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Thursday, March 1, 2007

The voice in your synopsis

Welcome to my new home. If you’d like to see some of my earlier posts, go to my website. On the left hand side you’ll see links to my hit list of favorite topics.

The voice in your synopsis

I’ve mentioned earlier that I took an online workshop on synopsis writing. The instructor, Laurie Schnebly was a sweetheart. She was very kind and supportive.

The Selling Synopsis was one of the better workshops I’ve attended. Laurie was organized, timely and she answered every question with well thought out answers. She also left me with a strong sense of accomplishment and confidence.

You guys know I only plug stuff I believe in. This was a good class. I recommend it highly if you are looking for help in building your synopsis. It was so good I intend to take other classes that Laurie teaches. How's that for an endorsement? Here's the link for WriterU. There are lots of other classes. (I'm taking the next three on the list so holler at me if you are taking them too.)

After her class, I went back and created a new query and synopsis. I threw out all the white bread stuff and then I did something remarkable. I let my voice shine through both pieces.

Let me preface this by saying there was nothing wrong with my original synopsis. It was pretty darn good. Good use of white space, perfect grammar and spelling and a solid outline of the story---in under 500 words, mind you. It did everything it was supposed to do--except I couldn’t hear my voice in it. I had all the important stuff in there, but my individuality was lost in all that perfect pontificating.

The query wore the same britches. It was the ideal business letter, short and to the point. I've written enough of them in my career to know how to write a proper business letter. But to my mind's ear it was a little too perfunctory, a little too zzzzzzzz, when what I needed was something to excite the agent about this project.

When I wrote the new query, I tossed out all the politically correct words and replaced them with the color of the novel. What a difference a change in perspective makes.

My first stab at this new query and synopsis feels good. They read naturally, as if I was telling something interesting to a friend. I don’t know if it’s ready for primetime yet, but it feels close. For the first time, they each sound like the voice in the novel. ---Thanks, Laurie!

Later this month, I'll go through the steps I took to put that voice in my query and synopsis.

Tomorrow:
Markets

2 comments:

Sandra said...

Hi Maria!

Just letting you know I put up a link to your new blog on mine. Ironically, I also have a new LJ blog focused on writing so I can network with people from OWW. I guess it doesn't hurt to be in two places at once.

Good luck with the new blog!

Sandra

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Sandra!
Thanks for the link. Hope you and baby are doing fine.

Send me your LJ link, here or through email and I'll update my blog tonight.
--m