Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In A Quandry With My Quarto

I thought I would take a break from the perpetual chop blocks that I've been giving myself as of late, and turn to writing about what I'm currently up to. Don't get me wrong, it's been mighty fun dwelling on the past, but I'm sure that everyone is just a tad curious on what I've been up to in the here and now.

The one thing that has been the proverbial 1,000lb goril-lil-lil-lil-lil-lil-lil-lil-lil-lil-lla jamming up my brain and clogging up my sinuses and causing me to do all kinds of writing related exercises under the sun, and in fact has been slowly driving me around the bend and over the cliff, which overall has been a never ending source of paralysis, and in fact has caused me to write this ungodly run-on sentence while I'm trying to figure out a suitable ending.....feh, feh, feh.

Feh, feh, feh, blah, blah, blah, blah....oh hell, just get on with it G.

Synopsis.

I've been doing all kinds of crazy things with my writing because frankly, I'm scared shitless about writing a synopsis for my book. I have completed another round of editing and printed out almost three dozen new pages for it, copied that version over and started tweaking the language so that I would have a semi-clean and a unclean version at my fingertips; I have worked on a brand new story that has grown to 65+ pages (which I just put aside for the time being); and I even started editing another story which M&M was thoughtful enough to critique for me a month ago.

All of this was done because I've been unable to face doing the one thing that would take me from the level of being a blogger who wants to be a writer (notwithstanding the one short I have published so far) to the entry level position of a writer who happens to be a good blogger. And in order to accomplish that, I really need to have a synopsis for my book.

Unlike last time, in which I seriously didn't know what the hell I was doing and did everything that you could possibly imagine wrong for querying/submissions (some day I will write a post about that too), this time I did a little research and found a nice primer on how to write a synopsis. So I got that little item sitting in my notebook of pen and paper (in all honesty, I find that I can concentrate better writing stuff by hand as opposed to writing on a computer, notwithstanding this particular blog post, which of course is actually being written as we speak), and of which is an accomplishment in itself because I printed out that little primer about three months ago.

And for the next three months, there it sat in either my notebook of paper or in the binder containing the finished product gathering dust bunnies. And during that time, I did what I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, and I was happy.

Truth is, I was miserable. I had a great story, nicely written, nicely critiqued and edited to death three times over and yet, I couldn't pull the trigger to take the next step. Yup, I was a charter member of Procrastinators-R-Us.

So what finally made me decide to start working on it after all this time?

The main reason as to why I decided to take my game to the next level is that I was coming up on my one year anniversary of when I first jotted down the sentence, "I need an extension."

Yup, Super Bowl Sunday 2010 is when I started writing this thing and although I know that to most writers out there, one year spent writing a novel can be the equivalent of spending a calendar month writing short stories, to me spending a year working on a novel is about ten months too long. Yeah, I know that to spend only two months writing a novel sounds wrong, to me it really isn't. I spent about two months writing this book, which is only about one-third of the time I spent writing Shades of Love, and for me, those were the longest two months I'd ever spent doing something that I truly enjoyed.

Honestly, I don't enjoy procrastination on any kind of level. I'm the kind of person who likes to complete tasks that are set before him (notwithstanding the writing aspect of my life) no matter how challenging it may be, and I have a tendency to get very OCD/anal when I can't do complete a particular project that was assigned to me (yeah, I know, writing is not a good hobby/career to pursue when you have OCD/anal retentiveness as it applies to work).

So I decided that starting tomorrow, instead of hibernating after lunch to work on my latest writing project, or even to work on this blog, I will hibernate in my den (I'm very anti-social when it comes to holidays), whip out my pen, paper, notes, manuscript and start my first attempt at writing a coherent synopsis (I already have one that isn't coherent for Shades of Love and you better hope and pray that I don't post it elsewhere and show everyone how not to write a synopsis, 'cause its 8 pages of dreck).

I say start, because I have Friday off (unpaid furlough day), Saturday off, and Sunday off, and I plan on working on this damn thing for the entire four day weekend.

I'm not sure how this is gonna end up in the long run because not only I am terrible at writing outlines for my stories (How terrible? I didn't even write an outline for this book. I had a premise and I had an ending. Everything else, and I do mean everything, in between was created on the fly as I went along), but I am horrendous at summarizing.

As the incredibly tired yet completely accurate cliche states, every journey starts with the first step. But if this journey starts with the first step, why is the distance between every single one of those steps measures the length of a football field?

16 comments:

  1. Best of luck, G. It ain't easy that's for sure. At least you have a nice long weekend.

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  2. You think you are a procrastinator...I did not submit my book to ANYONE this year. Kept meaning to. The best intentions...


    BTW the author Erica Jong says writers are the best correspondents (e.g. writing letters, e-mail, etc.) because it allows us to procrastinate w/the writing we should be doing.

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  3. David: Thanks.

    I actually been planning for this long weekend (four days, one without pay) since early November.

    I tell ya, there are very few things that are related to writing that scares me, and writing a synopsis is in the top two.

    R: Perhaps you is, perhaps you isn't. While its been coming up on a year with this book, I actually been working on getting my feet wet since 2009. Had two false starts before I finally finished this one. So you might say I'm coming up on two years.

    I agree with that statement, because notwithstanding the missive you got from me this past summer, I can write some truly interesting letters.

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  4. Wishing you all the luck in the world, G. I think that you have a good plan to tackle this job. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  5. Kelly: Thanks. And here's to you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.

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  6. Hope the synopsis writing goes well, G. They are a bitch - at least for me.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  7. Don't spill turkey gravy on your synopsis! Sum it up, n very good luck!

    Have a good Turkey Day too!
    (wish I had all that creative time...)!

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  8. Talon: Thanks.

    Reading your brief and succinct comment reminded me of a teacher I had in high school English. Before we could write our compesition, we had to write out the details that we were going to put into it. Suffice to say, I got a good round of F's because I had no clue on what I was doing.

    Snaggle: Thanks, and I hope you're able to have something of a T-giving as well with your family.

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  9. I dread the synopsis myself. Its like taking out all the good stuff.

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  10. You would think that writing a synopsis would be the easy part, but it's not. It's a bitch. Good luck, G!

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  11. Charles: Most definitely. I suck so bad at summarizing it doesn't even rise to the level of pathetic.

    In any event, I'm gonna give it my best shot over the long weekend.

    Mama Z: It should be. After all, a synopsis is a short story, right? And I can write a halfway decent short story.

    But man oh man, I would rather write a dull statistical report complete with footnotes about microfilming than write a synopsis.

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  12. I think a synoposis is a waste of time really. If I was an editor/agent I'd rather read the first page of the novel. Still, I suppose one must follow conventions. (Groan, groan - I know exactly what you mean about it being a complete pain in the arse.) My advice is keep it as short as pos, which gives the reader as little time as possible to get bored, and more time to get to the opening chapter!

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  13. Oh yes.. I came over to say Happy Thanksgiving!!

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  14. Jane: I plan on doing exactly that.

    My book totals 12 chapters and if I follow the guidelines of the primer I found, it should total no longer that two pages tops.

    I already bombed out on my first attempt becacuse we had so many people yesterday that it was impossible for me to get that block of time to do it.

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  15. Snow: Thanks. I'm making decent progress with it right now.

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Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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