May Noticeboard

May 30, 2010

Poseidon’s Trident:
Current Chapter in First Draft (Typed) Stage:
21/23 – oh so close!
Current Chapter in Edit Stage: None

Goals for May

  • Write 250 words a day – Again, no.


Goals for June

  • Finish Poseidon’s Trident!

This is it. The final month. By June 30, I’m aiming to have the rough draft of PT finished! I’m really excited about finishing it.
Because I’m so close to the self-imposed deadline, I won’t be posting too much over June, possibly not at all. I want to be able to focus on getting the ending written, and with exam block running during this month, I’ll need all the spare time I can get. So, no blogging. I’ll still be on Twitter, but not nearly as much.

This month, I read The Atlantis Code, by Charles Brokaw, then moved on to Hit, by Tara Moss. My reading slowed right down here, and it took me most of the month to read it. My local library opened this month (can I just mention that it’s the sexiest $10 million building I’ve ever seen?! I’d tell you not to be jealous, but really, I can’t blame you) and I borrowed out two books, just for the sake of borrowing out a book. Since then, I’ve been reading a lot more, and should have Hit finished within the next few days. I’ve also been reading Cat O’Nine Tales, a short story collection by Jeffery Archer.

Lastly, I’ve got an idea for a project I’d like to try after I finish the rough draft of PT. I did a major year 12 practice exam this week, and one of the questions involved a painting of an elderly lady in what looked to me like a run down area. Afterwards, I couldn’t stop thinking about the picture, and what stories might be behind it. What I’d to do is write a few short stories which all revolve around the scene in the painting. I think it’ll be interesting, and something different. If only I can remember what the painting was called…

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The Me-Writing-Internet Love Triangle Tale

May 26, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a boy called Me. Me had two friends who, for the purpose of this story, were girls. Writing was pretty and nice. A typical ‘good girl’, while Internet was hip and nasty, a cliché ‘bad girl’. She had all the latest gadgets.

Writing and Internet were both in love with Me, and attempted to be his girlfriend (There was also a girl called Music, but she talked too much. When Me was busy, he would ignore her. She isn’t important). Me knew that Writing and Internet loved him. He also knew that if he dated one, he would ruin the relationship with the other. So, he ignored the flirts, and tried to remain friends. But deep down, Me knew that he loved Writing. (He also loved Internet, but not nearly as much).

Me and Writing would hang out constantly – at least once a day. They would visit awesome places, such as the Himalayas and Greece. They would do awesome things*.

Internet knew that Me and Writing hung out a lot, and she was jealous. She would wait for Writing and Me to spend time together, then “accidentally” run into him, or call him when he was with Writing.

“Oh, Me!” She would say. “What a lovely surprise! Hey, have you seen this new Facebook application**? And did you know that you have five new emails? And your best friend is on MSN!”

Me would be distracted by Internet’s things. He would read his emails, and talk to his friend on MSN. He would long to get back to Writing, but he had to see what people were saying on Facebook…

Writing would be sad, because she knew that Me would spend time with Internet – hours if possible. Then he would say “Oh, look at the time! I’ve got to go do homework! Have a shower! Watch the latest Criminal Minds episode! Go to bed!” He would run off, leaving Writing and Internet alone. Internet would pull a face at Writing, and run off to download the next newest things that she could entice Me with.

One day, Writing decided enough was enough. When she and Me got together to hang out, she said: “Me, I’m not happy with you and Internet spending so much time together! You’re supposed to be hanging out with me! Not her. She’s trying to break us up!”

“You’re right,” said Me. “She is trying to break us up! But what can I do?”

“You could try not talking to her?” Writing suggested.

“Yeah! You’re right!” Me said.

Suddenly, Internet came running up. “Me!” she cried. “Fancy meeting you here! Guess what?  On Facebook-”

“Sorry, Internet.” Me interrupted. “I’m busy at the moment. I’m hanging out with Writing. Can it wait, please?”

Internet was silent. She didn’t know what to say. With a sob, she ran off crying.

“You did the write*** thing,” Writing said.

“I know,” said Me. “But I still feel bad… Still, I guess she’ll forgive me when I see what’s on Facebook.”

Writing gave Me a big hug. “I love you. Please don’t ever leave me for that horrid Internet ever again.”

Me returned her hug. “Don’t worry. I’m stronger now. I won’t ever let her interrupt us again.”

“Thank you,” she said. “Now, where were we?*”

* This is a purely innocent tale. Get your mind out of the gutter.
** Me doesn’t actually like Facebook apps. They’re too time wasting. He ignores them.
*** Geddit? Write? Right? Hahaha.


Tips on Writing a Synopsis

May 23, 2010

Following on from my previous post on Writing Synopses, I’m going to share some tips for writing synopses.

Include only the Important Scenes:
Don’t include every unimportant scene. Only the scenes that move the plot forward

Show How the Story will Reach the Ending:
Editors won’t like a cliff hanger in your synopsis. If you tell them to ‘buy the book to find out’… they won’t.

Answer all the Questions:
All the questions which you raised in your synopsis must be answered by the end of the synopsis.

Keep it Short:
The general rule of synopsis length is one page per 10,000 words of novel. So, a 70,000 word novel should have no more than seven pages of synopsis.

Person, POV, Tense:
Your synopsis should be written in third person, omnipresent point of view, present tense.

