Top 2014 Posts – #6 – How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

To end the year, I’ve decided to spotlight my top 10 blog posts from 2014. I went into my stats page and looked up those articles, stories, and other published pieces that had the most number of views. Some surprised me, others did not.

Today, we’re up to #6: How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

IMG_4159After attending Chuck Sambuchino’s Colorado Writing Workshop last month, I can smile and nod at this post. Because everything in it is exactly what he taught me during that conference. So, be sure to read it if you haven’t and take to heart its important lessons.


 Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! Although I’m still a few months away from finishing my manuscript, I’m always on the lookout for useful tips, dos and don’ts, and lessons about the querying process.

writing_humour_synopsis-scaled500Today’s gem, courtesy of Writer’s Digest and the ever helpful Chuck Sambuchino, focuses on the dreaded synopsis…Oh, come on. Don’t deny it. You’re as “ugh” about this step in the querying process as I am. Thankfully this article makes it a little easier by giving us five tips to use as basic guidelines. So, before you sit down to write yours, check it out!

How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

1. Reveal everything major that happens in your book, including the ending. Heck, revealing the story’s ending is a synopsis’s defining unique characteristic. You shouldn’t find a story’s ending in a query or in-person pitch, but it does leak out in a synopsis. On this note, know that a synopsis is designed to explain everything major that happens, not to tease — so avoid language such as “Krista walks around a corner into a big surprise.” Don’t say “surprise,” but rather just tell us what happens.

To read the entire article, click here!

For more useful advice, follow Writer’s Digest and Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter!

Previous Top 10 2014 Posts:

#7: Into Paradise

#8: Music Monday – Love The Way You Lie

#9: Operation Disney

#10: Over The Edge

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Photo credit: 

http://writerswrite1.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/how-to-write-a-one-page-synopsis/

How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! Although I’m still a few months away from finishing my manuscript, I’m always on the lookout for useful tips, dos and don’ts, and lessons about the querying process.

writing_humour_synopsis-scaled500Today’s gem, courtesy of Writer’s Digest and the ever helpful Chuck Sambuchino, focuses on the dreaded synopsis…Oh, come on. Don’t deny it. You’re as “ugh” about this step in the querying process as I am. Thankfully this article makes it a little easier by giving us five tips to use as basic guidelines. So, before you sit down to write yours, check it out!

How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

1. Reveal everything major that happens in your book, including the ending. Heck, revealing the story’s ending is a synopsis’s defining unique characteristic. You shouldn’t find a story’s ending in a query or in-person pitch, but it does leak out in a synopsis. On this note, know that a synopsis is designed to explain everything major that happens, not to tease — so avoid language such as “Krista walks around a corner into a big surprise.” Don’t say “surprise,” but rather just tell us what happens.

To read the entire article, click here!

For more useful advice, follow Writer’s Digest and Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter!

Photo credit: 

http://writerswrite1.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/how-to-write-a-one-page-synopsis/

Friday Funny and a Return to Crazy Writer Status

Happy Friday, everyone! Wait, it is Friday, right? Hold on…

Okay, I double checked. It is. Phew!

Well, besides being totally out of whack since the long Labor Day Weekend, my week went well. It started off on a high note with a trip to Aspen for the JAS music festival, and it has ended on a high note with a revival of my manuscript. It appears I’ve finally broken free of the swarm of butterflies that have been distracting me since round one of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge.

Woot-woot!

I can always tell when I’m back on a roll when I turn into a “crazy writer”. Basically, I get irritated, impatient, and grumpy. All I want to do is write. Write, write, write! I don’t want to exercise, or do chores, or eat food, or watch TV, or hang out with friends…In a nutshell, if it doesn’t revolve around my story, I just don’t want to deal with it.
Yeah, I’m total a wackadoodle when my creative engine starts running at full steam…But don’t worry, I don’t ever succumb to complete hermit-ville. I do my best to find a balance between reality and la-la land. Try 😉

I know part of my “crazy” resurgence comes from the knowledge that my schedule for September is going to be–overall–calm. There are no imminent threats of butterfly swarms on the horizon. Which means I’ll be able to put all of my focus into my book. Which means I’ve got no excuses not to get a lot of work done. Which means I should probably stop rambling here and get to writing, huh?

So, in honor of my return to “crazy writer” status, here is today’s Friday Funny. Enjoy!
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How was your week? Anyone else thrown off after the long Labor Day Weekend? How about your manuscript? Is it on track? Or are you still being swarmed by the evil butterflies?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Somethin’ Bad – Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert

Book of the Month – The Maze Runner – James Dashner

How to Intensify Conflict & Deepen Characters—The Wound

Photo Credits: 

http://www.reactiongifs.com/crazy/

http://www.teen.com/2013/12/11/celebrities/emma-stone-wingwoman-funny-gifs/

http://www.teen.com/2014/08/12/random-stuff/skinny-girl-problems/attachment/gossip-girl-blair-stop-talking/

http://www.yourtango.com/2014207592/tv-love-23-things-make-no-sense-pretty-little-liars-episodes-season-4-finale

Avoid These 25 Newbie Writer Mistakes

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! I think it’s fair to say that all of us are at different levels with our writing. Some of us have been at it for years, while others of us are just beginning. In my opinion, today’s Twitter gem is a great source for everyone (despite its “newbie” title).

apa-guidelines-for-writing3Even if you know the general do’s and don’ts of writing, it never hurts to brush up on “the rules”. And yes, I put “the rules” in quotations because there’s no right or wrong way to do any of this. But there are basic ways that should be considered. So check out this article by author and speaker, Jody Hedlund:

Avoid These 25 Newbie Writer Mistakes

1. Starts the opening paragraph with flowery, verbose, or elaborate descriptions. (A seasoned writer will try to start with a hook, usually a life-altering situation or action.)

