Friday, 15 January 2010

So, to summarise...

Unlike small Indian girls, there is one hurdle in my life that actually makes me cry tears of blood. I would rather poke my eye than attempt to take the book concept and find the fifteen words that encapsulate it.

The problem is, before I typed the first word I plotted the "Big Picture." This is a sound and sensible writing technique. The complication is my global view covers the two academic years of Post-16 study - the Sixth Form (Lower and Upper) - Years 12 and 13. The two years are broken into six school terms and the summer holiday in between.

With a note book in one hand and sucking on a pencil I yelled at my resident expert - (all names have been altered to protect the innocent) - my Minnow became the first Beta Reader. The phrase, "No one would say that..." was worn out during the first drafting process. She also appointed herself as the official Anti-Cheese Monitor! My book is Dairy-lite!

"Oi! Minnow? Would it take a year to trap a boy who was, basically, interested in you?"

She snorted! (Badly brought up, probably.)

"Is he seeing someone else?"

"No! What kind of a boy do you think I'm about to invent here?"

"Then, no! A week is a long time in the Sixth Form."

This was the foundation I built my story upon.

I wrote termly plans (teacher in joke) very separate - different focuses - different books. Six or seven. I let the strands wind out through Jess' life and her motivations, then Caleb's, Jess' destiny, the issues that plague sub-cultures on the edges of society, and the past. I suddenly felt very Christine Feehan!


Jess Trainer

An athletic teenager, sees the public image others present as the mask they hide behind .

She wants to be accepted and loved.

She wants Caleb to let her into his world and trust her.

But secrecy, to him, means safety when unexpected danger stalks the woodlands.

Love can overcome any obstacle if you can see the individual as they truly are and love them for themselves.
My thanks to Randy Ingermanson who's on-line advice helped me to distill, if imperfectly, my WIP.
Which part of the writing process drives you to distraction?


  1. Revising out those overused words drives me batty. I get so mad when I spot them because I think I'm getting better, so how in the world did they pop into my first draft??? Little terrors.

  2. synopsis. been "working" on it for about 2 months. gotten nowhere.

  3. Hmm; all of it. I agonized over every piece.

    And one day I decided I didn't need to plot out the entire story. I had a start, I knew where it ended. The middle had to take care of itself.

    Now I'm doing query and synopsis. I'm completely lost! How do you do a synopsis in 250 words? How do you do a more "detailed" synopsis in two pages or less?

    I can't even attend a big name writer's convention (like PNWA) because at some point I'll be expected to give a "pitch" of my novel - either to an agent, editor, or fellow writer - and I'm just not sure what to say. Even if I write it before hand. I am - daunted, intimadated.

    The writing/revising was easy compared to the "selling yourself" process.


  4. I'm with Jemi, and the fact that I get major mental blanks for words that just won't reveal themselves to me. I walk away, come back, and the word is suddenly there. So frustrating, why can't it just pop up in my brain in the first place? *grrr*

  5. The synopsis gives me the tremors. Before I plot I try to come up with a one sentence premise line just to test it out and see how it sounds. (Reading the Tv guide or the NYTimes best seller list helps with writing mine)

  6. A cheese monitor is always a good thing to have, and something that [evidently] has eluded many authors.

  7. I go to work - and admittedly to the pub on the way home - and see what happens? Hi everyone. I feel like the bad host.

    I'm glad so many of you - Jennifer, lexcade and Donna - struggle, like me, with the synopsis. It isn't just the multitude of things you could say about the book, it's trying to say the things that will appeal to the agent you are sending it to. Especially when even the most cursory of glances at their tastes suggests a slightly different emphasis would appeal more.

    I know what you mean over used words can make the work amaturish, or outdated, before it has even been finished.

    A Mis Wave
    I hate it too when the words just won't play-nice. They contrive to warp a perfectly clear thought and refused to convey the full extent of meaning you had hoped it would. Word choices are so important and they are subtly, slick little b***ers! (Bleeders!)

    Jm Diaz
    I resented being forced away from stock phrases by a reluctant reader who didn't know they were the words "everyone always uses." I was sooo bored by Minnow's - "Yeah! But! What do you mean?"
    The book itself probably sighed in relief!
    "Say what you mean and mean what you say!"
    Now, however, I'm grateful to Minnow Seuss for her timely advice.