So, the one “good” thing about all of the family issues that silenced my muse is that I was able to make some really good notes in an old fashioned notebook about the synopsis. My husband took the baby for a couple hours while I turned those notes into a synopsis.
With the first draft written, I can read and revise it on my iPad. (I have yet to find a way to type with any ease of the iPad while sitting on the recliner with a baby on my lap. Revising and reworking seems a bit easier, although still clunky).
I have already put in several revisions, and while it’s not done, it’s looking better.
I am going to send it to mt beta reader to see what she thinks before trying to revise it further.
Perhaps, in a couple of weeks, I will have my submission package finalized. Then, I will have to summon the courage for the pile of rejections coming.
One step at a time, one step at a time.
That fever my little one was running? Well, it never went away. I got that “mom” feeling late at night, and I sat up with her listening to her struggle to breathe. My husband thought it might just be congestion, but I was sure it was more than that.
I listened to that inner mom voice. A trip to urgent care and several x-rays later, and the doctors determined she has pneumonia. Pneumonia in an adult is bad. Pneumonia in a baby is really bad.
So between medicine, breathing treatments, and soothing and comforting her, my muse has gone silent. Not unexpected, really. I have never been as stressed as I was as I waited for the doctors to figure out what was wrong with my baby. Not even when I broke both of my own legs.
This will put my outlining skills to the test. And my characterization. And a whole bunch of other writing skills. It also means I’m behind on my day job. I feel bad for my co-workers as this is a really busy time of the year for us, but evening logging in from home, there is almost nothing I can accomplish while tending a baby this sick.
We’ll figure things out. It looks like she’s going to be fine, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.
After slogging through a query letter (thanks to my two beta readers who really helped me with it!), now I am supposed to write a synopsis.
There is far more information out there on query letters than on a synopsis, so I dropped a question in the inbox of a freelance editor’s blog I follow. He was kind enough to answer with more detail, and industry experience, than what I’ve seen out there.
Still, it’s “ugh”. I don’t want to write a synopsis. I want to work on my current project.
Know what? It’s still a hobby to me. I have published nothing. My day job pays the bills. I am going to run with the glory and joy of a new project until the words stop coming like rain on the 4th of July. (Maybe that’s just my 4th of July, but whatever).
I will write the synopsis. And revise it 17-18 times if my query is any measure, but I will do it when it doesn’t suck the joy out of the project I am currently working on.
No, not very professional of me. But I’m not a professional writer. Yet. Maybe not ever. I’m not published, and I may never be. But inspiration is so fleeting, and my muse loves to hide for long stretches at a time. That seems like a better time to take on the job aspects of writing a synopsis rather than when my muse is screaming in my ear and I can’t find the time to listen or type fast enough when I do have some time !
I have been super excited about my new project. Characters are alive, the story is taking shape, my outline is already 9 pages long as I include snippets of dialogue and other key points as they pop into my head.
Sure, a bunch of it will get cut and reworked, but it’s been heady. A taste of what made me love writing.
And then our baby got sick. She’s been running a fever of 101-103 (with Tylenol) for three days as I write this. At day 5, the doctor wants to see her (but not before, as he says little ones sometimes go through this, especially little ones in daycare). I had to take off of work. My husband had to take off of work. You’d think a day home would have seen some writing done, but a sick baby allows no time in front of a computer. She needs to be held, comforted and cuddled. She’s a baby. She’s sick. She hates being sick, and she’s mad as hell about it. And she lets you know. Constantly.
One of us has to be dedicated to her while the other deals with the rest of the things a household requires. Food. The other kid. Laundry. Dishes. Recycling. That’s just the few my sleep deprived brain can name that needed doing this morning.
It’s hard enough to deal with a sick little one, but it’s compounded by frustration. Sure, writing isn’t my day job, but its important to me, and I’d finally found this spark of energy.
I don’t want to lose this rhythm, this grove.
I’m hoping the time I have spent on the outline will see me through.
If not, I have to find something that will next time. This isn’t the first or last time that real life is going to get in the way.
There is nothing like a new project. It’s exciting.
I started working on an outline for the story. Rather than the very structured, rigid outlines I used for term papers, I have gone more with a stream of conscious flow. Snippets of conversations, or conversations I want to be had. Background. Plot ideas. Protagonists and their motivations. Antagonists and their motivations.
The outline itself is a bit sprawling and I am trying to tame it as I go. But it’s working better, allowing me to select snippets and insert them into the story as I go rather than being bound.
At 9 pages and over 3,000 words, the outline is a beast unto itself.
But this has helped me produce almost 10,000 rough draft words. That is an amazing amount for me to accomplish in such a short time. Yeah, they’re all garbage and will need to be rewrtten and reworked, but that’s how all of my rough drafts are.
I just need to find a way to keep the momentum!
Yeah, that synopsis I was going to work on . . . not so much this week.
So, I have finally finished the query to both of my beta readers’ satisfaction! I now have to start work on a synopsis. I have looked for some guidance on how to write one of these, and I will start that when inspiration wanes for my current manuscript. It is going so well right now, I just don’t want to rock the boat!
Here is the query letter after about 40 revisions. I am only slightly exaggerating . . .
Dear Person’s Name From the Writer’s Digest,
Discovering that her master plans to sacrifice her in a dark ritual, Brelynn flees and arranges to trade her secrets of sorcery to Aerius’s king in return for asylum in the holy city. Her master wants her back and unleashes his undead armies to retrieve her. Brelynn’s only chance to reach Aerius is the famed lich slayer Sir Marcus Valerian, a devout Paladin that suspects her of darker intentions. But Marcus swore to obey his king, and he fights beside her as they journey to Aerius.
As they travel together, they feel things neither expected. Brelynn tries to harden her heart, believing Marcus could never love a former servant of darkness. Marcus struggles to reconcile the teachings of his order with his feelings for her.
Determined to capture her and complete the ritual, Brelynn’s master launches a devastating assault that threatens to destroy Marcus and Brelynn’s love and devour their souls.
KNIGHT OF VALOR is a 76,000 word paranormal romance about love, self-realization and sacrifice.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
My E-Mail Address
I have started thinking through a new story idea. Completely new. And I am excited, filled with hope and potential. My mind is racing. Characters are talking in my head again.
I started writing an outline, but rather than my normally organized, bullet pointed outline, this is more stream of conscious.
Maybe it’ll work better, maybe not.
Funny thing, it’s the same difficult character from the other story. Put in a new story in a new way, and I feel like it works. I keep him out of his center of power without weakening him. It lets him be ruthless without asking him to be ashamed of it. It lets him be both protector and conqueror.
The female lead is the same and different. It lets her be softer, less powerful, but still in control. I think. I need to work more on her.
I am planning to save all those thousands of words on the other stories and try to recast them with different characters.
I am just glad they are interrupting my thoughts again.
Oh yeah, I am still working on that query. Slugging through it and very, very thankful for my two beta readers who haven’t cut me any slack on it.