Out of my five-page depth…

January 24, 2013

Well, after putting it off, for a while, I finally checked out this link that Elizabeth Twist left me over at Stringing Words for my five-page synopsis on “The Gnomes are Missing.” And there’s really great stuff, so much really great stuff, (warning, it’s a link to the ‘5-page synopsis’ category on Anne Mini’s blog, and it looks like she’s posted about synopses of all lengths a LOT!)

So I’m kinduv at that point where I know most of what I thought about writing a five-page synopsis before today is wrong, and I’ve got some notion of what I should actually be doing, but not enough to feel actually comfortable giving it the old college try. Sigh.

Probably I just need to sleep on it and get back to this at the Power Center tomorrow – hopefully Elizabeth will be coming too and I can pick her brain about what she got from reading the Anne Mini stuff. (Unless she’s decided the weather is good enough to go frolicking with her dog instead. 😉 )

One thing that might be good is that I think I was actually on the right track when I went ‘off-script’ Tuesday evening and just talked to the Hamilton Writer’s Circle about what excited me about the Missing Gnomes story, instead of reading the plot outline point by point. If I can get the heart of that impromptu speech down into Roughdraft, and then expand some of the scene that excite me the most even more, then I think I’ll be well on my way.

I’m not sure if this is necessary, but I do think it’s worth doing. I’m sure Kij Johnson knows how to write a kick-ass 5-page synopsis. She may not expect everybody applying to her workshop to know that yet, but I suspect those who do will earn a point in her books. Now that I know more about the target I’m aiming for, I’m one step closer.

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Targets ahead of you may be closer than they appear.

March 1, 2012

So, I sat down this evening to get started on NaNoEdMo, and began reviewing some of the many critters.org critiques I got on Chapter 1 of ‘The Scroll.’ There were a lot of them, and a lot of mostly-good opinions in each critique, though I had to chuckle about the critter who was so certain that ‘pyjamas’ and ‘omelette’ were typos. Perhaps in the US they are, but I won’t apologize for using Canadian variants!

Anyway, after about half an hour of this, I realized that I could easily get drawn into trying to tweak the chapter so that it would please as many readers as possible, but that wasn’t what I really needed to do at this point. I want to have a sample chapter that will look promising enough to Kij Johnson that she’ll accept me for the workshop, but it doesn’t really need to be spotless for that, and spending a lot of time polishing beforehand might be counter-productive, in that if I go to Kansas convinced that my sample chapters are perfect, it’ll be harder for me to really listen to what other people tell me about them when I’m there. The responses I got from critters.org were very positive, overall, and that’s an important point.

And after that, I realized something else. I’d put a bunch of qualifiers in front of ‘what I needed to do before I was ready to apply for the Kansas workshop’, but most of it really isn’t necessary. I was getting confused between what I needed to send to Kij to apply for the workshop, and what I need to have ready in mid-May, assuming that I’m accepted, to send to all the other writers who’ll be coming to the workshop. So, I’m only a few days away from having my application all ready to go – one sample chapter and 5-10 pages of synopsis, and the synopsis is mostly ready. I just need to tweak it to make sure that somebody else can follow it, and not get confused about who one of the characters is, or something else like that I can smooth out with more description.

So, I’m in the interesting and fun position of not having to push to reach a goal because it’s not as distant a point on the horizon I thought. Cool!


Precis of ‘Big Bow Wow’

July 4, 2011

This synopsis of the lyrics of ‘Big Bow Wow’ contains none of the sailing jargon or figures of speech of the original, as far as I can tell.

You can buy this album on Itunes!

We left Yarmouth with the wind blowing hard. Everything on the ship looked great. The captain came out on deck, poked all around, and finally found something that we hadn’t done to order us to do.

Then he rushes off back to his cabin, calls for the steward, and immediately starts on the good booze because it was so cold and wet up on deck. Meanwhile, he won’t let any of the sailors have any watered-down rum and keeps swearing at us and saying that we’re no good.

So we talk to each other about how much fun it would be to push the captain overboard and let the sharks eat him.


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