Posts Tagged ‘Check-in’
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. 😉
I’ve been trying to catch up on my blog reading, and found Nathan Bransford’s great post on “voice.”
The post and the comments afterward are full of great stuff … but all of it combines to make me wonder if I have a developed “voice.” I’ve always thought I did, but I just might be wrong.
Interesting thought, I guess. Too bad I don’t have time to explore it right now. It’s time to get ready for the “day job” (really an afternoon/evening job).
I was out on a walk Saturday morning, listening to my iPod, when a song by my favorite band came on and it hit me: This could be Mike James’ theme song.
Mike, you might remember, is the hero in Bree & Mike’s story (the one with the crappy title). He’s the one who wants everyone to think he’s a playboy so he can avoid romantic entanglements with nice girls like my heroine … the one who doesn’t think he deserves a nice girl to love and love him.
The song that seemed to fit him to a T is Depeche Mode’s “Wrong.”
I reached the wrong ends by the wrong means
It was the wrong plan
In the wrong hands
The wrong theory for the wrong man
The wrong eyes on the wrong prize
The wrong questions with the wrong replies …
I was marching to the wrong drum
With the wrong scum
Pissing out the wrong energy
Using all the wrong lines
And the wrong signs
With the wrong intensity
When it comes to Mike, all true. Well, he does say the right things (at least the right things for an outrageous flirt), but for the wrong reasons.
I shouldn’t be surprised. Depeche Mode has been my favorite group since high school, and I often find ways to apply their lyrics to life. In college, I quoted “New Dress” (about how changing a vote can change the world) in some political science paper.
Now I’m wondering if this makes Mike more of an anti-hero. Oh, he’s definitely not as dark as Gareth, the alcoholic since age 14 who’s trying to escape his abusive father by taking refuge with my almost-as-messed-up heroine.
But Mike at least fancies himself a “bad boy,” courtesy of his past.
I love this story. I hope I can find someone who likes it as much as I do.
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.