THIS: Deadlines – amazing what deadlines can do for a writer. I am an unpublished author (WOO – give it up for the unpublished). I don’t have deadlines with the exception of those I create for myself. And some days it’s very hard to find the self-motivation to get things done. Writing can sometimes be on the last line of my "To Do" list! We’ve mentioned before, here on The Prairies, about time management and teaming up with others in order to get a project finished. Recently, Karyn and I set February as our Synopsis Month (more on that later) – and worked together to get synopses written in a timely manner. The night before our first deadline, I was scribbling away madly to get something, anything, written. Deadlines, even for an unpublished author, can work.
A couple of weeks ago I started Friday Fiction over on my personal blog – and last week I began a story there that will be used for that blog only, no thoughts of sending it out to the publishing masses. Well, talk about a deadline. Now I know that every Friday I need to have an instalment ready to post. And by Monday, I’m already planning on what to write. I’m excited – thrilled to have the creative juices overflowing and my head hurting with the bevy of scenarios running through it at lightening speed (more on that later). That self-imposed, possibly insane deadline is channelling my energy back into writing. And the really crazy thing is that with my excitement over this new story, I have renewed enthusiasm for the other stories languishing on my hard drive.
My next deadline idea is to coerce a relative (waves to Sister-in-law) into receiving regularly scheduled e-mails. I might even try the psychological trick of e-mailing myself the chapters, although I think I just may ignore myself, especially if I get too demanding.
THAT: Synopsis – urgh! Yes, I’ve already posted about my displeasure of writing a synopsis over on my personal blog, but I’ll say it again here. I hate synopsis. But, Synopsis Month was a break through for me. One of my regular commentors, Lu, suggested I look at writing the dreaded synopsis like a high school book report. I figured, what the heck, and gave it a shot. It worked. Now, I must also admit that I’m not done my synopsis (yikes on missing that deadline), but only because I ran into a hiccup about the plot and which way the characters should go (more on that later). If I hadn’t had that little glitch, the synopsis would be finished – and I’d be very, very happy with it.
A book report – taking the highlights of the entire book and convincing someone in your class to read it (or at least convincing the teacher that you read the thing in its entirety). The overall feel/tone of the book should come through as well as keeping in mind what the main character is trying to accomplish. Since I already had my query/blurb written, I knew that I wanted Jane’s trials and tribulations to be front and center. I also wanted to highlight some of the highs, the hope that motivates Jane to keep moving forward in her quest. Karyn posted a great blog this week on premise and that’s something that needs to come through in your synopsis – just like it needs to be showcased in a book report.
The book report idea also let me use my voice. Most of my synopses attempts have been void of any voice, let alone mine. I don’t know if will work for everyone, but if you’re having problems writing a synopsis, try Lu’s suggestion and write it like a book report!
VIDEO: As promised, this is the ‘more on that later’ part of the blog. Since I’m joyously immersed back into my writing world, I’ve re-discovered my friends Muse and EE. So I have a plethora of voices in my head at all times (including the middle of the night). It’s hard to describe exactly what it sounds like without admitting to a mental lapse and picking out a lovely pink straight jacket for the spring season. This video (which I posted on my personal blog yesterday, so if you’ve seen it – watch it again ;) is exactly what happens in my head when I’m trying to decide what will happen next. The video is an editor in discussion with his author, making plotting suggestions (parody). I love it – hope you do, too.
So, there’s This, That, and a Video, People of Blogland. Feel free to comment on deadlines, synopses, or those pesky voices in your head. And, if you haven’t visited yet, I’d love for you to stop by my personal blog (this didn’t start out as a blatant self-promotion, but it’s there now, so I’m going with it). Have a great weekend!
Janet (fingers crossed the video actually shows up properly)