I visited a blog recently and talked about my mantra of allowing yourself to write a ‘crappy’ first draft and how much this changed my writing output overnight. I really think writers put more pressure on themselves than any editor, agent, reviewer or reader ever could so when I discovered how much more I get written when I stop obsessively editing, it was SO liberating!
But are we ever happy with our writing? Do we ever fully believe we haven’t written the best story we possibly can? Do we fully embrace the potential to receive five star reviews for all those thousands of little words that we spent weaving into a novella or full-blown novel?Nooo, of course not!! That would make sense. It’s far better just to beat ourselves up and constantly rant and rave that we can’t write, we’re not good enough or how would anyone want to spend a weekend of their time, sitting on a couch with a cold glass of wine and one our books. Yes, this is said with my tongue in my cheek…but it isn’t entirely untrue. Well, not for me anyway. But I digress…the topic of my blog today is synopsis writing and how I write mine. As a result of that author visit I mentioned at the start of this post, apparently the stage in the writing process when I write mine is rare, as opposed to my method so I thought I’d share both. When do I write a synopsis? BEFORE the first word of the story is written, of course. Don’t you? No? Okay, well, I never claimed to be normal or I wouldn’t write in the first place, right? ;) How do I write a synopsis? The general rule of thumb is as follows:
First paragraph – I start with my blurb, this is my HOOK. If you can get this job done now, it will help you massively once you’ve typed ‘The end”. Try to summarise you book in a single paragraph, keeping the mood and tone of the story as your focus.Introduce your hero and heroine – and most importantly their ‘problem’ or goal. In other words, here is where you establish, Goal, Motivation & Conflict (never easy!) Next, you establish the high points of your story – the pivotal moments. The best tip I was ever given when writing this stage is every high point should include an ACTION, REACTION and a DECISION. Finally, the resolution – how is everything tied up into a nice neat package leaving the reader happy and satisfied. Easy, right? Well, I never said that did I? ;) But why writing this BEFORE I start the book works for me is because I have a ‘skeleton story’ established that I can refer back to if I get lost, but also gives me the freedom to change and go with the flow as much as I want. If I change things along the way, or the characters take the story off in a different direction, that’s okay. I just remember to update the synopsis as I work so when my story is finished, so is my synopsis (more or less!). Good, huh?
Rachel’s latest release is Paying The Piper, available from Lyrical Press on September 19th.
Blurb:Nightclub manager Grace Butler is on a mission to buy the pub where her mother's ashes are scattered but the owner wants to sell to anyone but her. And that owner happens to be her father...who has a secret she will do anything to discover.
Social worker and all around good guy Jimmy Betts needs funds to buy a house for three special kids before their care home closes. Time is running out and he's desperate for cash. He agrees to to a one-time 'job' for bad-man Karl Butler. But in a sudden turn of events, Jimmy finds himself employed by Karl's beautiful, funny and incredibly sexy daughter, Grace. Their lives couldn't be more different, yet one thread binds them: they're both trying to escape the bonds of their fathers. Maybe the only way they'll be free is by being together, instead of alone.
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Having always believed there’s someone for everyone, Rachel started writing her own tales of love once her children were at school. Since then, she’s had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press. She has recently acquired a US agent with her second Victorian historical. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, Rachel cannot imagine her life without romance or writing!
When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family.And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…
Check out Rachel's work, and if you'd like to guest post here, drop me a line.