WiP Wednesday 9/23-9/29 — October 3, 2012

WiP Wednesday 9/23-9/29

By last Friday, I’d finished my on-paper line edits of Woven. I say on-paper because I actually had the book printed and coil-bound. Until this point, everything I had done with the book, every draft (save the rough because I wrote that by hand) was done on the computer. I need a format change after six rounds of edits on the computer. It helps me catch things and is more easily navigable than a word processing file if I need to flip back to the previous page for a moment.

After that it was time to input all those line edits into the computer. As I’m doing this, I’m also following a process for synopsis writing which I outlined a while back, probably about a year or so ago. So when I get done inputting the line edits for a chapter, I add that chapter to my synopsis.

How in the world do you make a synopsis only two pages long? Really? Two chapters took up an entire page. And I have 29 chapters!

As for Curse of Life that one’s chugging along. But I was still a ways from finishing as of last Friday. No way was I going to make my deadline of end of day Sunday. Not unless I took Sunday as a writing day instead of a relaxing day.

So, needless to say, I’ve missed two more self-imposed deadlines. I think, though, I set myself up for failure with the deadlines I set. I think it would take a superhuman or a time traveler to work at the pace I tried to set for myself. So I’m currently in the process of reevaluating my deadlines and pushing timelines back.

How are your WiPs going?

The Dreaded Synopsis — July 28, 2011

The Dreaded Synopsis

No, I’m not posting my synopsis here.  That’s something I’ll only ever share via e-mail with trusted CPs.

What I’m talking about today is writing one.  See, I’ve reached that point with Lodestar.

I started out, I don’t know how long ago, writing a brief recap of each chapter as I read through the manuscript working on creating a new revision outline.  That didn’t go very far because I got sidetracked creating the outline.  Then I got the manuscript back from a beta.

I finished up the last major revision on Monday.  I was pretty stoked about it.  I mean, I even bought myself some Swedish fish.  This is the candy I use to celebrate milestones.  Such as when I finally finished Oracles Promise a year and a half ago.  I had the manuscript printed at one of those business solutions places so I could have a cardstock cover and have it coil-bound.

After I picked up the printed manuscript, I stopped off at the store and got those sticky notes that are large and lined and in pretty colors.  (Colors not required.  They just make this more spiffy.)

I sat down on my couch and got comfortable.  The primary purpose of this printing of the manuscript was so that the format was changed in order to catch typos and formatting errors.

But, bonus!

I have to read through the manuscript to find these.  Why not kill two birds with one stone?  That’s what the sticky notes are for.  After each chapter, I wrote out (by hand) a brief recap of the chapter.  I forced myself to keep it to one sticky note for each chapter.  Synopses have to be brief so it’s really just getting you one step closer to force yourself to stick to that limit.

These sticky notes get attached to the last page of each chapter.  After the entire manuscript has been read, it’s time to go to the computer and go note by note, inputting them into your word processing document.

Now you have a chapter by chapter synopsis that’s very dry and boring.  This is what revision is for.  Each paragraph addresses some part of the plot, whether it’s your character’s internal arc or the external arc of the conflict.  Combine the internal and external as you need to in order to create a smooth and engaging synopsis of your manuscript.

That wasn’t so bad was it?  *shoos the noose away from her and her blog readers’ necks*

Blurbs and One-paragraph Descriptions — June 2, 2011

Blurbs and One-paragraph Descriptions

At these I fail.  Horribly.

There’s a reason the projects on the “My Writing” page here on the blog don’t have blurbs or descriptions.  And, yet, I do believe it’s high time I remedied that.

So, yeah.

I think the reason I fail is that I try to put too much information in.  But then when I take out information people get lost.  It’s a delicate balance to handle, especially in fantasy.  (Not to mention trying to not confuse the reader but also not give away a twist.)

I’ve been working and re-working my query for Lodestar over the last month or more.  It’s no closer to being something that would grab an agent than it was when I first wrote it out.

When I wrote a query for Oracles Promise as a means of boiling down my plot in preparation for revisions, it just depressed me because it seemed to highlight so many problems that felt impossible to fix.

I think that killed blurbs/one-paragraph descriptions for me.  And possibly queries.

And don’t even get me started on a synopsis.