Good morning racers. I knew I could count on you all to fess up your writing sins and I've been busy thinking up a suitable penance. I did think of an enforced viewing of Big Brother but you might use it to observe interesting behaviour and get ideas for your work. So put on your hair shirt - easy if you have pets or children. If not just snip off that rogue cow lick and another until you're slashing away...You don't do that? Oh.
This is it: Imagine you've got into a lift with an agent. She looks at the M/S clamped in your hand and says, 'What's your novel about?' The doors are going to ping open any second so what do you say?
I haven't thought of this, I borrowed the idea from Writing Fiction for Dummies I loved it but if you're writing commercial fiction, I recommend reading How to Write a Blockbuster by Helen Corner and Lee Weatherly as well. Helen and Kathryn of Cornerstones recently commented on a few WriteWords members' synopses - together with the author's first 1500 words. My work wasn't picked but the advice and feedback was very useful.
The thought of writing a synopsis with a word count of only 500 words was scary, but starting with a one paragraph description and then gradually expanding on it, helped. I found it hard to leave out sub plots and a synopsis of this kind can sound pretty boring as it's all narrative but some of the other writers made theirs sparkle. Mind didn't. Not a flicker, but I'm working on it.
What this exercise did do for me was to make me focus on whether my novel followed a story arc or merely meandered along with a few nice little scenes of characters sighing, flicking back their hair, looking at their hands, biting their lips...anything except getting on with it.
If you don't want to stand your punishment, I understand, but I'd love to know if you find such a synopsis useful before or after editing - or both?
I've only been a WriteWords member for a few weeks. My username if RiffRaff, so if we should meet there, I'll buy the coffees if you stump up for the biccies.
By the way, the photo is of my shed and my editor, Bramble.
Bless you all.