ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

IWSG post. I finished my first novel, now comes...Writing the dreaded synopsis ..with links.

Hello writer friends!

Even though it's A - Z month, IWSG is going ahead. This gives me the opportunity to tell you...

...I finally finished my first novel! It rocked in at nearly 60,000 words. I have four other novels in the works, but I decided to finish my 2013 NaNo project - Fijian Princess, a romance set naturally enough, in Fiji (where I spent six wonderful weeks house-sitting for Nas Dean). I've always been a stickler for writing about what you know, or finding out what you don't.

Being a snarky editor myself, I didn't want to send my novel off into the world with mistakes in structure, formatting, and egad, even a typo or two, so I went the Manuscript Assessor route. For those who haven't heard of this option, this is an editing type of person who goes over your manuscript with a pair of fine tweezers, plucking out those unnecessary bits, finding those bits you have in the wrong place, then writing an 8 - 10 page explanation of the tweezing, with suggestions on how to wax lyrical.

The Assessor I chose, Louise Cusack is a much-published Australian (local) author whose writing workshops I have attended, and who knows her way around Harlequin et al. Louise doesn't just want your manuscript, she wants the Synopsis of your novel and the Query too. She will advise on both of those pesky little items.

I've struggled with the 'Dreaded Synopsis' for years, which may account for my lack of submissions. But if I wanted Louise's professional eye over my synopsis, I had just a week to get it done. Which I did. But then she asked me to cut it from nearly 2,000 words to 500. Egad! I thought all sense of the story would be obliterated with such severe culling, but there's still enough remaining to get the drift.

I found it useful to read others' synopses while struggling with my own, so am posting my final 500 worder. I hasten to add that I haven't had feedback from Louise on this. It may royally suck.




Fijian Princess
Bosco Brookes wants Adi Vakalevulevu. Adi Vakalevulevu wants Bosco Brookes, but he’s from another world. Will their differences prevent them from living their love story? Will the power of their shared passion overcome all obstacles?
Thirty-year-old Bosco Brookes, confirmed bachelor and millionaire architect, arrives on Fiji’s Italal Island for his sister Callis’ wedding. He has two passions in his life – being Callis’ ‘father’, and making millions. But when he meets Adi Vakalevulevu, the Fijian Princess, she becomes another passion. However, he can’t have Adi and his future resort. But Bosco always gets what he wants.
Adi Kaca Rani Vakalevulevu is twenty-three years old. Her life has been one of ‘duty’ – to her father the chieftain, then to her betrothed Ethan Naevo. Ethan makes her his partner in Italal Lagoon Resort to keep her close while he pressures her to marry him. Adi forgets all about Ethan when she finds the handsome Australian Bosco Brookes mesmerised by her. She would love a happily-ever-after with Bosco, but if he finds out her secret, Adi knows he will fly out of her life as quickly as he flew in.
Bosco is captivated by Adi; he is Adi’s fairytale hero, come to rescue her from her life of duty. Bosco’s original plan is to seduce Adi, but his deepening attraction surprises the playboy; he wants more than a casual fling.
Adi can’t believe her luck - attracting such a dashing tycoon. He’s out of her league, but it can’t hurt to indulge in a little fantasy, can it? Adi and Bosco’s flirting starts at the bar that first night and continues at the Kava party. Adi’s flirting stops cold with Bosco’s faux pas. She also learns he has a girlfriend, Australian supermodel Frieda Adolphson. Just Adi’s luck!
Next morning, Adi accepts Bosco’s fumbling apology. Bosco keeps quiet about his planned resort, keeps quiet about Frieda, but he can’t keep quiet about the potential disaster that looms over the resort thanks to Ethan Naevo.
On a day trip to dive at Uknan Island, Bosco and Adi’s mutual passion for each other is uncovered. Callis nearly drowns; Bosco hits rock bottom - he’s failed his baby sister.
Bosco’s life is changing; he can’t come to grips with the new direction his life is taking.
Bosco and Adi make love on a mountain top, make love on a stormy beach – metaphors for the highs and lows of their relationship.

