Sunday, 11 September 2011

What is a Synopsis and Why? . . . Part Two . . . And an Award!!

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor."
Henry David Thoreau                        

Me?  An Award?  I'm speechless, which is unusual.  I never knew this award even existed!

I graciously thank Carol Apple, a talented writer from SheWrites for this Liebster Blog Award.  What an honour!  My very first award ever!  I feel like Sally Fields.  "You like me . . . You really like me!!"

Liebster means "beloved" in German where the Liebster Blog Award is supposed to have started.  This award is designed  to bring additional recognition to quality bloggers with less than 200 followers.  Please show Carol some love by visiting her unique and highly resourceful blog at

The rules associated with this award:

  1.  Thank the giver of the award and link back to them.
  2.  Give the Liebster Award to 5 bloggers and let them know with a comment to their blog.
  3.  Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
  4.  Enjoy the love of some of the most supportative people on the Internet.
  5.  Have fun blogging!

These are my picks for the new winners of the Liebster Blog Award:

  1.  Fi Phillips - Fi's Magical Writing Haven  - The writing, thoughts and ideas of a playwright and hopeful novelist @
  2.  Julie Farrar - Traveling through . . . the World, the second half of my Life, and my own Mind @ 
  3.  Becky Green Aaronson - The Art of an Improbable Life - My Twenty Years with an International Photojournalist @
  4.  Lori Robinson - Africa Inside @
  5.  ThelmaZ - Widowsphere: A Circle of Hope @

Enjoy your Award . . . and may this be "just the beginning . . ."

And readers, please take a glimpse at the unique blogs listed above!

Publishing is a business. Writing may be art, but publishing, when all is said and done, comes down to dollars.    - Nicholas Sparks
I sit here, prepared to write Part Two of my Synopsis blog . . . yet something I read this week, keeps knocking on the inside of my forehead.  I guess this means I'm to mention it now . . .
At this point of My Uncharted Journey into Publishing, I'm straddling the fence . . . vascillating between an agent and traditional publishing . . . and self-publishing!  The more I research and study, the more I'm leaning towards self-publishing.
Yesterday, I came across something that took place in March . . . which REALLY OPENED MY EYES!    

NYT Best Seller Barry Eisler turns down $500,000 advance in favor of Self Publishing

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing has an article titled, "Ebooks and Self-Publishing - A Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath, which is a MUST READ for all straddlers like me.  Then judge for yourself . . .  check it out on Google.

Any stragglers riding the fence like me?

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  - Sylvia Plath
What is a Synopsis and Why . . . Part Two?
Envision one or two things while you rework your synopsis . . .   
  • Writing a book jacket blurb for your book
  • You must pique the casual browser's curiosity, make him want to buy the book to see what happens.
  • Read a few jacket blurbs to get the feel of how it's done.
Let's say you've seen a great movie . . .
  • You're describing it to a friend . . .
  • You're not saying "Cameron Diaz was chased by this drug addict and the police shot him . . . the end."  Sound enthusiastic?
  • No . . . you say something like, "Cameron Diaz was terrified, this pot-head kept calling her by another name like she was someone else.  He was everywhere.  His phone calls were more scary.  Finally she slips a note in her roommates purse to alert the police where she's going next.  The police are waiting undercover.  There's a struggle, he's killed. Only then does she find out it was the same creepy guy from her old job she refused to date.  (not a terrific example but you get the idea) 
This is how your synopsis is going to sound when you're done . . .
  • Enthusiastic
  • Enticing
  • Tantalizing
  • Description that makes the reader pick up the manuscript to find out what happens!
How can make your synopsis unique and exciting? 
  • Start with main character and his crisis.
  • Include snippets of dialogue from the manuscript itself.
  • Show the character's emotions and motivation that explain why the character does something . . . keep it brief.
  • Only use background information necessary for reader to understand story.
  • Build excitement as you near the end, using short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Synopsis is a sample of your writing.  A flavor of what reading your work will be like . . . give it your all.    
Remember that one or two sentence story line, or theme that you discovered!
  • It should be in your synopsis, or cover letter.  Editors and agents like having this extract as something they can use when presenting your book to the buying board.
  • And it's something you can use when someone asks you, "What's your book about?"
Synopsis . . . to be continued

Lesson learned . . . or my two cents

Did you know that in 1992 chewing gum was ban in Singapore?  In fact, littering of any sort warrants a hefty fine . . . like $700 for a gum wrapper . . . if not jail time.  There are 400 undercover agents always watching.  Thus, Singapore is rated as the cleanest country in the world.  Wouldn't that be lovely?  People who live there know the rules, it's the visitors who have problems it seems.  Check it out on Google.  I did because it was hard to believe . . .

