Friday, March 5, 2010

This, That and a Video...

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 I am an unpublished author (WOO – give it up for the unpublished).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 Deadlines, even for an unpublished author, can work.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)


Karyn Good said...

I love the video. Too Funny! And the synopsis...It's about a policeman, well not policeman but more like a guy who's got issues. Well, not issues but you know... stuff. And there's sex but no shark. Maybe a pebble, although not a pebble per say, but a disruption. Well, not a disruption, more like a flower. Not a flower but a Lily who doesn't like sharks. But she does like sex, just not with policemen and pebbles. Or not.

Stupid synopsis.

Janet said...

Hey, Karyn - I know you watched it yesterday and loved it, so thanks for watching again. I keep replaying it myself because it's just so darn funny!

And your synopsis, this one, is hilarious. Great sequey from sex to Lily and tied in with sharks and sex - and Chase being a policeman, but not, with issues. Or not! Very well done, girl.

Yes, synopses are rather stupid, aren't they? Necessary evil?

Lu said...

Okay, I confess, I watched it again, on top of the two times I watched yesterday. ROFL, so glad this is a parody. It is, isn't it????

I'm happy the book report suggestion worked for you. Do you want to do mine now??

Jana Richards said...

Hi Janet,
I'm glad the book report idea worked for you. Anything that helps with a synopsis is great in my books. Stupid synopsis.

Karen, your synopsis here is too funny! I wonder what would happen if you sent this one to an editor! You'd definitely get marks for having a sense of humour.

This video is crazy. Heaven save us all from editors like this!


Janet said...

I hope it's a parody, Lu - yikes! And I just realized that although I gave you props for the book report idea, I forgot to say a huge thank you! Really, the suggestion just opened up the whole process - a 200 watt bulb went off in my head. So, thank you, thank you, thank you, Lu!

No, I don't want to do yours :)

Janet said...

Hey, Jana - yes, stupid synopses! If it wasn't such a vital tool in the writer's tool kit, I'd try my hardest to not learn how to do one. But, it is important so I may as well try to get better at writing them.

Karyn's synopsis here is great - maybe instead of thinking of a book report, she just needs to think of a parody!

connie said...

Hi Janet
The video is too much! I laughed until the tears came.

A synopsis is a tool in the writer's toolkit you say. Wonderful idea! Thanks!
Kids are always borrowing tools and never bringing them back. S - I will loan one my synopsis and never look back.

May I have Pebbles,the sexy shark, kissing a squid named Lily, for a bookcover. It would certainly draw an editor's attention since the book is about Alexander the Great.

What all else happens between the flotsam and jetsam during the twilight hour?

connie said...

Does this help in writing a snotsis?
Answer Who did What to Whom, When and Why?
Well, it worked when I wrote obituaries...

Janet said...

Hey there, Connie! Yes, that video made me cry, too - mostly because of the similarity to all the voices sounding exactly like that in my head :)

Your obit synopsis plan just might work. You've got all the bits and pieces - you'll have to give it a try and then share your experience with us. I'm going to write it on a sticky and put it on my wall to remind myself to cover those major questions. Very succinct!