Short and Sweet: The One Page Synopsis

You should be able to summarize your book in three paragraphs.

Paragraph One: Introduce your protagonist and antagonist; what the inciting incident that starts the story. Give the location, time and what their actions are.

Paragraph Two: What, where, when and why happen in this paragraph. What do they do, where do they do it, when will they do it and why do they do it? Describe actions for both your protagonist and antagonist.

Paragraph Three: Tie the end of the story back to the beginning and the inciting incident. A potential agent or publisher always wants to know how the story will end.

There are many methods used for crafting a synopsis; this is one of them and I hope you find it useful.

All my best,

Naiobi

Creative Writing Is Not Just For Books

When you tell someone you are a writer, in some cases, they conjuer up images of you toiling over your manuscript while drowning in copious cups of stale coffee in some hidey hole in the city.

Not all writers write books.

There are many types of writing that you can do and below, I’ve listed a few examples. I do not endorse these sites, merely listed the links to get you started; you’ll have to do your research to find what is right for you.

Video Game Writer : these writers work on developing the plot, settings, and characters in the game.

Copywriter : these writers help with advertising and marketing by creating taglines and content for the web.

Business Writer : these writers create content for billboards, catalogs, and the web; to present logical information in informative ways.

Ghostwriter : these writers are hired to do writing that is officially credited to another person e.g. a celebrity or public figure.

Freelance Writer : these writers focus their writing on topics that interest them and know the most about (write what you know).

Technical Writer : these writers create handbooks, suer guides, manuals for products and services.

Grant Writer : these writers help to find funding for non-profit and charitable agencies; they fill out and submit grant applications.

I hope this list is of some help to you; happy writing.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Naiobi

Writing and S.A.D

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real; I am one of it’s sufferers. It’s caused by a lack of natural sunlight and affects my mood. It usually rears its ugly head in mid winter although it can strike me at any time; dark, stormy days are just as hard.

When I struggle through an episode, it is hard for me to concentrate. I can’t transfer words to paper or string two sentences together; all I want to do is sleep. My energy level bottoms out and I binge on junk food for extra endorphins.

My muse is no help at all; she packs a bag and goes on vacation.

I am a procrastinator and will find things that need to be done as an excuse to keep me from my desk. SAD gives me another reason to avoid the pen. My remedy is to force myself to keep butt in chair until I get something written. I don’t strive for huge daily word counts during these times; fifty words works as well as five-hundred.

It is a battle but I love to write so even if they are incoherent, nonsensical words, I put them down. Who knows; they may come in useful when I try to develop a language for an alien being in one of my wips.

Today is not a SAD one; we got a snow-dump during the night, the sun is out and I have coffee. I am a writer!

Cheers!

Naiobi

Authors and Self-Doubt

Self doubt is a staple in the lives of most creatives; for authors, it takes root as soon as we decide to write. It is a definite plague on new writers and in many cases, tanks their career before it begins.

You have a story to tell and as you begin to put it down on paper, your inner editor takes over. You delete, correct, redo, rewrite and this furthers the self-doubt. In the end, you throw your work away before the first draft is completed.

Many authors in various stages of their careers still suffer this feeling; it comes from the anxiety of having your book read and reviewed. You worry about how your book compares to others which can further intimidate and overwhelm.

If you attend a conference or book signings or any number of venues where authors are showcased, you’ll see authors who find it hard to engage, are withdrawn. They are the self-doubters.

I find journaling helps to dispel my self doubt. I scream onto the pages; get it all off my chest. I feel better and can concentrate on my current wip instead of worrying about it’s reception.

I also realize that I cannot please everyone so I don’t try to. I do my best, throw it out there and hope it finds a home.

So learn to accept self-doubt as a part of your writer’s life; it will teach you to always strive to do better.

All my best,

Naiobi

Mirror, Mirror…

It’s sunday and I didn’t plan to blog today but I had to get this one out there.

As I looked in the mirror this morning, I thought what a great way to help describe your characters.

Look at your face; is it heart shaped, square or round? Maybe it’s oblong or oval. How about dimples or a cleft chin?

What is your skin like; its tone, texture? Do you see wrinkles. Do you have crows feet at the outer corners of your eyes. What color are they; do you have thick eyebrows or are they thin and sparse?

Are your cheekbones high, prominent or are they blended into the overall look of your face?

Add as much detail to your description as you can. What color hair do you have? Is it curly, kinky, straight; how thick is it? Natural color or out of a box?

Look at your ears. Do they sit high or low; pierced; hairy?

What are you wearing? Are your colors bright or muted; does your shirt need ironing?

There are many character description tools out there and they are all helpful. This is another one, just as helpful with a bit of fun thrown in.

When you’re creating your characters, stand them in front of a mirror and describe everything you see. When you place that character into your story, he/she will stand out to your reader.

All my best,

Naiobi

Pantser or Plotter…which one are you?

A pantser writes by the seat-of-their-pants; no planning ahead of time, no plotting, no outlines or scene cards.

A plotter is a more measured writer. You plan out your story with a chapter outline, then you plan the scenes within the chapters by using index cards, sticky notes and yellow markers.

I am both!

For short stories, I am a pantser, however, my first novel With Clear Intent evolved from the three chapters I woke up and wrote in the middle of the night and continued to the end without a road map.

I tried the pantser approach with my current wip as well as my second novel set to be released next year but, these are bigger stories, more complex so I put on my plotter’s hat.

There is no right or wrong way and the label is a non-issue; how your words find their way from brain to page is up to you.

November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and it is a great way to get your words down in pantser fashion. There is no time to plot and plan, just write. I did this for several years and finished the 30-day challenge. Try it; you’ll have your first draft of a complete 50,000 word manuscript when you’re done.

I am off to a baby shower tomorrow to celebrate our soon-to-arrive new addition to the family.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Naiobi

Slush Piles…

…are diamonds in the rough. I gathered everything I’ve ever written about Theo, (my character I spoke about in yesterday’s post) and can now begin the task of completing his story.

I thought I created him in 2012 but it was March 2008!

His story is a genre-bender – murder/mystery/romantic suspense, something I tend to do in all my wips.

My next task is to reconnect with all of the characters in Theo’s world. I will build character worksheets, ask them questions and find images in magazines that resemble what I envison they look like.

I take this long approach because it keeps me focused. I will also start an outline, but not an ordinary one. I’ll save the how-to about this gem for another post.

Kind regards,

Naiobi