Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Writer's Words of Wisdom: Which Came First? The Synopsis or the Manuscript?

Hello again my lovely loyal readers! I'm sorry I missed you last week, but I was down for the count with Strep. Trust me, you didn't want my advice. I'm so glad to be back with you and thank you for coming back to see me!

I've read a lot of articles about the best way to write. Do you brainstorm? Write out Plot lines on note cards? Go straight to typing? In grade school, we were taught to sit down and brainstorm, create 'spider' character charts for our lead characters and jump through all sorts of hoops before we finally got down to the nitty-gritty writing stuff. I HATED it. By the time I was allowed to write, I didn't care anymore. I was so tired of picking these poor people and plot lines to death, I just wanted to play with my Power Rangers. I was in the second grade, after all.

Along came high school, and with it, teachers who thankfully didn't care about anything other than the rough draft and the final draft. I felt like I had hit the literary jackpot. Although I'd put off actually doing it, because I usually had to write about stuff I wasn't interested in, and I'd hand it a rough draft with glaring mistakes and it was probably torture for my poor teachers. By the time I got around to my final draft, I'd polished it up as best I could and hoped for the best. It was along the same lines for my college papers, although I was slightly more interested in writing those.

I've taken both approaches. In the beginning I just sat down and wrote whatever came to mind and went from there. I'd fix mistakes and plot holes in editing, but editing a larger manuscript like that is a hassle, especially if you don't print it off first.

Now I've actually taken to a writer's notebook. I brainstorm, write out character descriptions and a whole synopsis to work from. Of course that's probably more for my benefit than anything else. It's so hard to write a novel and then break it down into a smaller novel. This way, I already have a synopsis done, and it's nothing to tweak it and get it ready for submission. I think my stories have benefited from the extra thought and planning I've put into my books as well.

Maybe some of my fellow authors could weigh in on this too. What do you guys think? Is it better to write the manuscript or the synopsis first?  

Don't Forget To Check Out the Other WWOW Authors!

Tammy Dennings Maggy (Tammy Smith)
Paloma Beck
Krystal Shannan

1 comment:

  1. I think it depends on the characters in my head to be honest. With my first erotic romance, I didn't know how the story was going to unfold let alone how it was going to end. I don't write a story from beginning to end. I write it by scenes that pop in my head, sometimes at the oddest times. LOL!

    So like you, I keep a notebook, several of them actually. This way I can work on whatever project my mind is ready for at that moment. With my submissions to Siren Bookstrand, the synopsis has to be less than 300 words in length so I have to pretty much have the entire manuscript completed before coming up with something that summarizes the story from start to finish.

    Other publishing houses allow a longer synopsis of 1 or 2 pages. For my WIP The Kayne Legacy series, I have a rough draft of the synopsis for the series and for each book. This is totally the opposite of what I've done for my Now and Forever series with Siren.

    Overall, I think whatever works best for you at that moment in time is the way to go. I don't think one way is better over the other. Writing should be fluid and alive, changing and growing with each word that is put to the page. More importantly, writing should be a joy and not a chore so use whatever method keeps you smiling!