The wedding and fist fight with Ethan behind him, Bosco’s quest leads him to the highlands in search of Adi who has disappeared. Here in her village, the crisis and resolution of the novel occur. He endures a hazing, then surprises Adi in her father’s bure. Adi confesses her lack of trust in assuming Bosco will reject her once he knows she’s the mother of Ethan’s child. Bosco, after his initial rage over her lack of trust, confesses his love.

All obstacles overcome, they make passionate love in Adi’s room. Bosco gifts Adi a sperm whale bone, the traditional Fijian symbol for trust. The engagement ring will follow. They both find their happily ever after.

 Forget the query. I ran out of time...

  • What do you think? Does it make you want to read the story? That is the whole point of a synopsis. The editor asks: Do I want to read more? Uh uh...nah...or...Send me the first three chapters, and quick!
LINKS FOR WRITING SYNOPSES:

http://www.kathycarmichael.com/articles-and-seminars/articles-and-workshops/romance-synopsis/short-romance-synopsis-workshop/

http://nicolamarsh.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/write-whisper-sample-synopsis.html?m=1

http://www.vivianbeck.com/writing/5_steps_to_writing_a_synopsis.htm

http://www.bethanderson-hotclue.com/workshops/writing-the-tight-synopsis/ 

Please visit other IWSG posts here...





56 comments:

  1. Congrats on finishing! And who could resist a story about a Fijian princess? :)

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  2. Well done on finishing. I still get a kick out of knowing I've written a complete novel. That's something of a landmark, but if only I'd known back then how much work comes after those two little words, "The End" :D

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    1. Yes, I realise there's a lot of work ahead if I get Fijian Princess published.

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  3. I think synopses are actually easier (in a way) than queries or blurbs. Those latter have to be really catchy, and the synopsis is more just an outline of the novel. But I will say that writing a synopsis is always hard for me, and yet useful, because it makes me consider my novel as a whole and how the plot actually plays out, and sometimes highlights flaws.

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    1. I agree that they're not as dificult, but I'm no good at any of them!!

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  4. Synopses are really grim for me to write. How do you fit 60,000 words into two pages or one (which is what what most advise). Sigh. No clue here. I wish you the best of luck!! :-)

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    1. Very hard for long-winded people like us, Roland! Thanks.

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  5. Excellent work condensing the story into 500 words. I know how difficult it is. I've been there myself, and not got less than 1000 for 90k. This flows well, tells the basic story, and I think it reflects the "voice" of the novel. This should give an agent or publisher a good working pitch to go off. Lots of description of the characters; the personalities and story plot shines. I liked it Dx. And wow, look at how well polished it is! A definite plus.

    It looks like all you hard work is paying off. I really hope you are able to publish with Harlequin.

    ......dhole

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    1. Thanks Donna. Lovely vote of confidence. Here's hoping...all I can do at the moment...

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  6. You've done very well condensing your story synopsis. It's strong and definitely makes you want to read more about Bosco and Adi's passion!

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    1. Thanks Charmaine. I hope this is the case.

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  7. Yay! Congratulations on finishing. So happy and proud of you.

    Well done on the synopsis. It gives all plot points and answers all questions.

    Way yo go!

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  8. Hi Denise .. I want to know what happens to the resort and are they bad boys, or are their secrets helping each other in the end .. also I'd love to read about Fiji - so that would draw me ..

    Well done - I do hate writing synopsis ... so congratulations on the novel and now good luck for the next parts of finalisation ... so 'the end' can really come about - have fun -cheers Hilary

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  9. Congratulations on finishing and compacting it into five hundred words!
    I struggle with the synopsis as well. Especially the back of the book one. How do you say it in one hundred words or less?
    Ironically, I can do a one sentence blurb without a problem. Go figure.

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  10. Best of luck Denise. Sounds like a good book to me with an unusual setting. I used to like writing synopsis when I was at school, don't know if I could do it today.

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  11. Congratulations on finishing! Yay! I enjoyed the synopsis - I think they are brutal to write.

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  12. I think it's easier writing a novel than a synopsis! Perhaps not, but it's tough to whittle a story down to 500 words. You were wise to take on an editor to help you with this task. Good luck!

