August 29, 2011

When its not fun, and its just work.

One of my favorite lines in Gates of Fire is 'war is work.'

Sometimes writing is work. I've had a riled grizzly bear of a time getting the synopsis written for Chasing the Lion. Surprise, but its not so easy to pack a thirty three chapter, 112K word novel into two pages. Praise Jesus they're single spaced. It's funny because my husband used to tell me about certain things, 'Babe, try it and then quit when it stops being fun.' Now in context I promise you it was good advice. Right now though, in final polishing and proposal building, writing hasn't been much fun lately. Sometimes its just work.

Thankfully I read in a blog post the synopsis will be the worst writing you ever do. So I was prepared when my drafts came back from the critique partners with more red, blue, and inserted comments in those two pages than a few chapters of the novel normally get in Scribes, combined!

That's a big problem because the synopsis is the first date with an editor or agent, assuming your query letter was good enough to get a first date. I like to think of the query letter as your online dating profile. If the synopsis isn't good, there is no partial or full manuscript request (phone call and second date, respectively).

Like my hero Jonathan in Chasing the Lion, I struggled way too long trying to write this summary without asking for help.A fellow writer recommended author Camy Tang's Synopsis worksheet, available HERE and what an answer to prayer. It certainly helped and was worth the $5 many times over and I highly recommend it to anyone writing a fiction synopsis. So while this part of the road to publication may not be very fun, it's part of the gig so I'll just keep on keeping on and push through. Remember when you hit a log jam, the sagging middle, your characters revolt and you uncover a plot hole, that sometimes writing is work. Work we love, but sometimes we won't be feeling the love, just the work. I'm learning to be okay with that.

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