Dreaming in Character

G.L. Jackson

Checking In


It could be that I’ve spent the past ten days writing 24000 words of crap, but it feels so good not to be stuck any more. I’m glad I went with this book instead of the one I originally had planned.

Here’s my process, for those who are interested:

  1. Get an inkling of an idea.
  2. Decide on characters.
  3. Start writing and see what happens.
  4. Promise to let the story tell itself.
  5. Stubbornly refuse to make the FMC either a self-insert or a Mary Sue.
  6. Realize that I now know the perfect ending scene and stubbornly refuse to write it yet.
  7. Let the story wend its way toward it, but try not to be sad if/when it takes a left turn.
  8. Understand that 50,000 words are only the germ of a first rough draft.
  9. Commit to taking a few more months to flesh it out, shake out the fruit, and see if it’s worth salvaging.
  10. EDIT.

I got excited today because I’m close to 25k, but that’s not halfway through the book. It might be a third of the way through. I still have plenty of room for character development, trauma, plots that twist like the honeysuckle vine in my garden, falling in and out of love with the main characters, and dreaming about them. When I get to that last one, I know the story’s really taken hold for me.

NaNo participant or not, how’s your writing going?


Author: G.L. Jackson

Writer, reader, amateur photographer. Mostly, I just like pretending to be a different person each day of the week.

4 thoughts on “Checking In

  1. Congrats on all the progress! It’s a good list too. I’m already thinking of how to apply it to my next project.


    • Thanks! I’m at the sticky part of the story, so we’ll see what happens. I’ll probably slow way down, but it’s all good! I’ll be curious to see what you think of it, should you have the time to read for me somewhere down the line.


  2. I’m working on several projects at once, including a dissertation, novel, screenplay, and poetry. It’s going well, but I wish I were even more disciplined than I am, and could find joy in the process of writing itself rather than just the finished product. I’ve very much enjoyed finding inspiration in your blog, and look forward to following you! I hope your projects all go splendidly.


    • Wow, you’re busy. Thank you for your kind words. Here’s to you finding a way to love the process–it’s not always easy and we don’t always love it while we’re in the middle of it, but I think it’s a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. When we’re in the middle of things, it can be hard to know whether or not we’re producing anything good. Still, I really love the act of writing and the way inspiration strikes at the oddest moments.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s