kit (mizkit) wrote,


Damn. That would appear to be the end of the Japanese bobtail coffee cup genitiggie gave me some years ago. It's the second time the handle's broken, and this time little shards went everywhere, suggesting that re-gluing it would only prolong the inevitable for not very long at all. Sniffle. I was very fond of that cup.

I decided I needed to start exercising first thing when I got up in the morning, or I wouldn't do it at all, so I got up today and took the dog on a 3+ mile walk. Poor Chanti is exhausted. :)

Writing goal today is to write the TRUTHSEEKER synopsis. I've gotten a chunk of it done and am now somewhat stymied by not knowing what happens next. I paused to clean the kitchen and make lunch, which gave me time to think up one conflict/problem, but I haven't figured out how to deal with 1. the consequences of that, nor 2. the, er, plot that has to go along with those consequences. That sounds like they're the same thing, but they're not. :)

One of the questions I get fairly often is along the lines of, "Do you write a synopsis/outline before you write the book? Should I?"

I wrote my first (pauses to count) 5 books, and also the 7th, without synopses or outlines (the 6th I submitted before it was done, so I needed one). Synopses were hard (still are), and I was convinced I'd lose the joy of telling the story if I already knew what happened. That worked, for several books. It's entirely possible it would continue to work, if I were to do it now.

However, these days I'm selling mostly on spec, which means I have to have a synopsis whether I like it or not. My agent and editor have to know there's at least a glimmer of an idea of how the story middles and ends, preferably without the "and then a miracle occurs" taking place between those things.

What I've discovered is that for me personally, it's actually something of a relief to have a synopsis. I wrote THUNDERBIRD FALLS without one and in retrospect believe it would've been far easier to write with one, though I think it all worked out in the end. :) A synopsis gives me something to go look at when I get stuck. It gives me something to say, "Oh, hey, that's a good idea, I can try to get there!" or, "Oh, that's where I wanted to go; okay, how do I get there?" to. It also means if I don't keep the synopsis open while I'm writing, I often go back at the end and think, "Shit! That was a really good idea, and I didn't use it! Can I make it work now?" (Often the answer is no.)

The only time I've had a synopsis go desperately astray was with THE QUEEN'S BASTARD, which didn't so much go wrong as covered too much material. That synopsis's final third will end up being the first third-to-half of the second book, which my editor okayed, so it'll all work out. Generally, though, I find that synopses don't kill my desire to write the book, because I still don't know all the details, and even if I do know some details, I don't *really* know how the story gets there, so it's still an adventure in finding out.

So for me, much as I hate writing synopses, they're very useful. YMMV, and I refuse to tell people whether they should or should not write them, 'cause what works for me won't necessarily work for everybody. :)

Hm. Would people be interested in seeing a couple of synopses from books that are already published?

miles to Dunharrow: 36
Tags: daily life, exercise, industry essays, writing
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