10 rules for writing a synopsis

Wonderful advice if you hate writing synopses. (They’re fun, if you approach them in the right way.) Tip — try writing your synopsis before you start plotting. It’s a great way to kick off your novel.

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Carole BlakeI’m away for a few days so here is something from a year ago which I think is still interesting – synopsis training.
The agent Carole Blake, author of From Pitch to Publicationsays that any story can be boiled down to:

What does the main character want, and what’s stopping them from getting it?

If there’s no conflict, there’s no story.
Here’s a couple of examples she gives:

Macbeth:
What does Macbeth want? To be King of Scotland.
What’s stopping him? There’s already a king, with two sons as his heirs.

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:
What does Gabriel Oak want? To marry Bathsheba Everdene. What’s stopping him? She becomes a woman of property, and falls in love with the wrong man.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who actually enjoys writing a synopsis but it is an essential writing tool – especially if your aim is…

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Havisham: A Novel, by Ronald Frame – A Review

This book is on my TBR list…

Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

Havisham A Novel by Ronald Frame 2013 x 200Dear Mr. Frame:

I recently read Havisham, your prequel and retelling of Charles Dickens Great Expectations, one of my favorite Victorian novels. Your choice to expand the back story of minor character Miss Havisham, the most infamous misandry in literary history, was brilliant. Jilted at the altar she was humiliated and heartbroken, living the rest of her days in her tattered white wedding dress in the decaying family mansion, Satis House. Few female characters have left such a chilling impression on me. I was eager to discover your interpretation of how her early life formed her personality and set those tragic events into motion.

Dickens gave you a fabulous character to work with. (spoilers ahead) Born in Kent in the late eighteenth-century, Catherine’s mother died in childbirth leaving her father, a wealthy brewer, to dote upon his only child. Using his money to move her up the social ladder…

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Is Your Subconscious Mind Setting You Up for Failure?

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons

In my last post we discussed striving to find balance and giving ourselves permission to be imperfect. This brought about some interesting discussion and I’d like to expound. I confess. Americans are notorious for “shortening” the language.

We use a lot of words as synonyms when, truth be told, they aren’t. Or we have “blanket words” which mask truth, thus prevent us from making progress in life, with relationships, our career or even ourselves.

As writers, we of all people should appreciate the power of words. We have the ability to create entire new worlds that could possibly endure hundreds or thousands of years…all by using various combinations of symbols. Words have creative and destructive power. This is true in non-fiction, fiction and in life.

When I began college, I was on scholarship to become a doctor, thus spent over three years…

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Want to Write a Bestselling Romance? (Giggle)

Here’s how to write a bestselling romance novel:

My strategy, then, is to scour the press for stories of stalkers and weirdos, the kind where the guy has a random encounter with a woman for about 20 minutes, and basically follows her halfway around the world, getting to know all her friends, getting a job at her office, going through her trash and probably ultimately killing her in a moment of unstable desperation. I’ll then just swap out the final killing bit and replace it with “grabs her and kisses her” and have her melt in his arms.

 

 

Revisions in Scrivener

Wonderful advice, as always, Gwen. Thanks for the helpful reminder about snapshots. I tend to forget, and then gnash my teeth when I get too happy slashing and burning. I’m putting SNAPSHOTS on a sticky and pasting it to my monitor. 🙂

Gwen Hernandez

Proofreader's marks With my debut romantic suspense novel releasing next week, you can bet I’ve been spending a lot of time in revisions over the last few months. Everyone has their own process for handling edits in Scrivener, but since some of you have asked, here’s mine.

I make all of my changes directly in Scrivener. I prefer to work with two monitors when I’m referring to comments from an editor, beta reader, or proofreader. If you can beg, borrow, or buy a second monitor, I can’t recommend it enough (unless you have a mammoth one already, in which case you can probably just view both windows side by side).

There are three main tools I use when working on revisions: annotationssnapshots, and color-coded labels. (The links will take you to my posts with more detail on using each feature.)

Annotations

Annotations are a pre-revision tool for me…

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