Archive for the ‘Progress’ Category
Forgive me for not blogging lately … It’s not that I haven’t been working, let me assure you.
Most of my long weekend was spent on my new WIP, which is now in Chapter 3. Did I mention that there might be something to writing a synopsis first? 😉 I thought a lot about my plot before I started and came up with a summary of about three pages.
I also took some time to perfect my query letter and synopsis. This morning, I sent out a handful of queries … including one to my Dream Agent. I just wish that “I want to puke” feeling would go away. I always feel that way when I’m sending out queries: excited, but slightly nauseous.
Anyone else feel the same way?
On another note, I need to get busy writing a synopsis for “Beauty and the Ballplayer.” That was the other goal I said I’d accomplish before the next NARWA meeting — and since it talks so long for me to do one of those things after the fact, I’d better get started.
Saturday’s NARWA meeting went great, and — as usual — I came away inspired. Our guest speaker, Harlequin American author Cathy McDavid, presented talks on characterization and that bane of many writers’ existence (or at least mine), the synopsis.
I came away with some great tips, along with some worksheets that will likely prove very helpful. Among them:
- One size synopsis does not fit all. Some publishers want a two-page one, others want a five-pager. To meet varying requirements, think of the synopsis as an accordion, expanding and contracting your description of the action.
- When describing the action, you don’t want a chapter-by-chapter play-by-play. Pick six to eight turning points (such as their first kiss, first time to make love) and focus on those.
- Mention more than once why they can’t be together and explain why they fall in love. Don’t forget to include how the hero and heroine have grown and/or changed.
- Make every word count. Use power words (like scarlet instead of red) to evoke a stronger vision. For every sentence, ask, “Can I make this better? Shorter?”
- Try to infuse your synopsis with the same tone as your book.
That last one I struggle with. (Oh, who am I kidding? I struggle with the synopsis from start to finish. If I could get by without ever writing one, I would.) My synopses aren’t even half as funny as the stories themselves.
Well, time to take another look at my synopsis for “Blind Date Bride.” One of the goals I set to finish before our July meeting is to submit at least two queries on “Blind Date Bride.”
The other is to write a query letter/synopsis for “Beauty and the Ballplayer.” I must be a glutton for punishment. 😉
Sadly, not much writing has happened since Wednesday (and that writing didn’t count toward my Word Count Countdown, because it wasn’t actually writing on any of my WIPs).
I’m at a certain point: Finished MS but no query or synopsis — and since our NARWA meeting next Saturday is on the dreaded synopsis, I’m kind of trying to hold out before working on one of those.
The query and synopsis on “Blind Date Bride” are mostly finished, but I’m still a little scared to send that one out there. I did get a rave review from one of my NARWA sisters, who described it as “delicious.”
With a review like that, why am I not sure? It’s probably plain old fear of rejection — again. I’ve already gotten tons of rejections on Brad & Erin’s story, so why would I expect this one to do better?
Well, it was written much later. Brad & Erin’s MS was my first, and even though I’ve edited it so much that parts hardly resemble the original draft, it could be that it’s just not good enough. Pat said she can tell a huge difference between that one and “Blind Date Bride,” that my writing has grown and changed.
So maybe it’s time to bite the bullet, finish the query/synopsis and send it out there. It’ll immediately expand my agent pool, since this one’s a single title instead of category.
I find that hard to believe.
Since it’s about time for me to write another one (or two or three) of these buggers, I found this post over at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood particularly useful.
I wish I were one of those people who writes synopsis first and novel later. But I always find myself, at the end of my novel, going back to write a synopsis that includes all the major turning points.
Perhaps with my next novel — the one I start after I finish revising, expanding and writing synopses/queries for my “Women of Willow’s Grove” stories — I’ll try doing the synopsis BEFORE I start to write.
It certainly can’t hurt, right? 😉