Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Business of Writing: That Dreaded Synopsis

That dreaded synopsis. I know there are lots of blogs, articles, and handouts on these things. I’ll be honest I hate them. I can do a blurb. It’s not always easy trying to squish your story into a paragraph or two but It does keep you from putting too much in. In romances it’s your two main characters, and your major plot.

The synopsis is where you need to put in more detail. You can add some of your larger secondary characters here and maybe a secondary plot or two. You do have to be careful not to put too much in and that drives me crazy. I don’t know what is too much.

You also need to know the type of synopsis the publisher wants. There are some publishers who only want a page. Maybe two. That’s like a giant blurb. Some want ten pages. That’s like rewriting the book to me.

Writing Tip:
There is no quick and easy solution to writing the synopsis but I can tell you what has worked for me and maybe it will work for you as well. My publisher asks for an outlined synopsis to be sent in when I fill out the forms to get the book into production. I break it down chapter by chapter then put it all together. I find it easier to give a little more detail without giving too much.


Barbara Donlon Bradley wears many hats. She’s a mother, wife, care-giver, author, and editor. She’s a senior editor for Melange Books, and writes for Phaze and Melange books/Satin Romances with over twenty titles under her belt.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

#MFRWorg Newbie's World: Why NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS Won't Work @ErinMoore

Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Won’t Work
A new year is often a time for new beginnings, a refresh of our priorities and our goals.  We often accompany this time of reflection with a wave of resolutions: I will write 4,000 words per day, I will do two blogs posts per week, I will wake up at 5 am every day in order to market my books. 
But how many of those resolutions do we actually follow through with for the entire year? How many do we keep for longer than a month? Probably not many. Pretty soon, we start slipping back into our old ways. We start hitting the snooze button or saying “not today.”

Resolutions are doomed to fail.
Here’s what I want you to get from this blog, though: that’s normal. In fact, it’s so normal that most psychologists and therapists encourage us not to make resolutions for this very reason: not only do we put added pressure on ourselves, but when we (inevitably) fall into our old patterns, we now also have the guilt of a promise broken.

I found this explanation from Carl Buckheit very illuminating:
The main reason they don’t work for most of us most of the time is because the New Year’s resolution operates by imagining a different future and then putting that future into conflict with the version of us who is doing the imagining in the present. In other words, as soon as we make a New Year’s resolution we have at least two of us there: the one in the future behaving differently and theoretically behaving better, behaving more responsibly, whatever it might be; and we have the present person who is imagining that better future. We have a problem; we have a conflict. 

We have attempted to ally ourselves with the future self against the present self.

What he’s saying is that we need to respect who we already are, and know that what we did in the past was not wrong (or bad). We are simply going to re-align, not change our entire person.
So change is possible! If you do it the right way, you can make all of your marketing goals come true.

Here are some tips:
1.       Little by little is the easiest way to make changes. Just like you can’t lose all twenty pounds in one day, you also cannot write an entire book or complete an entire marketing plan in a few days. Know that each step on the journey takes you closer to being that amazing writer and marketer you want to be.
2.       Make your goals easier on yourself. You are not going to be able to go from zero to sixty, but if you go from zero to five…then that seems more doable for both you and your brain to accept. So maybe “get 50 reviews” is easier to achieve if you think “ask/follow up on one review per week”.
3.       Realize that a little bit is better than nothing. Even if you can only write or market for ten minutes, it is better than not doing anything at all. All of those little ten minute increments during the week add up!  (One trick is to use a timer for a ten or twenty minute sprint.)
4.       Consider putting more energy into your mental state than into actual “doing” something. Affirmations, meditation, and envisioning your dreams can all help you to feel good about everything you do.

So go ahead, tear up that sheet of resolutions. Instead, make one small change this week that is easy and sustainable. And then next week, make one more.

What do you think? How have you brought about changes in your own life?