Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writing a Working Synopsis

Well, the photo has nothing to do with today's post. I just wanted to show you my four-legged children. :) They were watching for me to drop a bit of spaghetti as I sat on the couch eating my lunch the other day. Little beggar dogs! But the poor things didn't get a single morsel.
Okay, on to the real post... I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I basically wrote a book in four days. I had already done lots of pre-writing work. Actually, I'd already sent a proposal to my editor, but needed to revise it. And I needed to fix problems with the story seeming episodic. So I decided the best thing for me to do before trying to write a new synopsis was to just "write" the whole story.

I sat down and started writing what another writer calls her working synopsis. I went through and wrote everything that was going to happen in the book--writing a paragraph or two for every scene in the book. It turned out 27 pages single spaced (TNR). A long document! :)

Well, now I'm at the point of actually writing the manuscript. And I thought I'd check in to let you know how it's going.

It's going well! I'm keeping the synopsis file open and minimized. I read the section on a scene, then I write the scene. Then I flip back to the synopsis, read the next scene description, then write it. It seems to be an excellent way for me to work. And because I was able to write the synopsis in a concentrated period of time, it seems to flow better than previous manuscripts.

Of course, I'll still have to go back and revise. I can tell already it's lacking detail. But it'll be a nice first draft. And unless something changes, it should be a pretty quick first draft! Yay! :)

How do you like to do your first draft? And if you're not a writer, I'd love to hear what you liked best about the most recent book you read.




  1. I'm definitely a seat of the pants writer. I think on an idea for a few days...usually while I'd bike riding. Then, I'll do a mind map.

    Ever hear of that? It's pretty cool. Just brainstorming.

    Anyway, after that, I sit and write. And write. And write. I have now worry about grammar, spelling, NOTHING. I just write.

    Then, I set it down for a few days and after that, I start revising, fleshing out the characters, etc.

  2. Well, I wrote a big long comment before my internet froze up. Then it got lost. (sigh)

    Lynn, you're definitely seat of the pants!

    YOu know, another thing I do (with prayer!) is let something brew/ruminate for several days to a couple of weeks. I always seem to do this when I get revision letters. It's like my brain takes a while to process all the changes that need to be made. And I pray that God will help that process along! Then I finally sit down and start working, and sometimes the solutions come right to me. :)