Friday, October 9, 2009

Editing, Synopsises and other gut wrenching activities

It's been such a strange week. One of those weeks that makes me wonder. My kids have been taking turns with the stomach flu. I've lucked out- haven't gotten the full version of it, but maybe hanging out with sick kids rubs off on you after a while.

And, I'm finally going to say it out loud, and live with the consequenses. I've finished writing book 2 of Alvor. I've been working on editing and revising. Anyone who's ever done that before knows that the process turns your love affair into a "I can't believe I was that stupid." Kind of like the butter, only worse.

Yet, in spite of my obvious flaws, I still like the story. A lot. It's a little more grown up than Alvor was. Still safe, but more teen.

But, for all practical purposes, I'm going through the stage of writing when I wonder if any of this is really going to work. Can I get an agent this time? Is there a bigger publisher out there for me? All the questions writers beat themselves over the head with until they finally get the only answer that will quell the raging storm. Yes.

I just need a yes.

In the meantime, I have been writing a dreaded full synopsis. If you've never heard of this, it's basically writing your entire novel in present tense condensed. In ten pages, tell the editor everything that happens in your story, from beginning to end, including all the subplots. Oh, and while you're at it, make it tense, suspenseful, full of emotion and captivating.

I'm one of those people that feels like writing a full synopsis is kind of like writing a really boring text book. It feels nothing like writing novels. I have pretended for months now that I would hire a brilliant synopsis writer to do the job for me, but even then, I knew was only hiding from the inevitable.

The fact is, I love writing novels and talking to people at presentations, book signings and school visits. That is the fun part of being an author. All the invisible work- like writing query letters and synopsises is not my idea of fun.

Did you know that the dictionary considers a synopsis a brief outline? Ug.

I'm setting out to finish what I started, which means trudging through this part of the process. And now that I'm officially 'out of the closet', I'll keep you posted with how things go. It's always fun to read about how many times a writer has been rejected. Sorry, I haven't been keeping score. But if I do hit a home run, I'll let you know.


Synergy Girl said...

Hahaha...never thought I would hear that my sister was coming out of the closet...AND with butter!! Even the WORD "synopsis" sounds too much like homework...BLEH!!! I know you will get through it and hit your homerun though...!!!

L.T. Elliot said...

I think that synopses are the hardest things to write. Ever.

CONGRATULATIONS ON FINISHING BOOK TWO!!! That's the best news for us fans!

Magenta said...

You're finished with Book 2?! Good for you!!! ^__^ What's it called? (Is it okay for me to ask that?)

I hope you get through the synopsis work quickly. It sounds tough. =P

Looking forward to more updates!

Sara said...

Hey Laura, I'm so excited to hear that book 2 is done! Congratulations!

A. Grey said...

Serious congrats on finishing book two! I, never having yet gotten an agent, editor or and valid connection with the publishing industry yet, am in the process of a detailed edit on my first ms, while working on sequential books, and two unrelated books.

The good part? I can see myself improving in every way. When I go back now and read through what I've got on a various project, it looks like an actual book off a bookstore shelf.

The bad part? Now I'm not sure which ms is stronger, which is more likely to get attention, (obvious YA vs epic fantasy with YA flavor) and which one I should be focusing on more (the one in final edit or one that might be stronger, but is still in first draft form and not ready to send out).

*sigh* I'm sure it doesn't get any easier. :) But you'll do fine! Just remember to breath. And enjoy those lovely fall leaves!

mitzi said...

Wow, stomach flu and a synopsis at the same time--sounds like torture to me. With how well book 1 has done, I know book 2 will take off! I love you!!!

Laura said...

A. Grey- I need more details!!! You're going to have to e-mail me what your books are about. The curiosity is killing me. laurabinghambooks at

And Tamra- you're just sick. Coming out of the closet with butter. I mean, come on. What's wrong with you :)

L.T, Magenta,Sara & Mitzi-- thanks so much for your support. If I could just read your words every single day maybe I'd believe them long enough to watch miracles happen. Love you too!

Melissa said...

Laura, I told Michael you had finished book 2. He has NOT STOPPED bugging me about it. Oh the questions! He also re-read Alvor this weekend. Can't wait to get our hands on #2!!!