Posted in Resources, Writing

Synopsis: Tricks? Tips?

In a dusty drawer, there lives a story untouched for a very long time.

Well, sort of.

As the projects that I want to work accumulate, I go back to my more “essential” novels. What exactly does this mean? For starters, as I wasn’t able to complete writing The Vampire Prince returns to High School last month, I’ll still continue to write it in my free time. However, in my free “free” I’ve started working on the synopsis for a certain novel I’ve called Clan of Ash.

There’s some history to this story. I’ve actually sent this novel out to agents but without any success. I took a break from it and I’ve gone through it before, checking it for various things. Though the title of this post may suggest it, I’m not planning on sending out this novel right now. However, I’m using the process of writing a synopsis to help me out.

How does this work? Well, a synopsis is basically a summary of your novel that showcases the most important details to an agent. So, what I have done (and doing) is to read over my novel and summarize each chapter. As I’ve summarized, I have realized the details that have struck out to me (those being the most important).

Reading through each chapter and summarizing it, puts into perspective some story details that need to change or that are working correctly. This method makes me a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Not only that, once I’ve finished summarizing all the chapters, I can take a look and pick out what details I want to put into the future synopsis for this novel. Of course, the length of that synopsis depends on the agent’s submission guidelines. However, even if it’s only a page or two at most, you have all the details already in front of you. You can pick and choose what you need.

So far, it has worked for me. Writing a novel synopsis can be so stressful and overwhelming. However, I’ve found that this method works for me. It’s less stressful and I don’t feel so pressured or overwhelmed. So, when I’m ready (aka the novel) is ready to be sent out and I need a synopsis, I’ll know where to look. Most of that job is already completed.

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Posted in Resources, Writing

Unnecessary Characters – Are they necessary?

 

unnecessary characters
Image Link Here

 

One of the things I try to look out for in my writing is unnecessary characters. Sure, as writers, we must populate the story but when is it too much? How can we identify these unnecessary characters?

I like to use the sexy lamp test. This test doesn’t apply only to the relevance of a female character, it applies to other characters as well. If you can replace a character with someone else – or a lamp in this case – they aren’t necessary. The test can also be applied to your main characters.

If, for some reason, you really want a certain character in the story because they bring something unique then, maybe the character needs more work. Flesh them out. Every character has some sort of motivation that gets them through the day and if after all that, the character still doesn’t work then, cut them. You can always recycle them for later.

 

 

Posted in Resources, Writing

Food Timeline

food history

Now that I’m feeling better, I can put this put. It’s a neat image that I found on Pinterest. The website gives you a timeline on Food, where specific food began, and the start recipes with certain food items. This is a great tool if, like me, gets obsessed over learning if people ate ice-cream during a certain period of time or not.

Posted in Methods, Resources, Writing

Filling in the Blanks

post filling in the blanksRecently, I found a post on Pinterest that I found very interesting. The post goes to say that writing dialogue first makes the scene easier and longer . The author goes to say that this method worked for him/her when he/she wanted to get some work done. Overall, I think that’s some decent advice.

Personally, it hasn’t been something I’ve tried consciously. I’ve done something similar where I write the basic lines of a scene and dialogue and then go back to fill in the blanks. My method made  me feel like I was too lazy to write everything out completely but seeing this post changes that.

Like many, I’ve always tried to put my best work on the page even if that means rewriting the same sentence a few hundred times. It doesn’t help that I know that that’s not how it works but I find myself doing it anyway. I’ve been trying to work on that, and while there has been progress, there are times when I tend to slip.

I (probably) won’t be using this method consciously right off the bat but I’m not going to write if off. It kind of feels like writing an outline more than anything else but that’s just how I feel. In part I believe because I’ve always associated going back and adding things to a manuscript as rewriting or even editing, I can’t immediately jump to using this method.

Overall, I’m always on the look out for advice and tips that will help me become a better writer. I always strive to grow my skills and abilities. Plus, it’s not like I’m opposed to trying new things. If the chance presents itself, I might just end up writing the dialogue first and the filling in the blanks later.

Posted in Resources, Writing

Sweek and Contests

As November draws closer, I’ve been busy and productive lately. Not only have I started rewriting a certain story from wattpad that I don’t like, I’ve also entered a screenplay contest on Sweek. I’ve only recently discovered the website and I have yet to draw any conclusions from it. I also haven’t invested a lot of time on there but that might change.

For this screenplay contest, you can follow the link here, I decided to write up one of my little writing exercises I’ve posted on here. Can you guess which one it is? Not to leave anyone in suspense and because it is October, I decided to write ‘Summons‘ as a screenplay. I extended the ending and I changed a few things up. You can find my entry here.

I’ve also decided to enter in a few more contests as well. Thanks to Freelance Writing, I was able to find most of these contests. Some of those include #MicroBlue, ServiceScape Short Story Award 2018, and Beartooth Anthony’s Halloween Campfire Story Contest. I’ll probably not enter in all of them but, for the most part, I’ll enter in a few.

My focus is still preparing for NaNoWriMo. The next step is to write an outline of the story I’ll be working on. I’ve decided that I’m not going to use any of the original work if I can help it. It’s going to be a brand new story with the same characters and story but just told differently. It does help that I have certain scenes and events planned out already so outlining isn’t going to be too bad.

Honestly, I think my outline is more of a synopsis without calling it a synopsis. Outline is more loosely based on what’s going to happen. A synopsis details what does happen. I’ll be writing a mixture of the two so I can stay focused. I’m not really trying to experiment on the story or characters this time around. Everything is set in stone. The story just has to be rewritten.