Has anyone experienced this beautiful clean city . . . visiting, or better yet, living there?


  1. Nancy,
    Congratulations on your Liebster Award!! I'm thrilled for you (but not surprised). And I'm honored that you nominated me for one! Wow. That's all I can say. Just wow! Well...besides the fact that your new post is useful and inspiring, as always. Keep up the great work. You are a winner! : )

  2. Yes, Congrats! Yes, I am straddling the fence, but that isn't stopping me from learning everything I can. The more I know (like you) the more informed decision I can make. The industry is upside down... it's a good time, as well as a nerve wracking, to be an author. ( I had to copy and past this one for future reference) Thanks again..

  3. Becky - First of all, thank you kindly. And secondly, your blog is definitely award winning, but this is the only award I had to give you. Much success to us both. See you in class one day soon. :D

  4. Brenda - Thank you, and congrats to you too. Someone beat me to you. :) The publishing industry is in a major tilt, but I think it's time writers, who spend decades writing, end up with a larger slice of the pie. Meg's latest article noted adult paper books are down 64%! Wow, that's a lot, whereas ebooks are up 162%. The article I mentioned above goes more into these numbers. I'm holding back until I understand which yellow brick road to follow.

  5. Thanks Nancy for stopping by
    I have joined your blog and look forward to your weekly tips into the amazing world of writing and getting published; whether it is via the traditional route or ebook. I went to borders yesterday, the books were 90% off, I felt so sad.

  6. Hi Nancy:
    Sharing a couple thoughts on your creative journey to publishing. "Go with what you know." You know everything you need to know to get your book to market (i.e. self-publishing). You do not need to wait for ONE Magic Agent to fall in love with your writing. You already have a thousand of us (because of your blog) that are anxiously awaiting the real deal. Step out in faith.
    Second Thought: God is not going to show us A to Z. He shows us A,B,C... to get us on the road of faith, otherwise we would never start the walk. I like to think of the 'yellow brick road' as the one He has paved with gold.
    Start running sweetie. He's got you by the hand.
    Love you
    Pauline Sexton
    A Small Collection - From Mustard Seed to Masterpiece

  7. Nancy, thanks sooo much for the award. Come by and see who gets it next.

  8. Thanks so much Nanc for your nice word and paying it forward! One reason I love your blog is that I find truly useful information about a path toward publishing I hope to follow someday. Thank you so much for the pointers on self-publishing resources. This is definitely an area I want to research. I look forward to finding out which direction you choose to pursue!

  9. Hi Jennie - I'm so happy you joined my journey. It really is amazing. Each day I learn something astounding about the future of the publishing world which is being "laid at our feet" this very moment. It's like someone gave us a shiny new airplane with a box filled with instructions. Now we need to learn how to fly it . . . This is what I'm trying to get a grasp of. (may use this analogy in my next post) :)

  10. Sweet Pauline - Thrilled you came by. I know what you're saying, as you've said it many times, but I'm not ready to jump yet. It's like those little rooms you furnish on graph paper before you move . . . every thing has to fit in place. Make sense now? Love you :)

  11. Carol - I love you came back so soon. You deserve the nice words, remember that! I write what I find to be the most important areas for me, and I know others are in my same shoes. There are hundreds of writing/publishing books and articles to wade thru. This way I share what I've found, think and do . . . hoping to make the transition easier for other writers. I know I want to have a number "marketing stradegies in place" before my book release. All will know once I reach this point . . . xo

  12. Congrats on your award, Nancy! The publishing industry is in such flux at the moment that I think agents, publishers and writers are all scratching their heads trying to figure what it all means.

  13. Oh, Nancy, thank you - I only wish I knew "which Nancy" you were (no picture), there's so many of us. Sometimes I add my last name to clarify. My research is opening up this amazing new world, which I'll be sharing as I move forward. The possiblities are endless, we're no longer peasants ruled by lords. We're free . . . I don't think the lords know it yet.

  14. Hi Nancy! First of all, congratulations on your award! :-)

    I've been to Singapore back in 2008 and I can say that it is a really clean and peaceful country. :-)

    And I'm soo glad I found your blog because I needed all the info you mentioned in this post as I am an aspiring writer! I'd love to learn from you!

    Take care and God bless! :-)

  15. Welcome, Irene, and thank you. I'm soo happy you joined my journey. Since you're an aspiring writer, may I recommend you check out last week's blog, my "Cheat Sheet," where I list each post and content since I began this blog in April. I've shared what steps I'm taking, good and bad, hoping others can learn along with me.

    And you're the first to mention Singapore, which sounded so lovely and clean. Thank you for sharing . . . Blessings