Sunday, January 20, 2008

Learning to love the Synopsis

I've been working on my synopsis now for 'Veiled Beauty' my historical YA novel now for about three weeks, and I'm actually having a good time writing one for once.

Maybe its because this book means so much to me, and I really want to get the story right before I start writing the book. I need to get it and the first 3 chapters to lovely agent by February 15th. My first draft started out kind of rocky (I posted the original first paragraph a few weeks ago), but its now grown in depth and layers since then.

I've had my critters (critiquers) look it over and make some suggestions, and from there last night while I was sitting at the bar at the Mermaid Inn sipping prosecco and eating a lobster sandwich, I added more layers and depth. The book has a Gossip Girl tinge to it, but a little deeper than the books. My character, Rose, has a pretty big secret, as do some of the other characters in the book. So I need to clarify those secrets as well as dig dipper into the relationships of my characters. All within 7 pages without giving away too much of the story!

The very first synopsis that I wrote about 8 years ago was for a Romance Novel writing class I took at Marymount Manhattan College with an editor from Harlequin/Silhouette. We had asked how long our synopses should be, and she said however long it needed to tell the story. So I wrote a 28 page synopsis for what would have been a Harlequin Temptation. However, it was so in-depth, by the time I was done I felt I had written the book. Needless to say that synopsis now resides in a drawer somewhere. Maybe one day I'll pull it out and see what I can do with it. I think its more women's fiction with strong romantic elements anyway.

I started writing the first chapter this week, and it needs so much work! Thank god, I have tomorrow off so that I can really sit down and pull it apart. I'm struggling as to when I reveal Rose's secret. In the first chapter? By the third? Also, I kind of went off the rails for a bit, but after having written 18 pages, I have a good idea of what I need to do to get it back on track.

I was a little trepidatious about starting it since I still have a lot of research to do, but I've just put question marks in the text to remind myself of what I need to look up. Some things I know that I can get away with making up, other things like etiquette and where the bathrooms were in a 19th century college dorm I can not! I have found some on-line 19th century etiquette books and I plan on spending next Saturday at the New York Historical Society doing research. I can't wait!

Thanks for reading,


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