Monday, January 25, 2016

Simmering Time

I've just finished up revising a draft of a story that I think has the potential I want. It's not there yet, but it's SO much closer than it was.

It was fun going through this draft with notes from some crit buddies with specific goals in mind.

It was also fun coming across some lines/sections that made me smile. It's great when you come across something you'd forgotten about and you're able to think -- hey, that's pretty good stuff you've got there!

Now, I'll let this simmer for a bit while I do the same for another story.

How about you? Do you need that simmering time, or are you able to look at a story right away after you've done one round of revising/editing?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Rachael Thomas & The Dreaded Synopsis

Please welcome Rachael Thomas back to the blog today!

Synopsis. It’s a word which can strike fear into just about every writer’s heart. How do you put everything from your story into between two and five pages? You don’t.

Wikipedia’s definition is a brief summary of the major parts of a subject or written work or story. It goes on to say ‘condensation of a work’.

What to include in a synopsis

The purpose of a synopsis is to show how your story is to go from the beginning to the end and the emotional journey or arc of your characters. It needs to show the voice or style of your book and be in the third person.
The first thing you need to do is introduce your characters and their main conflict. Then you need to show all the plot points they will encounter, their emotional journey and how they will reach their happy ever after.

Think of it in parts. I usually use five.
1. Introduce your hero.
2. Introduce your heroine.
3. Set out the story opening.
4. Show the emotional journey the characters are to go on and the main plot points which occur during that journey.
5. Set out the black moment and how this leads to the happy ever after.

What not to put in a synopsis

The synopsis is not a place to info dump the entire back story. Any important elements about a character’s past should be included in their introduction. Neither do you need every plot twist and turn or to introduce of every minor character. The synopsis is not the place to raise questions like will they ever reach their happy ever after? Keep your cliff-hangers for the story itself.

How long should a synopsis be?

The answer to this is a long as it needs to be. Check your submission details for this information, but once you have your synopsis you can either enlarge it or cut it back to suit a particular submission.

Connect with Rachael Thomas on the web:
Website         Blog        Facebook                Twitter              Goodreads

New Year at the Boss’s Bidding
Moretti's by midnight 

Jilted bride Tilly Rogers hopes her luck is changing when she's offered a prestigious catering contract for billionaire businessman Xavier Moretti's New Year's Eve party. But then she ends up snowbound alone with her boss…and at his bidding! 

It's the end of the year and the end of Tilly's contract, which leaves Xavier free to seduce her at his will. Hardly shy of a challenge, this notorious playboy makes it his resolution to have virgin Tilly crumbling by his experienced touch. 

Before the snow settles, Xavier is determined to have Tilly under a brand-new set of tantalizing terms!

Read an Excerpt

Amazon Kindle      
Amazon Paperback      B&N      Harlequin US

Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win signed copies of New Year at the Boss’s Bidding.
Thanks, Rachael!

What about you? Do you love or hate the synopsis? Any more tips to add?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Editing Tips

Thanks to Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, I met a new Twitter Buddy the other day ... Nicole Singer.

That day, Alex posted several of Nicole's links. Some of them were round ups of helpful links, and there was one about editing tips entitled My Favourite Editing Exercises. I'm always looking for Editing tips so I clicked over.

Great tips! The one I put to use immediately was Nicole's suggestion to write
at the top of each chapter to let you see at a glance what the chapter is all about.

I never print anything out, so I wondered how to do this effectively. I use Scrivener and I realized I've never used the small Synopsis box in the top right hand corner of the screen for much. The box is there for every single scene, so in each one I plunked in the above with a small alteration...


I used this as I was doing a revising round of my latest story and it really helped me eliminate some extraneous stuff that was bogging down the story. With Scrivener, that synopsis screen is always visible, even as you're scrolling through the screen, so I wasn't able to ignore it!

I'm thinking for the next story I write, I'll use it as a plan for the scene before I write. Who knows? It might even turn me into a plotter! (Don't hold your breath!)

Thanks again, Nicole for the tips, and Alex for the intro!!

How about you? Do you do anything similar with your chapters? What's one of your favourite editing tips?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Ringing in the New Year

A new year. Some new hopes.

Let's all try to:

  • bring a little peace to our corners of the world
  • find a way to help someone in need
  • believe in ourselves and our talents
  • be brave
  • be kind
  • find joy in the small moments
  • love with all our hearts

Wishing you and yours all the best for 2016 - let's make it fabulous!!