Monday, June 22, 2009


I'm still working on the stinking !@#$@#% synopsis. So far I've got it down from 2 pages to 1. The reason I'm doing this is because I want to submit to an agent that accepts queries only. Right now I have a synopsis that is about 1/2 page, but I don't think it highlights the unique qualities of the story. It doesn't sparkle! Since the agent only accepts queries, I figure I better make it sparkle and highlight what makes the story unique. It's hard. It's really really hard.

The only glimmer of joy in trying to write a better synopsis is that I've been able to revisit some of my favorite scenes and remember the inspiration behind them.

One of my favorite chapters is when my protagonist goes to obtain a Charm that is guarded by an eccentric painter and his minions of impish monkeys. It's a chapter about how things aren't always as the seem. . . .

Artwork by Edgar Muller

One of the main inspirations behind this chapter comes from 3D chalk art much like this one found at

Cool, huh? I never get tired of looking at these. They never cease to amaze me!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why is a synposis harder to write than the whole dang book? - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

First, the good news. Over the weekend I finished the first round of revisions for the fast draft that I did as my NaNoWriMo project this past Nov. It's called Kiss The Frog. I love the story and I'm having fun with it. YaY! Now just a gazillion more revisions to go . . .and I can send it out. ;0)

Now that I'm done w/ that, I'm setting it aside for at least a couple of weeks and I decided to sparkle up the synopsis for my YA Fantasy titled UNSEEN. I just started sending it out. I have a synopsis, but I don't think it conveys enough of what makes the story unique. Unfortunately I have to do better than the doggie in above picture.

The synopsis is hard. It's really really hard. Why is that?

In my quest for a better synopsis/query, I found a great resource on Agent, Kristen Nelson's blog. She gives real queries that she received along with her reaction to them. These are all books/authors that she ended up representing. You'll find them a little ways down on her sidebar. There are about 9 queries from different authors. Very helpful. Thnx agent Kristen. U R dah BEST!

Anyone else have any good synopsis/query advice?

Monday, June 8, 2009

I found my untapped Super Power in Pennsylvania

Does this caterpillar make my hand look fat?

The retreat was great, but what really surprised me was that I discovered my untapped Super Power while I was there.

As it turns out, I'm a caterpillar rescuer!

On average, I saved at least 20 caterpilars that had wandered into peril, whether it was in my cabin, or if they were dangling from a spider web, I was there to save them! (insert super hero trumpet here)

Thanks to me, there will be more butterflies in PA this year.

What is your Super Power?

If you don't know your Super Power, Click here to find out what it is.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Author, Rich Wallace on Voice: What are your favorite "voice" books? - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Here's that mysterious word writers hear about all the time.


It's a crucial element in a manuscript but it's a confusing term. It's hard to wrap our minds around of what "voice" really means. I've found it very helpful to listen to those in the "know" talk about their take on what "voice" is.

Last year about this time I got to hear editor, Martha Mihalik's explaination of "Voice"

This year I got to hear the perspective of a successful author, Rich Wallace. Rich had some awesome points and gave great examples as well.

If I were to boil down Rich's advice, I'd say that


How do your characters show their unique perspective of the world and their thoughts through the words that you choose?

Here was Rich's advice on developing "Voice":

1) Develop a unique eye that makes a scene different.
An example that I can think of from this is Judy Blundell's description of the moon from "What I Saw and How I Lied" A FAT CUSTARD MOON WAS SPLAT IN THE PURPLE SKY.
I think Judy nailed the "unique scenery description" with that one!

2) Research dialogue in specific regions in order to may your dialogue believable.
He uses author (I don't know if I copied her name correctly, so I will refrain from using it) as an example. This author drives around area's, gets out of her car and simply listens and looks for the local oddities that make the area unique. She'll go into bars and listen to how the locals talk to one another.

One of my personal recent examples would be Ingrid Law, author of SAVVY where just one sentence gives you a sense of the characters speech.
"I had liked it with a mighty kind of liking." Ch 1

3) Develop and eye for details that make a person unique.

Mr. Wallace used the example of Susan Orlean who developed a unique sense of personal details by traveling with a group of gospel singers.

An example that I can think of is from "The book Without Words" by Avi

Ch 2 "Everything about Mistress Weebly was small: small body; small face; small gimlet eyes; small nose. Her smallness was emphasized by her being dressed in an overlarge, soiled gown of green that reached her ankles - sleeves pinched at her wrists, apron over all, wimple on her head. It was as if she had been dropped into a dirty sack and was spying out from it. Indeed, the womans only largeness was her curiosity."

I just love that one!!!

What about you? Do you have any authors in mind that have mastered any of these elements of voice?