My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Posts tagged ‘synopsis’

Still Stumbling Along the Novel Path

I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to work on my novel this weekend. I’d like to get closer to the end as well as work on some synopsis issues.

The beginning keeps changing and morphing into something completely different from what I had planned, but it’s a good thing. I’m nixing the prologue, adding a new, but important character and introducing the plot catalyst by chapter two (within the first 20-30 pages). That’s one of my issues with published books–sometimes I think it takes too long for the action to start and there’s too much backstory. I realized I was essentially guilty of one of my biggest pet peeves, and even though the plot catalyst was introduced by chatpter 5, that was already past page 40 in Microsoft Word. It took some time to figure out how to introduce it without rushing it, but I think I may have finally come up with a solid beginning.

For me, the beginning of a novel or short story is the HARDEST part to write. You have to catch the reader’s attention and not turn them off. You have to maintain that balance between too much detail and not enough. You have to introduce your main character and establish some sense of connection.

No wonder I often stop reading books within the first 50 pages.

I know, I’m picky about my books (perhaps too picky) but this is everything I’m striving to do because I don’t want to lose the reader by that 50th page and make them shake their head and say, “Where’s that lovely story promised in the synopsis?”

But for now, I have to focus I just ending the blasted thing and then researching, editing and polishing the draft. But it’s so hard not to turn back and work on the other things that bother me in the earlier parts of the book 😛

It would be oh so nice to start querying this year…but wishing and dreaming won’t make it happen. I have to actually do it.

I shake my head in shame at my procrastination 😛

Writing Goals for 2009

I realize the time for a New Year’s resolution is a few weeks away, but it’s on my mind now so I figured I’d write while it’s on the forefront.

My goal for this year is to get my first draft researched, edited and completed enough that I can start sending out queries by the end of the year.

I’m this close to typing “the end” with the book. I wrote about 700 more words today, bringing me closer to the goal. I’m not sure exactly how much is left–guessing between 7-10 chapters–but I’m not entirely sure on that so I’ll just say that I’ll finish when I finish. 😛

Yesterday at my critique group organizational meeting, we made goals and changes for the year to help things move along better.  We used to submit our chapters or sections a week ahead of time, but the majority of the group was having a hard time getting things read and critiqued well in that time span since two people per week were normally critiqued (there are only seven of us). We decided to make submissions due two weeks ahead of our critique date, giving everyone plenty more time to do a thorough reading.

My first session is January 22nd, meaning I need to have something up by the end of the first week in January. So I really need to get this book done, so I can go back and focus on editing the chapter that’s up next–it generally takes me a week to do that 😛

We also decided that we should post a running synopsis of our book up to that point so that if we have to skip a week here and there, we aren’t lost. I found this great idea because a good chunk of my book is changing (at least from what they’ve already read) so instead of submitting new or redone chapters that take place a good deal before where they left off, they won’t be confused and I won’t get comments about continuity 😛 This should be fairly easy to do as I have a running chapter synopsis anyway.

That’s pretty much all we’ve changed for the year, but it should make things easier for all of us.

Anyway, I am wondering (and worrying slightly) about the monumental task of research waiting for me at the end of my first draft. It’s something I try not to dwell on too much now, but it’s hard not to, as it is a mountain I’m going to have to climb at some point. I am hoping that it won’t be as hard as I thought, but with a completely different culture, language and time period, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Not to mention the task of editing…cannot forget that important aspect.

Anyway, the contest I mentioned in the previous post has chosen finalists. The paragraphs were good–not my taste and most of them were too long in my opinion–but well written. I don’t think any of them are books I’d actually pick up and read by the paragraph alone, but it all comes down to a matter of taste.

Of course I hoped I’d be one of the finalists, but out of 1300+ entries, it was slim. Still, the hope was there as well as the slight disappointment that followed. I see it as practice for the mounds of rejection letters I will probably receive in the coming years for my book 😛

One good thing about it though is that if mine was chosen and a partial ms was requested, I’d be scrambling around, editing like mad. I may have over 3/4 of the book completed, but a very small portion of that (perhaps like two chapters) are good enough to even be looked at by an agent. So it was for a reason that I didn’t win at this time–but I will eventually succeed in landing an agent and a contract–I am determined to do such, even if the publishing industry becomes more and more selective and difficult to break through. I will not be deterred! 🙂

And on that note, I’m off to bed. This post was becoming a bit on the long and rambling side anyway.

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