Only Name the Main Characters:
Only the main characters should be referred to by name. As I said in the previous post, the named characters should be written in capitals. All other characters should be referred to by the relationship with main character, ie. JOHN’S brother, SUE’s teacher, MARK’s butler.

Tell, Don’t Show:
Tell how the story will move along, don’t show it. (The opposite of ‘show, don’t tell’. Confusing, huh?)

Do Not Submit Your Synopsis in Outline Form:
Dot points is a no-no. It should be written  in paragraphs.

No Dialogue!!!:
Enough said.

A few days ago, I sent Direct Messages to a few published/soon-to-be-published authors on Twitter, asking if they had tips to share. This is what they said:

Twice published historical fiction author, KM Weiland, says:


Biggest one would be let your writing style show as much as possible, but whittle down to bare bones.

Beth Revis, whose YA debut novel will be published in 2011, says:

Just that it’s usually easier to write the synopsis BEFORE you write the book!

Graham Storrs, recently published Sci-Fi author, says:

A synopsis is a product description. It is not a cover blurb, it’s not a teaser, nor any     other kind of sales material, it is a simple, short description of the story – who the     characters are, what’s at stake, how they seek resolution, and what happens.

Finally, YA author, Stephe Bowe, whose debut novel is published in September, says:


They aren’t totally necessary to get published, so don’t stress out too much over     writing them.


Lastly, a few points on presentation and formatting:

  • Quality, white paper
  • One inch margins all the way around
  • Double spacing
  • Standard font, ie Times New Roman, Courier New. Size 12
  • Create a header for each page, with your surname, title of the novel, and the word synopsis on the left, and the page number on the right.

Do you have any tips to include?


English: The Crazy Language

May 19, 2010

I was going to continue on from the last post on writing synopsis’s, but I don’t have it quite ready yet, and I received this in an email. I thought it was amusing, and assuming that you’re a writer too, I think you’ll get a chuckle too (otherwise I better check my sense of humour).

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Then shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England.

We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? We ship by truck but send cargo by ship. We have noses that run and feet that smell. We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway. And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposite?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.


Writing A Synopsis

May 15, 2010

The other day I was talking to a lady I know who’s also a writer. We were talking about my short story that’s getting published, when the topic moved onto synopsis writing (at the point, I realised I had been pronouncing synopsis all wrong…). She told me the synopsis was one of the most important aspects of writing. It doesn’t matter how good a novel is, if the synopsis sucks, you’ll never get published.

So  I did some research on synopsis writing, and decided I would share some of what I found out here. In the next post I’d like to share some tips, but in this post, I’d like to share with you how to write a synopsis.

What is a Synopsis?
A synopsis is an outline of your noel, designed to persuade the agent to take on your book for representation. The synopsis is written in first person, and can vary in length, depending on what the agent wants.

Writing the Synopsis:

Read your Novel:
Read through your novel once more to get the details in your head before you start.

Start the Synopsis with a Hook:
The synopsis should start with a paragraph or two that is similar to a blurb. Hook the agent in to wanting to read more.

Introduce the Characters:

Introduce the main characters in your novel. Tell their motivation and goals. Whenever you mention a character, use CAPITALS. Always refer to the character as the same name.

Summarise the Novel:
Re-read each chapter, taking note of the key points. Summarise the chapter into a paragraph, then do the same for the next chapter.

Use a Few Paragraphs to Write the Climax and Resolution:
Keep it simple. Detail the reactions of each character for every step of the action. Don’t make the agent have to guess what happens. Make sure you provide a resolution. Again, don’t make the agent have to guess.

Revise!
I’ve seen people complain on Twitter that their synopsis’s are too big, so I’m guessing that now, yours will be too. Read through your synopsis, culling everything that isn’t needed. Keep doing it until you reach an appropriate length.

As I said earlier in the post, I’d like to have another post with some tips for writing synopsis’s. What are some of your tips?


This and That

May 11, 2010

1. Sorry I’ve been quite around the web. I’ve been quite busy with homework and the like, and haven’t had a chance to think of, or write, blog posts. With luck, I should have more coming soon.

2. I’m getting published.  Not a major piece of work like my WIP, but a short story I entered. I thought it was a competition within my school, but it turns out it was Australia wide! Out of all the thousands of entry which must have been received, the judges chose my entry to publish along with more (I’m not sure how many other stories. Fifty, maybe?) to publish in a book, Something With Bite. I’m really excited. This means I’m one step closer to winning the actual comp. Public thanks to Merrilee Faber who critiqued my story, and stopped me from sending in something very different.

3. Don’t forget to check out The Bookshelf, a page for all my writing. I’ll be posting a few more stories within the next couple of days, and Tweet about it.


April Noticeboard

May 2, 2010

Poseidon’s Trident:
Current Chapter in First Draft (Typed) Stage:
19/23
Current Chapter in Edit Stage: None

Goals for April:

  • Write 250 words a day. April 1-12 are excused. – No.

Goals for May

  • Write 250 words a day.

This month I read only a few books. I finished reading Split, by Tara Moss, then moved onto A Man Called Blessed, by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright, and Red Phoenix by Larry Bond. I really enjoyed Bond’s novel, and I’m looking for more. I’m now reading The Atlantis Code by Charles Brokaw.