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    1. I'll be interested to see what the editor does with it.

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  13. I'm intrigued by a book set in Fiji, especially given you've been there, you probably have added a lot of rich setting detail.

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    1. Yes, i love details in setting and Fiji is a rich culture...

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  14. I agree with the others, writing a novel is much easier than writing a synopsis. Yours sounds great. You certainly make it sound riveting. Loving someone from another world. Too kewl.

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  15. Congratulations on finishing your novel! Writing a synopsis and query letter are definitely two things I despise. I recently posted two blog posts with tips on how to write both, actually.

    Fijian Princess sounds great! Good luck!!! :)

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    1. I'll be over to check Chris. I've blogged about them too but knowing the theory didn't help much.

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  16. I must be difficult deciding what to put in and what to leave out. Looks good so far.

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  17. Congratulations! It sounds like a great story :)

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  18. Congrats on finishing your novel!! You're right - synopses are an awful, miserable experience. But they have to be done. *sigh* You're doing a good job with yours! :)

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  19. Congrats on finishing your novel!!! I'd love to hear more about the results from the assessment.

    Synopses are not my forte in any way, shape or form. I did enjoy yours though.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Lyn. The story has changed a little from the early days when I showed you those first few chapters.

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  20. Sounds like you hit the high points and that's what it's supposed to do. Congratulations, can't wait to read it! Funny thing is it doesn't get easier!
    Excellent!

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    1. Yes, I'm sure every book is a challenge Yolanda. Now I think I'll write the synopsis first for the book I'm re-writing!

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  21. Yay! Congratulations!
    Sounds like a moving love story.

    I hadn't heard of Charlotte Waring before, that's a great story!

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    1. I thought you'd like it Deniz. Glad you read it!

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  22. Lady, congrats on getting to the end! That's the first HUGE step in my book. Second, yes that synopsis makes me want to read the book. I maybe an easy hook though, and don't read your genre often. You've definitely got a compelling backdrop and some strong complications.

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    1. Thanks Crystal. But have I done enough is the usual cry!

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  23. I'm not a big fan of writing synopses, so much information condensed into so little space just seems like a nightmare to me. I would be very interested to see how yours develops after the assessor's input. Please keep us updated.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. I've yet to meet a synopsis fan. I will do an update when I receive it back from Louise.

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  24. Hi human, Denise,

    Moving swiftly on from that ridiculous A to Z, I note some news that deserves hearty congrats. Thus, huge congrats on getting your book finished. My human recently heard of the word "blurb". I assured him that it had no reference to stomach complaints.

    IWSG aka "I Was Seeking Gary." Yes, my human is deluded.

    Keep going and well done, dear human friend.

    Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

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    1. Hi Gary, you crack me up. Yes, I'm not hiding my head in the sand as the A-Z zips by. There's got to be something else happening in the 'sphere. Meanwhile, Penny, do your darndest for the Alphabark Challenge!



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  25. Congratulations! What a great accomplishment. I dread synopsis writing, but I've gotten better at it over time. It still takes long for me to do one, though.

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    1. Hi Medeia, I'm obviously far from alone in dreading the synopsis. I really think I need to write it before I begin my next book.

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  26. Oh, I dread writing synopsis, perhaps one of the most dreaded phases of writing for me. Well done on completing your novel. Wishing you a successful road to publication.

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    1. Hi Kiru. I would have thought you'd be the expert by now!!

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  27. Somebody's been busy. Yes, I'd want to read the book based on the synopsis. It brings back memories of how I used to devour romance novels.

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    1. Thanks for that Joy. I hope I have a published romance for you to enjoy soon.

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  28. I really dislike writing synopses! Good luck, Denise!

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    1. Seems everyone does Lydia! Thanks.

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  29. Congratulations on finishing. I'm glad I ran into your blog--happy to join!
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  30. Hi Denise,

    Just catching up between the A-Z, and WOW! congrats on finishing your novel! So happy to hear it. Wishing you the very best with publication.
    Look forward to hearing about the journey.

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