February 22, 2010

Reflections & Triumph


My week away from blogging helped me last week. I was refreshed. I was productive. I was victorious!

I wrote my first synopsis!!!!!

And it's not all that great. Believe me, it's not. I had a friend look it over, as well as my dad, and they both had some encouraging and constructive advice to give me. Once I get their feedback in written form, I will tackle the edits on it.
Photo: Tim Toole


This learning process is such an interesting thing. I had looked online at different synopsis and yet I still struggled with how the thing was supposed to be done. Especially the one pager...it is difficult to fit all the plot variables of your story onto one page--even if it is single spaced! lol


I learned how to write the synopsis through the actual act of writing it. And I learned even more by having someone with experience look at it with expert eyes and show me how to make it better.


I am finding that I can read writing craft books until the cows come home; I can soak up the great blogs about writing until I'm saturated and dripping all over the place; I can research and talk to other writers 24/7 and yet I will never learn as much, or as fast, as when I actually put fingers to the keyboard and write, write, write.


Newbies like me need to write. We need to write a lot. Practice may not make perfect, but it hones our skills and makes our stories stronger.


I'm confessing my addiction to blogs and to FB...and to Twitter...and to TV. (I refuse to confess to my book or chocolate addiction!) I am not giving them up, but I am cutting back. Paring down, weeding out, throwing out...I'm going to be strong.

Yay me!

22 comments:

  1. Isn't learning great? And all the outside stuff, just needs to be done in moderation. All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.
    (-;

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  2. Good, good. A great blog! I spend a lot of time looking instead of doing.

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  3. I've been thinking about taking breaks from blogging. I'm quite addictd to it... I should be strong too.
    ann

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  4. Yay for completing your synopsis! I'm in the midst of a month-long workshop by Camy Tang on writing a synopsis, and it's hard! I know what you mean about doing instead of just reading about things too... I think maybe I just need a computer that can't access the internet for a few hours each day. Haha.

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  5. Congrats on getting a synopsis under your belt! And it sounds like you've done a lot of reflecting lately, too. That's always good.

    That's a neat picture.

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  6. Congrats on your fresh accomplishment. I am learning that it's all about balance. The writer who tries to be an island isn't in a healthy pattern either.

    I am learning to set time limits for myself on activities and to be focused, with a specific objective in mind. This helps me a lot.

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  7. Congratulations! I struggled with my first Synopsis too-- one of the things I found helpful was to go through the book and do chapter summaries first, then turn those chapter summaries into my synopsis. Then once I had a good idea of how the Synopsis should go, I promptly through out the chapter summary business on my next book and just wrote from memory! ha! Oh, dear. There really is no way to learn but writing :)

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  8. Good job writing your synopsis! I haven't even attempted one. In a way it seems more intimidating than writing the novel.
    (I'm a blog addict too!)

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  9. You are so right, Sherrinda. We can't improve our writing unless we write, write, write! Just like cooking or playing baseball or anything really. We learn by doing it. Reading all the great books or watching others or talking about it won't help us--until we start putting it into practice for ourselves. Very good point!

    And while the socializing is a lot of fun with blogging and twittering, it can take away time better spent elsewhere, huh? I think we all need to use self-discpline and self-control with all forms of media/entertainment, even if we're not writers! :-)

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  10. Oh, Sherrinda, you are so right. Nothing can take the place of the actual writing to teach us how to write.

    Congratulations on your synopsis! For me, that's one of the most difficult tasks.

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  11. Congratulations Sherrinda!

    Writing is the best practice- good for you. I enjoyed my blog break too- lots of writing and reading. I feel saturated with words.

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  12. Hi Sherrinda -

    Welcome back! I'm glad your time away was productive.

    I also wrote a synopsis last week. You're right. There's no substitute for actually doing the work.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  13. Oh goodness, I think we're living the same life from miles away. :-) After my unplugged week, I also realized a need to pare down my life. AND I've also been working on a synopsis. I'm taking Camy Tang's synopsis class this month, and wow is it tough! I've got mine whittled down to two pages...Now I have to trim it to one for the Genesis contest...Yikes!

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  14. I agree! Doing is so different than reading about, don't you think? When I find a system that works, I write it down so I won't forget. That's my secret!

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  15. I've come to the realization that I need a blog break, too. Or rather a break from blogging. I'm way too addicted to it and it shows in my lack of writing lately.

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  16. CJ, you so so right...it is all about balance! I'm praying for more of it, for sure!

    Shmologna, I suppose we both need to learn to do more and look less. :) ISN"T IT HARD????

    Ann, it is strange how blogging can become an addiction. There is something about connecting with others who share similar dreams, isn't there?

    Faith, I missed out on Camy's workshop, but just signed up for her 2 week one that is starting March 1!!! I'm so excited!!!

    Janna, relecting was good for me, but getting the synopsis on paper was even BETTER!!!!

    Cassandra, balance it key! I need to do like you and have an objective every time I sit down to the computer. It would help, I know!

    Amalia, that is a GREAT way to do a synopsis! I should have come to you for help! lol

    JenE, the synopsis scared me silly and I must say it was difficult. But once I got going on it, it got a little easier. Not much, but not quite as intimidating. :)

    Jody, I've always admired your self-discipline. Wish I could gather up some through osmosis. :)

    ERica, you are right!!! Writing is the best way to learn. Just do it!!! Oh...loved you blog today. Bell's book is fabulous!

    Tamika, saturated with words sounds so heavenly, doesn't it? I'm glad your break was so productive.

    Susan, you don't sound like your synopsis gave you as much trouble as mine did! ;) Good for you!

    Sarah, oh goodness, I wanted to take Camy's class, but it didn't happen. I did, however, just sign up for her 2 week one starting March 1. Woohooo! Maybe I canperfect the synopsis I wrote last week. :)

    Jill, ooooo, thanks for sharing your secret! :)

    Melissa, I think we all need blogging breaks. Just to refocus on the real "thing"...writing!

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  17. SOOOO proud of you for getting that synopsis down!

    Sigh. Hope you still have time to occasionally say hi at my place.

    Blessings,
    Patti

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  18. hey, Sherrinda! I agree with so much of what you said in this post. Mostly, the synopsis is one horribly difficult item to write. And no one likes to tell you how to write it. not that I've found anyway. I've been working on mine (mostly while on the couch with a really bad cold/flu over the weekeend). I still haven't finished it due to the really bad cold/flu and now I'm back at work. But I must tackle it again very soon! maybe you can share your tricks of the trade re: the synopsis in your next post...??

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  19. You are soooo right! The synopsis is really hard for me, too. I think the act of writing helps me to figure out what the book/blog/seminar meant when they tried to teach me a certain thing. I'll be writing along and realize, "Oh! THIS is what they were talking about!"

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  20. Patti, I'll still have time to stop by...at least that is my plan! :)

    Heather, I'm so sorry you have been sick. There is so much going around right now. I'll pray you get to feeling better and get that synopsis all polished up.

    Lynnette, you are so right about that "light bulb" moment that comes when what you learned is brought to the forefront while writing. I love that!

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  21. A great blog! I spend a lot of time looking instead of doing.

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  22. A great blog! I spend a lot of time looking instead of doing.
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