June 19, 2010

What I Learned Today: Part II

Here are my notes from my first meeting with the Cactus Rose Romance Writer's of America Chapter. Today our workshop was How To Write a Synopsis. They're very brief, but I think you'll get the point.

Catch the reader’s attention and keep it. Time and setting, evolution of the relationship, clearly define characters, clearly define the conflict that prevents them from being together.

If the happy ever after doesn’t happen in the first book it needs to be happy for now.

Every romance has two plots: the romance and the environmental plot. Have to fit together. Romance plot is foremost.

Too many characters in the synopsis will be overwhelming.

Concentrate on the hero/heroine/villain.

Don’t drown the agent/editor in too much irrelevant information.

Find balance between romance and suspense.

FIRST PARAGRAPH of Synopsis: Catch/hook. Time and setting. What’s the main problem for the two main characters?

Clearly define the romance in the synopsis to keep it Romance.

Clearly define characters, who they are, not what they do. Synopsis needs to be character driven, not plot driven. How does it affect people emotionally? Include growth of the characters.

Use an active voice, keep the language limited that matches the tone of the book.

Plot points are major turning points, use these instead of an outline.

Learning about writing: Reading, critiquing, judging contests.

WHEN THEY FALL IN LOVE AND ADMIT IT: BOOK OVER. What draw them together, why do these people fall in love?

Major turning points implicate the romantic relationship, make it grow or turn sour. Trust plays a huge roll in romance.

Suspense: want suspenseful and angst-like verbs.

Love triangle: feelings for one man need to be stronger than the other.

Capitalize all main character names, lets the reader know whose important.

Make readers believe they know my characters as much as I do in the synopsis.

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