Archive | December 2011

How I wrote my synopsis

This is just totally awesome and I must share it now. Disney Princesses in real life. I know; it’s making it’s way around the internet, but I still love it!

Anyway, the real thing that matters is the synopsis. That’s why you’re reading this, right?

I know that I said I would send out my manuscript by New Years. That isn’t happening. Why? Mainly because I need to use the school printers since my printer is really sloppy. My dad was there and the school ran out of paper, so I never had a chance to print it before I left. That being said, I will have everything ready to go by next year and I will submit something somewhere. (Okay, I’ll submit Just Trust Me to Tor.com.) Won’t get a rejection letter but it’s a start.

Another big reason why I didn’t submit my manuscript this year is I decided to rewrite my synopsis, and it turned out much better. My novel is 88,000 words; my original synopsis was 9 pages. The publisher wants 3-10. Then I saw this tip about how the best synopses have two sentences per chapter. (It was written by a publisher for the publishing house I am submitting too. BONUS!) I worked out the math and this is what I came up with each chapter is roughly ten pages.

Keep in mind that I write in Times New Roman at single spacing. When I refer to pages, I am in font size 12. (Though I normally write in 13. Not like you care.) So you want it close to that with these numbers if you decide to copy me.

So, how did I write my synopsis?

–I went through my manuscript and, every ten pages, I wrote two sentences about what happened.

–Since I already had a nine page synopsis written, I marked all of what I considered “important” sentences. The ones that I liked the sound of the best. Next time I’ll just write the sentences right in my outline.

–I combined all the sentences into one document and edited. At this point, so long as I did not add more than a few words, I allowed longer sentences to break into shorter sentences. The idea was to keep the word count close to the same, not necessarily the sentence count.

–I allowed myself one well-integrated paragraph that gave background information, since I’m writing in a different world than we live.

That’s it. If you want, I can post what I’ll be sending out as an example. Keep in mind (this is my disclaimer) that I have not ever been accepted / been published, and I don’t know if it is going to work. But this is what I did, so it might give you an idea of where to start. I realize that there isn’t a lot out there about writing synopses, especially in writing books.

Oh, and if you care, my final page count was about 3 pages, so I’m happy.

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Under the sea!

One of my many stories right now is about mermaids. I began wondering then about how far down a storm can be felt, which caused me to stumble upon an FAQ about submarines. Now, normally, I don’t like about.com but this page was actually rather useful. Not only did it give me my answer (Hurricanes can distort water about 400 feet below) but it answers about 49 other questions about submarines. It also gave me a few thoughts about space ships. Might be worth a glance at.

Drowning

One of things I eventually want to write/co-write/get is a medical book for writers. (Which I don’t think there is.) The idea is that it would provide a reference on common problems that characters might encounter, such as shootings, electrocutions, ect, and the procedure from it immediately happening to what someone can expect for a hospital stay (or if they discharge themselves earlier like Jack Bauer likes to do.)

In the meantime, I have to find what I need through my nursing background and online. I’m tempted to buy an old edition nursing textbook, because that also has a lot of information (Without the cost).

I did, however, write a scene recently that involved a child suspected of drowning and what they would do for him. (I mainly wanted to know if he would have an EKG on him.) In doing that, I found this website.

A wonderful source of information about drowning while writing a drowning scene

Yes, I hope that google will pick that up.

Music, music–banished!

I wrote a story for my creative writing class. No surprise there. I liked my story a lot too and I’ll probably post it here within the next couple of days. It’s really good actually (At least. I think so.).

Here’s the problem. This story revolves around the idea that a girl, Marie, basically hates her life, finds Johnny Cash as an artist and begins to really listen to him. Through his songs, she ends up saving herself. (It sounds morbid. Maybe it is a bit. I’m not sure.) Anyway, part of what I did here is integrate lyrics of Johnny Cash music into the story.

Did you know there is serious problems with that? I didn’t.

Apparently, you can’t just cite the songs as a source like a research paper and all is fine. People apparently want money from the lyrics, even if the person has been dead for 69 years.

This involves writing letters for each song, asking to use the lyrics (even if there is just two lines used). On top of that all, just because they were all recorded by Johnny Cash doesn’t mean that they all need to be written to whoever owns the Johnny Cash music. I looked at two songs, Flesh and Blood and Hurt, and both of them are owned by different people.

So basically… this means that the story I wrote either a) needs to get them completely edited out or b) is just another story that I can use to build my skill and not do anything else besides post it here.

*sigh*

Well, I’ll actually correct myself. After reading everything in this thread, well, most everything, it basically comes down to that you might or might not get help and you might or might not get permission. If you really, really, really need the lyrics in there, then you should include them. If not, then don’t. (Someone went as far as to say avoid poetry of all kind, which I typically agree with.)

There is the chance that having two copies work out well, because then if permission cannot be obtained, then the story can be submitted through the backup

Unfortunately, that doesn’t help me, because my story relies on my lyrics. She almost has a conversation with them.

So, I’m back down to one short story. That makes me sad. I really need to get better at writing.

Here’s another article about reprinting lyrics if you’re highly curious.

 

Oh my goodness, this is real!

I’m going to admit. I’m a procrastinator. I will wait as long as possible to do something so long as it can be done in enough time that I don’t lose sleep. (I like my sleep.) That is why I am currently writing a blog post and other things instead of studying for my final tomorrow. :)

At the beginning of this year, I mentioned that my goal is to get my first rejection letter. I need to do actually submit something or else I never will.

I haven’t yet. But I am working on it.

Like, I am actually gathering everything to submit this manuscript. Someone who I don’t know, but how could give me money, is actually going to read what I have written. (And probably promptly toss in the in the garbage.)

Yikes!

I’m almost freaking out and I’m almost getting excited at the same time. This is scary! And exciting. Both. Yeah. I might get addicted to this soon. :)

In the mean time, I must go eat lunch. I think the printer’s out of paper here anyway, so I can’t print anything until tonight. (Though I need to go obtain an envelope to mail this in.)

EDIT (about six hours later): Now I’m second guessing myself and thinking that maybe it isn’t ready. Oi! That’s why I need to do this. Because it’s never going to be ready for my satisfaction.