2. Stops the story/plot/action to describe a room or person or scene. (A seasoned writer will try to weave those descriptions in small pieces as the story unfolds.)

3. Describes any and/or everything. (A seasoned writer will pick strategic “props” to bring on “stage” that help convey a deeper meaning, theme, mood, or contribute to the plot.)

To read the entire article, click here!

And for more useful advice, follow Jody Hedlund on Twitter!

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Related Articles

 The Top 5 Mistakes Amateur Writers Make

Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find

Avoid These Common Fiction Writing Mistakes Like the Plague

Photo credit: 

http://essaybasics.com/apa-guidelines-for-writing/

Music Monday – Human – Christina Perri

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

 

writing-to-musicAs you read in my Friday Funny, I didn’t get much work done on my manuscript last week. Life was busy-busy, and distraction after distraction bombarded me. This weekend, however, I was able to get things back on track. It was a little rough, but I managed to focus and squeeze out a rough draft of my chapter 19. Phew!

This morning, while driving to work, I heard a song that helped boost my motivation and get my sluggish mind up and running again:

“Human” by Christina Perri.

christina-perri-600x450Since I’ve arrived at those highly anticipated “bang” chapters in my story, there’s been a lot of action and mayhem. But beneath all of that action and mayhem, there’s been a lot of emotion too. My characters are dealing with the pain of betrayal, the horror of enlightenment, and–perhaps worst of all–the regret of knowing the choices they made were the wrong ones.

My characters are just like everyone else: human. They make mistakes, they bleed, they cry. And they seek forgiveness from those they’ve wronged. I want to draw all of those emotions out and bring them to life for my readers. I want people to feel what my characters feel. “Human” will help me do that.

So, if you’re looking for a powerful, beautiful, moving song, take a listen to “Human” by Christina Perri!

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

 

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://blastoutyourstereo.com/news/music-news/christina-perri-human-music-video-7242

https://www.tumblr.com/search/christina%20perri

Friday Funny with Whys, Puzzles, and Lots of Tangled Thoughts

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you all had a great week. Mine has been…

Yeah, ick with a side of frustration.

First, my job has been crazy busy, so not only have I lost a significant amount of time during the day to work on my manuscript, but also at night. By the time I get home, workout, and eat dinner, I’m too exhausted to sit down and work on my book. In fact, I haven’t worked on it at all the past few nights. I’ve instead opted for things like retail therapy and hanging out with a friend to watch the Delirium pilot.

Second, I hit a snafu with my story’s plot. After I sent my beta reader my last set of chapters, she returned with positive and negative feedback. Bright side, she LOVED my chapter 7. Downside, she challenged me on the general crux–the main “Why?”–of my entire plot.

Truthfully, it’s an old argument between us; one we’ve had since I optioned this book’s archaic version to Hollywood a few years ago. It seems no matter how many explanations I give her, and no matter how many solutions I come up with to make it better, she’s never satisfied. I finally hit my wit’s end last weekend after she yet again complained.

“What do you want me to say?” I snapped at her. “What do you want to hear?”

“I don’t know,” she sighed. “Just something…”

AHHHHH! I had no idea how to make her happy. Nothing I said was the right “something”.

Well, after a mini meltdown and a lot of brainstorming, I finally struck gold. I said the right “something” and she gave me the thumb’s up.

*cue glittered confetti and party streamers*

So, now that that’s finally settled, I need to go back and revise the first seven chapters to thread in my new “Why”. It shouldn’t be too hard–mostly tweaking my characters to ensure their motives align with the story’s altered direction. The real challenge will be figuring out how to unravel my “Why”. It’s so roundy-woo and all over the beepity-beep place, I get a headache just thinking about it.

Ironically, a fellow blog follower emailed me this week asking for advice on how to figure out the overall “Why” of a story. After a small chuckle and lot of thought, I wrote him back and said: A story is like a puzzle. Each piece must matter, and each piece must fit…

Well, everyone, I’ve got about a million puzzle pieces scattered across the floor right now and all I can do is stare at them.

So, in honor of my “Why” week, and all the new plot twists and turns, ups and downs, overs and unders, and–ahhhh!

*deep breath*

Here, enjoy today’s Friday Funny! 😉

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How was your week? Are you scratching your head like me and trying to figure out your story’s “Why”? Or have you already put together that complicated puzzle?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here go:

Music Monday – Freak Like Me – Halestorm

NaNoWriMo Tips – How To Deal With Deadlines

10 Tips To Get You Revision Ready

Music Monday – Royals – Lorde

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-and-music
To be honest, I’ve been obsessed with a few songs this week. So, I tossed a coin on which one to choose, and the winner was Lorde’s “Royals”.
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I find inspiration in this song for one simple reason: I LOVE Lorde’s voice. It has a husky, resonating quality to it with just a hint of edge. And that’s how I’ve always imagined my protagonist’s voice to sound like. Sharp yet soft, dark yet light. It’s kinda freaky, but also completley motivating. Every time I listen to “Royals”, my MC springs to life. I can actually “hear” her, which leads me to writing her in a sharper, realer, more genuine way.
So, if you’d like to listen to “Royals”, here you go! Maybe you’ll find inspiration in it as well?

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.