Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

A new story- synopses and starting lines April 21, 2008

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 3:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

I wasn’t planning on writing about synopses again today, but I happened across another great article on it with links to even more resources, so here it is, on Anne Gracie’s website ! This article and the sample synopsis she gives made me laugh out loud, but even more it makes me eager to read the book, which at heart is what the synopsis should be all about.

Actually it does tie into what I am doing at the moment. I was vaguely thinking about synopses, as I’ve started on the new story (poor Bruno and Rebecca are unceremoniously ditched for now!). I haven’t written much yet, just a few snippets, but spent all day yesterday doing character development and plotting, using some of the workshops on Holly Lisle’s site (I have an affiliate link, so if you buy anything on her site I will be paid a small fee, but I would recommend the site anyway, as the free stuff is excellent). I started with this article on pre-writing a new story, which gave me a lot of information to work with. I did already have a basic idea, but doing this helped me build it up a lot more. I was wondering whether writing an outline before I get too far into the writing would show me any major problems with my plotting. 

I think I may be more of a plotter than a seat-of-the-pantser. I seem to write better when I have a good idea in advance of just what is going to happen in the scene, though I also believe its good to leave room for a few surprises or for new ideas that could make the story better. I hope I have learned from what I wrote on the last one so I don’t make the same mistakes all over again. I have a feeling with this one I will find a different set of mistakes to make! I can already see that one issue will be ensuring that the external conflict doesn’t overshadow their internal conflict. I’m hoping it will work because each of the external conflicts link into and trigger another layer of internal conflict for one of both of the hero and heroine. Provided I can write it right, that is!

I probably need to dig a lot deeper into my characters too. Although the workshop I used makes the plot really come out of the characters, I still have my usual problem of a strong and fully characterised heroine, but a much vaguer idea of my hero. I need to work on getting him a lot more focused. Then I will try doing an outline and see how it looks, before I go too much further, but I feel more character work need to come first.

I do have my opening scene, which I hope jumps straight into the story, and gets the hero and heroine on the page straight away. This story is one that has been bewing on a back burner for a while during my struggle with the last story, so the opening just appeared for me without much conscious thought. It neds a bit of fine uning, but I think it might work.

I did find a fab article on story beginnings  today. Part way down the page here is a fab article on starting the story right, with some great examples of reader-grabbing opening lines. This used to be a major block for me- I spent so long trying to get the first paragraph perfect I never wrote anything more! The advice most published writers give of just writing the story, giving ourselves permission to write badly in first draft as long as we tell the story, needs to be carved into my brain! It is so right- we can fix bad first draft, but a great opening with no story is nothing. I waste so much of my writing time trying to get it right instead of just getting it written.

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