love writing. I love the world I created, the characters who inhabit that world, their circumstances and quirks and imperfections. I’m having such a blast with this book that I smile when I read it, and that’s not something that always happens.

It isn’t that I sit around patting myself on the back, being too self-congratulatory. I did have a moment, though, and I figured that was worth sharing. It’s times like this that remind me why I do what I do, and remind me that the act of creating something new can be so much fun.


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Smashing Writer’s Block

Generally, I don’t believe in writer’s block. Because I’m self-critical, I look at it as just being lazy. By now, though, I ought to know myself well enough to understand that when the words aren’t flowing–when they feel like pulling teeth–it’s because I’m forcing the writing. I know how it feels to write with sheer joy. I know how it feels to love every nuance and every new plot twist.

Today, I had a terrible day on a personal level. It wasn’t what I wanted at all. I didn’t get a chance to do any writing, I’m exhausted, I’ve been attending to unexpected but necessary things, and all I wanted to do was come home to write. When I finally got home, did I write? No, not unless email counts.

BUT.

As I was sitting here feeling exhausted, it was EPIPHANY TIME. Not only did I finally acknowledge that I was forcing the issue, I unlocked the key to making the book so much better than it already is.

Now I’m excited. Now I can set my alarm and get up in the morning eager to write. All it will take is a little bit of plotting and planning, and I’ll be good to go.

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