Jane Friedman provides us with information on how to write a novel synopsis. Thank you for this very educational post, Jane!
It’s probably the single most despised document you might be asked to prepare: the synopsis.
The synopsis is sometimes necessary because an agent or publisher wants to see, from beginning to end, what happens in your story. Thus, the synopsis must convey a book’s entire narrative arc. It shows what happens and who changes, and it has to reveal the ending. Synopses may be required when you first query your work, or you may be asked for it later.
Don’t confuse the synopsis with sales copy, or the kind of marketing description that might appear on your back cover or in an Amazon description. You’re not writing a punchy piece for readers that builds excitement. It’s not an editorial about your book. Instead, it’s an industry document that helps an agent or editor quickly assess your story’s appeal and if it’s worth them reading the entire manuscript.
K. M. Allan helps us with four steps to write a book blurb, something we all fear one way or another. Thank you so much for all your efforts, K. M.!
Any writer who’s had to write a query or a synopsis for a submission knows how hard it can be.
Trying to boil the essence of your carefully crafted story to a few paragraphs, or a page seems like the hardest thing ever.
I’m here to tell you it’s not. And that’s because there’s a greater horror: a book blurb.
A book blurb, or the book jacket description, summarizes the best part of your book in only 150 words (yep! one hundred and fifty).
If you’re wondering how to do that and where to start, it involves penning multiple drafts, lots of cutting, losing your sanity, and planning your blurb with the help of these steps.
Writing A Book Blurb In 4 Easy Steps
Step 1:Add A Tag-Line
Open with one catchy line, a question, or a hook.
Step 2:Introduce Your Main Character
Thanks so much for this very educational and supportive article on your blog Blonde Write More, on how to survive deleting characters. So far I haven’t had to do that yet – but I admit, I had to kill one of mine which nearly broke my heart.
Writing the death of a much-loved character can be demanding and can leave you emotionally wiped out.
Did you know that there is another literary situation which can be just as challenging and one which can cast a nasty gloom over your writing life – deleting a character from your story.
I am not talking about deleting a random minor character; a fictional person who you created one day after too much coffee and inserted into the middle of your novel, just to beef it out (technical literary term) and then deleted them the following day after realising your stupidity. *Sigh*
No. I am talking about those major changes to a draft which result in you deciding to get rid of a key character.
I guarantee this fictional person will have been with you since the start of your story and someone who you have history with. You and this character will have been through some stuff; your rocky first draft, that dreadful second draft which no one liked, your third draft where you felt all hope was lost and the fourth draft which resulted in you wondering why the hell you had ever taken up writing.
You and this character will have shared story in-jokes. They will have been there for you during the bad times. You know them inside out and they are like a good friend.
Melissa Donovan published a very educational blog post about the elimination of redundancies in our writing. Thank you very much for your hard work, Melissa. That post is very helpful!
Writers are human, and sometimes we make mistakes. You’re probably aware of the most common mistakes in writing: comma splices, run-on sentences, mixing up homophones, and a variety of other broken grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules.
In my coaching work, I’ve noticed another common mistake: redundancy. Sometimes we use repetition effectively, but most of the time, by saying the same thing twice, we’re littering our writing with unnecessary language, or verbiage. If we remove the excess, we can improve our writing by making it more concise.
Understanding and Identifying Redundancies in Writing
Dictionary.com defines redundancy as a noun meaning “superfluous repetition or overlapping, especially of words.” Its cousin, the adjective redundant, means “characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas” or “exceeding what is usual or natural.”
Don is a very gifted author who is generously sharing his experience and wisdom with all of us. Thank you so much, Don Massenzio!
As I look at my writing notebook (you should consider carrying one), I see the dozens of story, setting and character ideas that I have collected and I’m both inspired and anxious.
There are many ideas that I want to turn into stories. It’s hard to write one at a time. At any given time I have a book and some kind of serial or short story going at the same time. This is tough with a 50 hour per seek day job and 45 weeks of travel per year, but I somehow manage to squeeze in some writing.
As I looked at these ideas, I began thinking about where the ideas that I’ve recorded come from. It though that telling you some of my sources might help you look at some idea generation possibilities you might not have thought of.
