Friday, July 21, 2017

@#%$*** Synopsis

I did it. I finally finished a synopsis for a l-o-n-g historical novel that actually fits on one page. The whole undertaking made me totally miserable. In fact, there are a lot of writing chores that I find disagreeable.

That's the way it is with any job. We only love about 55% percent of the work and the rest is tedious, boring, or unbelievably difficult. Many teachers hate grading papers but love the interaction of the classroom. Truck drivers love to drive but hate the paperwork involved with the job. Policemen don't like writing reports. Waitresses don't like the cleanup work after the place closes for the night.

A good deal of the writing life is spent on non-creative activities. I just sent all the requested data for an upcoming event so the organizer can do a good job with promotion. Sadly, I probably get an email a week wondering when I'm going to write a sequel to Come Spring. I explain once more that my original editor was fired and I didn't have a contract for the other two books. But really, since I own all the rights I should have it up on Kindle. I simply haven't taken the time.

And then there is social media. Boy howdy. It's like navigating a maze. I know I don't do as much as I should. But I have good intentions.

 I emailed my agency to see if royalty statements had been sent for my non-fiction book. I redid a bio for an upcoming event. I contacted my Poisoned Pen buddies to see if it was a good idea to switch my domain registration to my new site.

The newest edition of Author's Guild's magazine arrived and I immediately read a terrific interview of Dennis Palumbo, who also publishes with Poisoned Pen. Although I'm registered for Bouchercon which will be in Canada this year, I haven't booked my flight. Plus I'm worried that I didn't give myself enough downtime before I go to Kansas for a signing at the Garnett Public Library.

I didn't get any writing done on my new mystery today. That's fatal. I must put that first before I become entangled by writing chores.

Instead of putting my shoulder to the wheel, I'll join my knitting group! Tomorrow is another day.


Sybil Johnson said...

There's always something, isn't there. Congrats on getting that synopsis done. That has to be one of the hardest writing chores. At least for me.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

I don't know enough to write a synopsis until after the first draft is done -- and then I know too much to boil it down to a short -- or even long version -- synopsis.

But I still vote for first draft of anything as the hardest thing I have to do as a writer. Pain and more pain.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Sybil, Boiling down a 117,000 page book is so hard for me that I have a feeling there's something I'm not understanding.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Frankie, this is a historical novel. Thank Heaven I don't have to go through with that for my mysteries. As to first drafts--oddly enough, when I switch to pen and paper the words come more easily. Don't know why. Recently I read about a writer who stressed going to one's office exactly at the same time every day and writing under the exact same circumstances.

But I had three kids and each day was like a zoo. So I learned to write anywhere, anytime, any place.

Sybil Johnson said...

Charlotte, I find when I write the first draft with a pen and paper the words flow easier. When I'm staring at my computer, I just freeze up. Once I have that first draft of a scene typed in I can revise on the computer.

Eileen Goudge said...

Congrats on finishing, Charlotte. You should celebrate indeed.

Donis Casey said...

I suffer pain on a first draft, too, and wonder if I'll ever be able to write another readable books again. But magically it always gets done (thus far). I just finished a mystery novel and of course had to write a 250 word synopsis for the publisher to use for publicity. Synopses are THE WORST. How can you do justice to your brilliant work in 250 words? I always manage to get something written, but I'm never satisfied with it.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Donis, I need to send a longer email to you about the 250 words stuff. For that matter, I'm way behind on updating the Ingram info. My website needs a going over too. There's a lot of stuff I need to add.