Monday, January 25, 2010

The dreaded synopsis

I am just preparing to enter a couple of competitions in the UK. The first one is called Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition
It looks pretty cool and the prize is wicked. Five hundred pounds and the chance to work with an editor for two years as you complete the novel. It then gets published.
All you have to send in is your first three chapters and a one page synopsis.
UCH! That's where I come undone... THE SYNOPSIS!!!
I have read so many blogs and sites on how to write a good one and I still feel like I cannot master the skill. Especially trying to put an entire plot into one page! I have been procrastinating big time because I'm a worried I'll do a really bad job.
You'd think a synopsis would be easy right? Just explain what you're books about.
Sure - no problem. But how do I do that in a way that will make the judges, editors, agents - whoever - sit up and think, "Man, this is good!"
I almost find a query easier. At least with a query you can leave the person hanging, hungry for more. With a synopsis you've got to put it all out there, but in a really enticing way.
Wish me luck.
I'll let you know how I get on. If anyone out there has any other advice on how to make a synopsis stand out, I am more than happy to receive it :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just Keep Writing

I am having one of those weeks where the enormity of this whole writing scene is overwhelming. I have been skimming through various blogs, reading forums, taking in advice and thinking - "I'm never going to make it!"
The thing is - I really, REALLY want to make it. So I can't let my doubts win.
It's so easy to get caught up with the obsession of getting my work in print that I forget why I'm doing this in the first place. I find myself getting stressed and down. But I need to stop and remember.... The reason I do all this is because I love writing. I love losing myself in a story. I love creating a world, different characters and exciting scenarios. I love the drama.
SO - no matter how overwhelming this publishing thing is... I am going to keep writing. I am going to keep putting myself out there and one day, who knows, I might just see a Melissa Pearl novel on the shelves of my favorite book stores.
My son is currently obsessed with the movie "Finding Nemo." One of the main characters, Dory, swims along singing, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." I can hear the tune in my head now... "Just keep writing, just keep writing."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Foolish Notions

I like to think of myself as a humble person, but I am quickly learning that I have been foolishly arrogant when it comes to my writing.
I'm not going to deny that I think I do have a natural bent towards fiction. My brain is constantly buzzing with new story ideas and I can vividly see each scene play out in my head. I have the ability to see a manuscript through to completion and my skin is tough enough to handle some very honest critiquing.
Why then, did I honestly think I could get away with not reading one scrap of information on how to become a better writer. I never said it aloud, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, "I know how to write a book." Yeah, sure... but do I know how to write a really good book?
Thankfully I have been won over and am now working my way through some great books on how to make my fiction awesome. I just hope I can execute my new knowledge in a way that makes my work so good the publishers are scrambling to get their hands on it ;o)
The book I'm reading at the moment - recommended to me on Jerry B. Jenkins blog is by Thomas B. Sawyer entitled, "Fiction Writing Demystified. Techniques that Will Make You A More Successful Writer." It's so good!
Also - Scott Eagan is about to start a series of blogs on how to take the new techniques we've learned and use them to our best advantage. Might be worth checking out :)