Lorraine Ambers provides us with six different was to end a novel, a blog post I immediately fell in love with and decided to share. Thanks for this article, Lorraine.
The ending of a novel needs to leave the reader satisfied and should reflect the pace and tone of the rest of the story. The truth is, endings are hard. The writer must conclude all subplots and bring clarity and resolution to the conflicts the characters face.
I’m going to share six of the most effective methods for concluding your novel.
To be continued…
This method is often used to entice the reader into continuing on with a series. So that the ending creates anticipation instead of resolution. I think this works best when the overarching plot remains and the characters continue onwards with their journey, for example, a looming war.
Warning: Conclude the subplots and character journeys set out for this particular story or the reader will feel cheated.
Kristen Lamb provides us with 5 newbie mistakes that will kill a perfectly good story. I, once again, want to thank Kristen for all the knowledge and experience she constantly shares with us. We appreciate it so much, Kristen!
We all make mistakes, especially when learning anything new. Writing is not immune to process. Contrary to popular belief, writing great stories is HARD.
It takes time, devotion, training, mentorship, blood, sacrifice and the willingness to make a ton of mistakes. This means countless hours and probably years of practice (which also means writing a ton of crappy books/stories).
As I mentioned in the last post, George R.R. Martin didn’t become a legend because of his marketing abilities and mad HootSuite skills.
No, he’s a master because he’s practiced and honed raw talent until he could create a series that’s become a global phenomenon.
Same with J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and all the other ‘greats.’ They didn’t begin as legends. It took time, practice, and a fair share of ugly drafts and stories.
With practice, we learn what works, what doesn’t, what sizzles and what fizzles. We find, develop and mature our writing voice.
Don Massenzio provides us with a great post about using the KISS method in our writing. He gives great examples and explains clearly what to do. Thank you, Don!
I remember 9th grade English. This was the year where my high school began to concentrate on expanding the vocabulary of students. I remember the vocabulary workbooks where we had to focus on the spelling, definitions and usage of words.
We were encouraged to use these newly learned words in our daily conversation and, especially, in our writings.
I learned words like:
Dotard – A person, especially an old person, exhibiting a decline in mental faculties; a weak-minded or foolish old person. (I’m sensitive to this one these days).
Don Massenzio provides us with his excellent blogging strategy. This is the second part of it. I think he does a phenomenal job. Thank you so much for sharing, Don!
This is a second installment in my series on my blogging strategy. As I relay the things that I’ve learned and that seem to work for me over the past five years that I’ve been blogging, it’s important to note that I’m not an expert and that my blogging process is a continuing series of trial and error.
My first post on this topic talked about how I’ve evolved my usage of blogging statistics over time. If you want to check it out, you can find it HERE.
In this post, I’m going to dig into my reading schedule and how I select posts from other bloggers to be shared.
Daily Review of Posts:
I currently follow 120 blogging sites. (118 if I remove my own two sites). This sounds like a lot but, as I review posts daily, not every site posts every day. This results in about 35-40 blogging sites that I check out every morning on Monday through Saturday.
To read the entire post go to:
Don Massenzio provides us with a second post on challenges faced by Indie authors. Of course I am re-blogging this one too as it’s informative, helpful and shows Don Massenzio’s experience and knowledge. Thank you, Don!
This is the second in a series of posts centered on the challenges faced by indie authors as we try to compete in the vast ocean of competitors/cohorts that is filled with sharks and other predators. Here are more that I’ve come up with to get you thinking and to foster a discussion:
The Stigma of Self-Publishing
I refrain from calling what we do self-publishing. I am an independent author. My publisher is Amazon. Instead of having services provided to me by a traditional publisher, I outsource them to providers that fit within my budget and style.
I recall trying to join a local author group and being refused because I was “one of those self-publishers”. Truth be told, I had essentially published more books than the total of all of the authors in the group. Many of them were waiting for some big publisher to say yes. Of those that had been “fortunate” enough to land a publishing deal, my sales were much higher then any of them. The reviews I’ve received for my books were also very positive.
To read the entire blog post go to: