Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Weight Training and Synopses . . .

Picture by Creative Commons
Last month I had lunch with an old friend I hadn't see for a few years. It was great to see her and catch up. She told me that she'd been doing weight training, which totally took me by surprise. But she looked great: toned arms, weight loss, and generally feeling fit.

I have always had saggy arms, even when I was a kid. There's no muscle there. Nope. Zip. Zero. Well, okay there's a little, enough to type, eat, and everyday kind of stuff, but that's it. I'd lose arm wrestling a five-year-old.

So yesterday I decided I was going to change things. My daughter volunteered to introduce me to the weight machines at the gym.

Holy mackinaw! I've always thought those apparatuses looked like torture devices and this morning I'm sure of it. You know you're in trouble when it hurts to lift a comb. Well, it's not quite that bad, but I'm feeling the workout. I'm glad I have today off from weight training, though I'm a little worried about tomorrow.

But this experience got me to thinking about writing exercises. One of my saggy spots of writing is the dreaded synopsis. I'd rather write the book than write the synopsis. But this exercises is very important. It's a good idea to have a five to seven page synopsis, a one page synopsis, and a blurb about your book. You will use them in many ways.

Five to seven page synopsis . . . 
When you're shopping for a publisher, they will want to see what your story is about. They want to see what your characters are like, where the plot is going, and how the story resolves. A five to seven page synopsis will show this to them.

One page synopsis . . .
Most publishers keep a one page synopsis on every novel. It helps the design department create the cover, it helps public relations as they think of ways to promote a novel, and it tells everything in one page.

A blurb . . .
You've seen these. They are on the back of novels and are very important because the blurb tells prospective readers what the story is about. You have only a matter of seconds to sell your novel. The blurb must catch attention and give a promise.

Today for my writing exercises I'm going to work on synopses. I hope my saggy, aching arms will hold up. ;)

How about you?  Are you going to tone up your arm muscles, your synopses, or both?



  1. Keep at it with the weights. The soreness will go away and you will feel great...eventually. Really. :)

    Same with the synopsis. Blah. Hate writing them, but I want to enter a contest next month and they require a 1200 word summary. So...off I go. Should be interesting, since the MS isn't exactly finished yet.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement with my weight training.

      Hang in there with the synopsis. You'll do great. Some of my best synopsis were for books I've yet to finish.

  2. After you exercise, muscles are the most sore 24-hours later. But if you keep it up (a coupla times a week), your muscles will get used to it pretty quickly and it won't hurt anymore. I can't say the same about writing a synopsis...

    1. Thanks for the good advice on weight training. I'll keep at it. After a couple of months I'll have to report how I'm doing. Now that I've said that, I'm even more motivated.

      Writing a synopsis does get a little easier with the more books a person writes, but it's still not my favorite things to do.

  3. oooh, I actually love writing blurbs and I usually write them for my publisher, because my blurb usually make the books sell better :))) I'm so modest, I know :)
    I see writing blurbs as making trailers for a film, it has to be very visual, it has to create visual images in reader's head.

    You'll be happy to see results of your weight lifting in a month or so :) and if nothing else at least you rested your eyes on some muscly eye candy in the gym :)



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