Sunday, 7 June 2015

Synopsis fear, novella and shortlisted

What was I to do now my 'baby' was at the proof-readers? I couldn't waste precious time waiting, or hoping. There was one final task: the dreaded synopsis! Oh dear. I've written quite a few in previous years but the fear remains. Previously I've searched the writing websites for hints and tips but it has still taken me eons of time only to be read by a pro who has criticised my content, structure, inclusion, subplot overkill and language choices. So, it goes without saying... I don't believe I can write a synopsis.

Monday morning arrived, I began the early writing shift which is now the routine - I stared at the screen. I could imagine a beautifully crafted piece but knew that I would actually write the equivalent of a pig's ear. So, my options was to repeat as before or seek something different - in doing so I turned to Julie Cohen's web page recommended at a Tamsyn Murray's Live, Breathe, Love writing workshop in April. Julie provides a synopsis formula consisting of eight paragraphs - I can write eight paragraphs, I've done it before. But what I hadn't done before was written a synopsis that I enjoyed writing, a synopsis that made sense as to why I was including specifics details and a synopsis that once I'd finished I didn't have to change to font size 11 to ensure it sat on one page! In a couple of writing sessions I was done and... the synopsis fear may have gone!

I've also returned to draft one of a winter novella that I planned and started while the W.I.P was in hibernation a few weeks ago. I'm now a third of the way through and am loving the simplified plotlines of a novella. My brain couldn't handle anything chunkier at the minute but this has proved to be the right project as a stop gap. It seems weird writing about snow drifts and mistletoe toe in June but otherwise it is progressing well.

And then Saturday arrived. Saturday was plodding along as an ordinary day in my writing room, I was busy with the winter novella and my Facebook page notifications pinged. Then pinged again and then pinged some more. Curiosity got the better of me and I opened the web to find the lovely Janice Preston congratulating me on being shortlisted for a competition in Writing Magazine. Sure enough she'd provided the evidence in a snap shot of the names, I was indeed there. I hadn't seen it. I ran downstairs, grabbed my unread copy from the table and fumbled through. It was true. I had been shortlisted for the 'opening line competition' the closing date had been February 2015. I had entered a piece called 'Joyce' and have gained my first ever shortlist - I am chuffed. The added bonus was the warm congrats that flowed for the rest of the day from the RNA lovelies via FB and Twitter. So a big thank you to Janice; I wouldn't have seen the page for several more days and thanks to the lovelies for their continued support.

Today, I am attending Writers in Warwickshire at Astley Castle to give a poetry reading as part of the Polesworth Poets. I shall be reading my poem about a little pit pony called 'Jutt' - which is displayed/erected in the Pooley Heritage Centre, Warwickshire. I'm hoping the weather holds and that the audience have an enjoyable morning.

So what was I going to do while my 'baby' was at the proof-readers? It seems that 'be a productive writer' was the answer all along.

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