Come Along With Me As I Write My Novels
(And a lot of other new writing experiences too)
Everyone tells me that patience is part of the writing world. A lot of hurry up and wait. They weren't kidding. I turned in my manuscript to the editor I hired the day before Thanksgiving. Now I wait. Wait for her feedback. Wait to work on changes. Wait to see if my hard word is validated, crushed, or somewhere in between (I'm guessing somewhere in between).
While the waiting can be excruciating, it's actually a gift. I have so much else to do. I've been working on my 'book hook,' and on my agent research, and on this website. I created #writersquick5 which I am SO excited about (and is already proving to be one of my favorite parts of this new adventure - next interview coming Monday).
And, this week I also worked on my book summary. Or is it synopsis? (Those words seem to be used interchangeably in reference to this type of document.)
The book summary is 2-3 pages explaining your book's plot. No embellishments, purely what happens. I'm not sure what it'll be used for, but everyone says you have to have it. I'm guessing it's used for people to get a quick shot at the plot of your book, to make sure it has an arc and a conclusion, without reading the whole thing.
At first I thought that it would be hard, like the book hook was hard, but when I sat down to write it I finished in one afternoon. That, of course, made me incredibly nervous. How could I have popped it out so quickly?
I think the answer is that I didn't use the book to write it. I used my outline. I have a 20+ page outline that details what will happen in each chapter. As I wrote, I edited the outline for any changes (which inevitably happened) so I know the outline was up-to-date. Full disclosure: I don't think I can even take full credit for my outline, as it was my editor that insisted that I have one and 'green-lit' the final version I eventually used to write.
Using the outline instead of the book made things flow very easily, because I was already taking something that had a stunted feel and just added a little more staccato to it. Take out the adjectives. Take out the emotion. Just say what happens.
Of course, time will tell. Perhaps when I find an agent (claiming it!) s/he will read it and tell me I did it all wrong. But, at least, due to this fortuitous time I have to wait and get other things done, I will have something to show. A book summary. At a little less than three pages. Boom.