That means that MeaniePants Sherry (and MeaniePants Angie) have the manuscript and they're doing what they do best. Bleeding on it with a red pen. Okay, with red font. MeaniePants Sherry is going through and bleeding "Why?" all over it. That's really mean, because gee, why would she think *I* know why? LOL. Of course I *know* why...but I know why from a more, I dunno, ephemeral place...I know why because I do, I know what the goals, motivations and conflicts are not because I wrote them down somewhere specifically, but because it's innate. Hard to put into so many words---"The heroine does X because of A. And she does Y because of B, but what she REALLY desires most in life is C"---but necessary to do at this stage, so that I can be sure it's reflected accurately in the book. Confused yet? I am. Sorta. Kinda. Okay, not really.
I haven't written a synopsis in YEARS. Back when I was first published with my e-publisher, after the first couple novels, she didn't want a synopsis. She said, "Laura, just send me the story." Was a great time saver, but alas, those days are gone. I IM'd my friend Valerie Parv and wibbled. She said: "Quick system - put down This story is about.....(heroine & job) who wants...(her goal) because...(motive) BUT, (Hero and his role) gets in her way because he wants (his goal) and (conflict). Then dress it up with some fancy details."
Hey! It works! Well, it would've worked better if...
1. The TV wasn't blaring so loud the entire neighborhood could hear it through closed windows with a jet doing low fly-by's overhead. (Kinda makes it hard to concentrate when the TV is screaming.)
2. I wasn't tired.
3. The kids would've left me alone for more than 30 seconds at a whack. Not that I don't love my kids. I do. But when they talk, they deserve my whole attention, and in order to give them that, I have to come out of The Zone. Sometimes I'm able to totally deZonify, other times, I'm not. Depends on how deeply I'm into The Zone. Since I couldn't totally Zonify last night due to all the circumstances, it was too easy to pop out and get distracted.
Am looking forward to having a few hours this evening to go into The Zone, so I can wrap up the synopsis, work on the query, then wait for MeaniePants Sherry to finish whying all over my ms.
Now...Why I need a MeaniePants...(And why it's Sherry.)
Why it's Sherry: Because. That's all you need to know. She has a shrewd eye, she's awesome to brainstorm with and she's able to spot things that I don't see because I'm too close to the work. Yanno? It all makes sense to me, because it's in MY head, and I get to talk to the characters any time I want, but it MUST be clear to the readers who, obviously, aren't in my head or privy to the discussions I have with my characters, yanno? Continuity issues. Boy, that's one of my biggest pet peeves. Continuity issues. I don't like 'em, can't stand 'em, they irritate the heckadoodle out of me. It's laziness, IMHO, pure laziness on the part of the author who can't keep things straight. For that reason, yes, I do write things like hair and eye color down...Things I'll NEED to refer to because my memory is about this long: -. The more eyes looking for potential continuity flubs, the better.
Why I need a MeaniePants: Because I do. Some writers need crit partners, others don't. I write organically, meaning, I don't plot a darned thing other than making a character list so I can keep everything/everyone straight, but that's the extent of that. I can bounce ideas off her and she'll ask just the right question or give just the right encouragement to keep me going. Her latest mantra is, "Just get the bones written down. We'll worry about the rest in revisions." Now we're in revisions, and her mantra is "Why?" So. If you don't have a MeaniePants Sherry, getcha one. But not MY MeaniePants Sherry, you'll need to find your own.
One final word on revisions: Check out this post by another one of my friends, Theresa Stevens---Ask An Editor: Theresa Stevens on Ten Steps to a Clean Submission and check out Theresa's Editorrent blog, which should be over there----> somewhere, in my blog roll. If not, just google Editorrent.
More links for tips about revising:
Authorness: Revising Your Novel in Seven (Rambling) Steps
Meg Chittenden: Joy of Revision-Checkpoints for Revising Your Novel
Revising and Aditing Your Novel (One of my Squidoo Lenses)
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~Scott Adams
Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination. ~Louise Brooks
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. ~Ernest Hemingway
Don't fear making a mistake; fear failing to learn and move forward. ~Philip Humbert