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 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 Writing

Character Creation – part 1

Sometimes a character pops into my head before the actual story. There might be a small scene around the character but nothing is concrete. I don’t plan for this to happen, it just does.

So, what do I do when I have an idea of a character? For starters, I tend to know the character’s sex. I don’t know the character’s gender until way later.

Next, I think about what kind of world would this character live in? Futuristic? Fantasy? Modern day?

Once, I decide that, I look at the situation they are in. Do they struggle to pay for basic essentials? Are they on the run? Are they a gun for hire? Maybe they are a detective/ investigator.

If I can’t think of an answer, I mix and match. Would this character fit in an urban setting? Would it make sense if they were on the run? Nothing is is ever concrete at the beginning. Characters are like clay. They can be modeled as many times as they need to.

As the character takes shape, pieces tend to fall into place. A character now has a sword and a gun. The only place they drink their coffee is from a run down shop on a corner of a not so nice street. For character creation, I think it’s helpful to start with the little things.

What would their room look like? It’s a clean? Messy? Undisturbed? Do they use mouth wash? What snacks do they eat? Do they drink too much coffee? What does a normal day for them look like? What kind of clothes do they wear? Where do they buy their clothes?

There are a lot of character creating questionnaires out there and I’ve found some of them very useful. However, I don’t always need to use them. Sure it’s important to know if your character has any family, siblings, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a pet, but I found that somethings, character creation gets bog down with those sorts of questions.

At times, it feels like a job to me and it’s no longer fun. The character just slips from my mind and it never goes anywhere. I like to mull it over a bit. Keep it a secret if you will before putting it down on paper.

Posted in updates, Writing

Finding the Middle

Another week comes to an end. Progress has been slow but there has been progress. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a post Monday. I got caught up with errands and school work. I promised myself I’ll do better.

I did go back and take a look at Crimson Queen, the story I worked on for Camp NaNoWriMo. Reading through, I realized that the beginning worked. The middle on the other hand didn’t. There was no direction. So, I went back through it and wrote down the main plot points that I found. There was a couple of them but they were just buried under unnecessary scenes/ words.

Moving forward, I need to fill in the blanks to get from one point to another. That “filling” has to be relevant to the story and has to contribute. Otherwise, the words become unnecessary and I don’t want that. Plus, I have the information, the filling if you will, I just have to find a way to add everything together.

With school going on now, I have to steal time to write until I get a schedule down. It’s going slower than I would like to. For sure this upcoming week, there’s going to be a post Monday. Wednesday is still writing prompt day. I’m having really fun with those prompts. They’re different but I need a way to get out of my comfort zone. I need to write something I wouldn’t normally write. Is there a website for random writing prompts? I definitely have to look for that.

If anyone has any suggest, send a message/ comment and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for reading.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Uncategorized, Writing

Preparation Complete

Preparing for April has been very smooth. In part, it has to do with the fact that I’m rewriting a story I’ve already written. At this point, I have a good idea of where I want the story to go.

Even before the rewrite, I knew where the story was going. That was always present in my mind. The character development, background information, and subplots, on the other hand, need a bit more work. That is what I’m focusing on in rewriting the story.

Of course, preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo or just preparing to write a novel or even the other half of a story can be tough. You can prepare so many things but at the end of the day, you could scrape the entire thing. It’s happened to me more times than I can count.

While I can prepare for all situations of what might occur when I’m writing, I have a bit of confidence that I won’t loose my way, so to speak. IMHP (in my humble opinion), I believe that rewriting a novel might be easier than first starting out. Here are three of my reasons.

First, at least I have a basis of the story. I’ve put my thoughts and ideas down on paper. It doesn’t have to be great but at least I have something written down. I might not use everything or even anything at all but that’s okay.

Second, it’s something you can proofread/mark up. I like to print out the story and mark it up with a red pen. I write my comments on it and I have something visual to go back to whenever I need it. Personally, I’m not a big fan of editing on a screen. I have always found it more useful to me to write out corrections and comments.

Lastly, at least the story exists. It is out there and that just makes it all the better. This motivates me to work to make the story better. It’s the process that solidifies the main storyline and other aspects I want to include.

In essence, everyone has their own methods on how they do things. Finding what works for you is just another step in the process.