Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Monday, March 3, 2008

Unstuck (Kinda, Sorta, Maybe)

Part of the problem with writing a synopsis is trying to jam a whole book into 2-3 pages. Hitting on the important parts without sounding like a grocery list; infusing your voice into a sequence of events so the damn thing isn't dry as a Colorado riverbed. It's damn hard.

But that wasn't my problem yesterday. Or rather, it was but not like it usually is.

Yesterday morning and all day Saturday I was agonizing over every sentence and worrying over every word. I forgot to give myself permission to suck. This time it was all coming from the fact that I have found what I think it the perfect agent for this book, and I am so freaked out about making the synopsis perfect, I can't even write the damn thing. Every sucky word was killing my ability to just get the thing on paper. Once you get the thing out, you can fix it. If you never get it out, you're truly screwed.

I was truly screwed.

In the end, I tricked myself. I told myself I was just going to sit down and compile the events of the book so I could use that to write the synopsis. I sat on the couch with a notepad beside me, and I wrote stuff down as it occurred to me. Commercials, slow spots in a show.... Any time I could think of a good way to describe the next event, I wrote it down. Guess what? I now have a good beginning to my synopsis, and I did it without even trying. Sure, it needs rewording. I knew it would. But it's there, and this time, that was the hardest part.

Except now that I admitted my trick publicly, my subconscious may try to torpedo my progress. *shrug* I'll deal with that when the time comes.

How are things in your world today? Ever had to do an end-around on yourself?


Helen Shearer said...

I completely get the synopsis thing! It's difficult to boil your staggering brilliance down to just a few lines isn't it, especially when the pressure to write a great synopsis is always in the back of your mind. Good luck.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Oh yes indeed I have. Synopses are soooooo hard and soooooo important. One friend of mine swore that for her next novel, she would write the synopsis first!

Kristen Painter said...

Things in my world are busy, as usual.

Congrats on getting the bones of that synopsis down. When it comes to them, any method that works is the right one!

Wendy Roberts said...

Sounds like tricking yourself is working :) Sometimes when I find it difficult to get started on a synopsis I get a stack of movies and a stack of books and read back cover blurbs until it puts me in the mood.