Jilly: Cut and Paste

Cut and PasteHappy Fourth of July tomorrow to the other Ladies, and to all American readers of 8LW!

I’d love a day or two of picnics and fireworks, but what with the constitutional upheavals over here, the incessant rain, and the many things I still have to accomplish before I leave for RWA Nationals, my fun will have to wait until I get to California.

This week’s writing task was to nail the Dreaded Synopsis for my romantic fantasy WIP. Or rather, a couple of synopses, since I needed a 500-word version and another that could be up to ten double-spaced pages. Synopsis writing is a necessary evil that sucks the creative life out of me, which is why I’ve been putting it off.

Continue reading

Nancy: (Just Like) Starting Over

writing-plan-bA few weeks ago, I told you about my quest to get my butt in the chair and words on the page, to re-engage with my WIP after long months away from it due to obligations of the dreaded ‘day job’. Getting my writing mojo back was not going well, and I need to take Nike’s advice and ‘just do it’. Just sit down and type.

At first, that approach seemed to work. I’d get down a few hundred words here and there. Then I realized some scenes were nothing like I remembered them, and I made notes about fixing them. After that, I realized some scenes I would have sworn I’d written were really just in my head, not on the page. Things were going from bad to worse.

But we are a tenacious group, we writers. So one night I sat down with a glass of wine (hey, tenacity sometimes needs a boost) and pondered how I should approach this mess of a WIP I’d made. Although it wasn’t so much that I’d made a mess of it. Stepping away from it for so long had allowed my subconscious to write a better story. It had fixed some plot holes and gotten to the deeper essence of my characters, which drives how they will act/react, which drives the plot. See, a glass (or maybe it was two) of wine can do wonderful things for perspective. Continue reading

Justine: Hook, (Log)line, and Sinker…er, Synopsis, pt. 3

Even the title

Even the title “Jurassic Park” is its own form of high concept. Poster (c) 1993 Universal Studios

So, I’ve got a logline and synopsis…the last thing I’m missing is my high concept (the hook).

I dread this.

Well, let me clarify. I dread this for Three Proposals. I’ve had no problems coming up with high concept ideas for the other stories that are swimming around in my brain. But for this one? Ugh. It’s been a struggle.

For the uninitiated, a high concept is a way to convey the story in a few short, easy to recognize ideas that hook the reader (or listener). Here are some examples: Continue reading

Justine: Hook, (Log)line, and Sinker…er, Synopsis, pt. 2

justine covington, eight ladies writing, synopsis writingWelcome to Week Two of how to write awesome pitches (’cause conference season is soon upon us!). Last week, I covered how to write a log line. This week, it’s the dreaded synopsis.

As most of you know, a synopsis is a short version of your story, a sort of 10,000 foot view. When agents and editors ask for a partial and a synopsis, they’re looking for two things:

  1. Can this person write (they’ll determine that from the partial), and
  2. Can this person plot (is their story a series of unfortunate events, or is there some smokin’ GMC going on?)

To many people, writing the synopsis is incredibly intimidating. You think about all the great story pieces in your book that you’re sure the agent/editor needs to see. Well, they don’t. Continue reading

Justine: Hook, (Log)line, and Sinker…er, Synopsis

writer fears, eight ladies writing, justine covingtonIt’s that time of year here at Eight Ladies Writing – RWA Nationals is upon us, just a few months away – and it’s time to start perfecting (and memorizing) our pitches.

Actually, for me, it’s more than my pitch. It’s my logline (which I’ve struggled with), my synopsis (which I’m pretty happy with), and my “high concept” (which I don’t yet have for Three Proposals).

Over the next three weeks, I’m going to break down how to write each of these, using Three Proposals as an example. This week, I’ll start with the logline.

The history of the logline is interesting. It started Continue reading

Nancy: In Praise of the Brief Synopsis (and How to Write Yours)

Tell me your story...in a few words.

Tell me your story…in a few words.

For most of us writers, there comes a time in our lives when we have to face the music, pull up our big-person pants, and take on a terrible task: writing a brief synopsis of our work. This is not to be confused with the long synopsis (5-10 single-spaced pages). This is the brief synopsis. One to two single-spaced pages. About 500-1,000 words. In which to summarize your 100,00-word work of genius. Yikes.

Today I’m going to discuss how to make the brief synopsis your friend. Okay, friend might be a bit strong. But it’s quite possible it’s going to be a necessary evil at some point in your writing life, if you plan to submit work to agents or editors, or to enter your work in contests. So I’ll share some ‘synopsis hacks’ that can make the process less painful, and possibly even worthwhile. I’m even going to suggest Continue reading