Saturday, October 22, 2005

Let's Get It Over With

If there was anything I could do better, I'd choose ilustrating or poeting. (Is there such a word? Told ya I need help.) Why is it that the wordsmiths who have the best gift of gab and grasp of giggle are the ones with the fewest words? Cartoonists and poets.

But noooo - I have to choose becoming a novelist. Someone whose soulful sole purpose is taking 200 to 400 or more pages in order to "illustrate" one or two lies. Er...lines.

Not only that, we also have to write the synopsis then shorten what we say further to mention what we're hawking in a cover letter. A friend's recent struggle with her synopsis prompted me to make a few comments (and yours are welcome as well) on writing what to many writers is the worst part of pitching a book. Why are synopses dreaded?

Her first effort (and this is a seasoned writer) was judged boring by one friend. For one thing, what should have been one or two pages had turned into five. Knowing this girl's writing talents, I asked her what the thrust of her story was, what she wanted me to know about this book. I asked her to boil down the thrust of her story in one line then to expand it to two, then three. Then I asked her to write one paragraph on each of her protagonists based upon that first sentence to explain what would get them to their goals, with one last paragraph illustrating how the characters arrived at their HEA.

1. tell me what you're gonna tell me; 2. illustrate it (you're a wordsmith, a word artist, remember); then conclude it with a satisfactory and brief ah-ha.

What are methods, techniques, outlines that the rest of you use when writing synopses? Am I the only one who actually likes writing these things? - lol



At 2:41 PM, Blogger Amie Stuart said...

DIana P likes writing them. I do too but I just can't do one justice if i have to write it BEFORE I write the book =(

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had started following my dream sooner - I'd have become a singer. Talk about not needing as many words to express yourself - as long as you don't mind using somebody else's words. :)

At 3:57 PM, Blogger THIS! Christine said...

ljrfjcI actually use a 5-6 point memo to begin. Each line of the memo is a major emotional event in the story, (the last point being the conclusion), and I expand from there.

Being a plotcentric writer, synopsises used to be very difficult for me. I was so frazzled by trying to incorporate all the intricacies of the plot, the emotional journey would get left behind. Since learning and practicing this memo format I've had a lot more success with them (syns).


At 6:38 PM, Blogger Shesawriter said...

I use the WWATM method. That is, Whatever Works At The Moment. LOL!

But seriously, I use KP's "Relationship Plane." It helps me chart the growth of the love relationship. You know, first look, first romantic thought, first touch, first kiss ... etc. Then I do a separate file for just the external plot. After that, I cut and paste stuff together, then smooth stuff out so it's seamless. Since I'm not a linear writer this is the only method that works for me.


At 5:29 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Thanks for sharing, writers!


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