For anyone who’s been keeping track, I’ve been a bit out of the loop lately.  Several things are going on in my life and I find myself even more scatter brained than usual.  I blame the medication I’m now on, but faced with the alternative, I’ll take it.

That’s why you’ve been reading not much more than the ongoing saga with the working title of Kristen’s Thriller (you can read it via the link).  Other than that, I’ve been focusing my writing on two things: the book blurb that I shared last week and a synopsis for The Red Dress.

Let’s pause there for a second and contemplate what that means.

No, I’m not talking about trying to find a publisher or literary agent.  Nor do I mean the trials and tribulations of the modern publishing world.  What I am talking about is the same thing that generations of writers before you or I knew.

Writing a synopsis sucks.

There I said it.  I’m sure that will get me blacklisted in some markets or with some people, but I’m going to stick with it.  Synopsises Synopsi Whatever-the-plural-of-synopsis-is (synopses) are a pain in the hiney to write.  You need to boil your heart and soul and all that wonderful phrasing that you and your mother are so proud of into a mere five hundred words while keeping all the passion alive. Writers talk about killing your darlings.  Synopses are the ultimate in mass murder.

I’m not good at it.  I want to shove all my dry humor and wit into a document that is shorter than the majority of my blog posts.  Not to mention the interpersonal dynamics and the dramady that is the Hawthorne household.  It doesn’t work.  Well, it does, but it isn’t easy.

That is why—yet again—I highly suggest that anyone and everyone who wants to take writing serious and make it more than a hobby find a quality editor.  Susan Hughes is mine and I would recommend her any day of the week.  She kicks me when I need to be kicked (I do need it sometimes and that is a GOOD thing she does it), supports me in more ways than I can count, and—best of all—knows her craft.  Between my synopsis and my book blurb, she’s been invaluable.

But she can’t do the work for me.  That’s why I’ve been obsessing over it and keep going over and over and over and over and. . . .

You get the point.

Your synopsis and book blurb.  Take it from a rank armature, they are not easy.  Even more so, you need to practice and practice them.  Write them out for your favorite movies or television shows.  Par down all those novels you read as a kid to 500 words.  Do it over and over again.  Maybe then you might be ready to write one for your book.

I certainly wasn’t.

But I’m giving it my best shot now.  There is no halves in the the publishing world.  If I want to do this—if I want to make a living putting words on the page—then I need to focus on each word.  Study and judge each line for fat and turn the couch potato into the world class Olympic gold medal athlete.

That isn’t easy and more than once I’ve wanted to run and hide in a closet or break down and cry. But I know I have to get over it.  However, that isn’t the hard part. The hard part was and always has been my utter refusal to put on my big boy underoos (the ones without Spider-Man on them) and get to work.  When things get hard and I want to scream, I tend to give up. It’s a life lesson that I never learned as a kid and now I’m paying for it.  Still, this hasn’t stopped me.  I’m flexing muscles that I never knew I had.

And they’re getting stronger.

So pardon me while I get back to my proverbial weightlifting.  The words wait for no one. Nor does my wife, and she wants to know what happens next in her thriller.


One thought on “Trials and Synop-ulations

  1. I have been asked to write on for my Barbarian WIP. It’s supposed to entail everything in the story, page 1 to “The End.” Since there are some parts still unwritten, I put a synopsis on the back burner for now. Problem is, I’ve also been told that writing one before the passage might help in getting those sections done.

    Do I listen?
    Uh… 🙂

    Keep at it, Hugh! It just might be connected…


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