(Photo credit: Anita Pratanti CC)
My friend Annaliese recently told me about some advice she heard at a writing conference she attended. In a synopsis (or outline), it’s important to not only tell a series of events but to link them by actions on the part of your main characters.
Instead of “this happens, and then this other thing happens, and then this other thing happens,” say “this happens, and so she does this, and because of that this other thing happens.”
Notice how the second story sounds more like something you want to read?
As I finish my outline for Featherfolk draft four, I’m paying particular attention to causality and how my main character’s actions shape her story.
Raven got his first solid rejection yesterday!
And as I’d hoped, it came with useful criticism on pacing and plot issues. The more distance I get from that manuscript, the more I suspect there is still plenty of editing work to be done, and now I have a few ideas of what direction to take.
We’ll see what sort of answer comes from the other agent who has the manuscript in her hands.
I haven’t been at this very long, but I have two pieces of advice for writers beginning the submission process:
1: Keep writing while your manuscript is out. Start something completely unrelated. The more I get excited about Featherfolk and other stories, the less I feel Raven and the Trinketeers is the pinnacle of my work. I’m still on the uphill climb, still improving. There are even more amazing things to come. So if I can’t ever get Raven into shape for publication, I’ll be fine.
2: Remember that you are not your story. You are not even your career. You are a son or daughter of God, and whether or not someone likes your work or wants to publish it has nothing at all to do with your worth as a person. Good news or bad news can’t rock you if you remember that.
Now, back to scribbling.