Thursday, July 15, 2010


The Balrog. Demon of shadow and flame, and the nemesis of Gandolf the Grey. When confronted with the Balrog in the depths of Khazad-dûm, a rare glimpse of fear twisted the face of the great wizard. Gandolf Stormcrow and the Balrog fell, tied in a battle to the death.

I think we as authors often pitch ourselves in similar battles. We set ourselves up for frustration and plummeting feelings of sick, sticky failure when we face down our writing nemesis. We become Gandolf, and we face our beast of shadow and flame--our battle becomes...

Us vs the Synopsis of Evil

We fuss and fidgeted, worry and angst about what to put in to a synopsis and what to leave out. Do we write it from distant third? Do we say XXX is the story of... ? How can we fit the motivation, conflict and resolution and the romance all into 2/5/10 pages?? There's so much in this story! Sound familiar? Yeah, been there, done that. I whined. I moaned. Then I pulled up my Big Girl Panties and dealt with it.

First, we need to fall out of love with our own words. If we let go of what we think is so damn brilliant, and peer through the pretty word glamor, we can see what's beneath. We need to realize that scene or snippet of dialogue we love so much doesn't necessarily belong in the synopsis. The synopsis is the story of the story, it is a blending of story arc, conflict arc and romantic arc, and their resolutions, and yet still be engaging enough to make readers want to keep reading, and then read the entire book.

Yes, I know. Daunting. The Blarog in the shadows of our Writer's Doom.

We need to be Gandolf. We need to realize in facing our nemesis, we face our fear. And, in many cases, our fear controls us, makes us (and our synopses) weak. I found a magic talisman that helped me battle my Balrog and win. I wish to pass this weapon on to you. Knowledge. A friend pointed me to this link, I signed up (IT'S FREE), and then downloaded a synopsis writing guide that took the fight out of my Balrog, and gave me the weapon to slay my nemesis.

Fighting the Synopsis of Evil? Go to Denise Vitola's site and sign up for her newsletter. When you do, you can download her HOW TO WRITE A FICTION SYNOPSIS THAT SELLS. Her guide was the magic I needed to triumph.

With this magic, you too can become like Gandolf, do battle, best your nemesis and temper your writing wizarding mettle. Gandolf became clean and White. Hopefully, you can become triumphant, you can become represented, and perhaps some day you can become a published author!

Gratuitous linkage:
Direct link to Denise Synopsis Guide.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Hey, y'all, my new blog and Twitter friend Tricia Rayburn's book SIREN releases today!

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a strong of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair tries to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

So, if you're in the market for a summer read, check it out!





Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Hey, y'all. As you may know, I'm a member of a group blog full of YA writers. We're steadily growing over at the Oasis for YA, and when we reach 100 followers the Oasis for YA gives back to our followers. We will be giving:
  • A book tote made by me
  • Autographed copy of Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
  • Captivate by Carrie Jones
  • Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
  • $10 iTunes gift card
  • $10 Barnes & Noble gift card
You need to be a member of the Oasis, then watch the blog for more details. Once we hit 100 followers, we're throwing a party! Well, opening the contest. Prizes are better than parties, right?