Friday, 24 September 2010

Synopsis Research


I am currently splitting my writing time between editing and writing the synopsis, chapter by chapter. It is taking longer than I thought but I think it has got a bit out of hand. I am currently at chapter sixteen and the synopsis is now ten pages long. WAY too long! So I have been having a look at some Literary Agency websites and the Agents who represent my favourite authors. This is what they ask for when sending a synopsis in the submissions pack: 
  • Full plot synopsis, 
  • outlining novel on one page, 
  • brief synopsis, 
  • simple synopsis of no more than a page. 
So from this I know that I need to do some serious editing on the synopsis. Serious editing. I also came across another agency asking for the synopsis to be simply three sentences long. So I am going to have some simple versions ready and also keep the long one too. You know, ‘just in case.’ 

I also had a rejection for a piece of flash fiction. This is a good thing because I got back some lovely, personal comments on how to improve the piece so now I have an idea how to expand the idea and possibly turn it into a short story. 

In other related writing news, I have sold my huge desk. No more magazine rack on the side, no shelf for my long-suffering printer, no book shelf along the top, no place for knick-knacks and no official home for my Macbook. This is for a good reason – it was too huge for when we move in December/January. So now I am on the look out for a nice one. This weekend I am planning on editing five chapters and writing more chapters into the synopsis. This will probably be done at either the dining room table, on the sofa or wrapped up in bed. It seems this non-desk working could be more comfortable than I first thought!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Happy Belated Roald Dahl Day

Monday 13th September was Roald Dahl Day. I had every intention of posting on Monday but got caught up with writing this synopsis and editing. I am currently aiming for one chapter to be edited and then written about for my synopsis every evening. I am currently on track (famous last words). 

Roald Dahl was my first favourite author. I borrowed from the library any titles I didn’t own. Relations would buy me his books and I even had a copy of the rail safety code too (with gruesome pictures of heads coming away from bodies if you hung you head out of the window). I had a huge (well it was huge for little me) hardback with Matilda, the BFG and George’s marvellous medicine and I needed to read it while it sat in a small table because it was so heavy. I also remember one teacher reading a chapter every afternoon from Boy but I couldn’t wait for her to finish so I got the book myself. The rat story was my favourite chapter. Even as a teenager I loved his short story, Royal Jelly. Just brilliant. Quentin Blake’s illustrations were splendid too. Roald Dahl was such a great writer because of his great imagination. He didn’t stick to that horrid rule of ‘write what you know.’ He went with this imagination. Anything and everything was possible. 

I can tell you my favourite quote: 

She whipped a pistol from her knickers” – Red Riding Hood, Revolting Rhymes. 

But to pick my favourite book? That is a hard one – it is either the BFG, Matilda or Revolting Rhymes.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Back From Holiday

I didn't get all of my planned reading done and I only edited 17 chapters but I was most doing this:


Now I am back and ready to knuckle down with another round of editing. This round won't be structural but rather checking and making sure it flows. I also want to make sure I don't like mistakes of accidently writing my character is five instead of fifty. I am reading the novel slowly and very closely to spot any inconsistencies.

I am also writing a chapter by chapter synopsis too.  I have only typed up two chapters and it's already two pages long so I am going to have to do some editing and 'killing my darlings' on that piece too.