Had a heck of a time with the post for this week. I wanted to share progress on my projects, but my brain held visions of artifacts. So I bowed to the pull of the universe, which after all, is far more powerful than all of us.
So what’s on my mind? Months. Specifically, the months it took to compose the publishing artifacts for my novel: the short synopsis, hook, and log line. Each time I thought I’d finished them, I found that I hadn’t. I’d thought so in October. A few weeks later, I revisited them and oh no…how could I have thought that they were any good? Carving out time before Christmas, when I really wanted to work on the new novel, I attacked the artifacts again. Surely, I’d edited them into perfection this time. Strike two. A few days into 2012, I revisited them again.
Yes I know. I’ve just said, “I visited them again, again.” But it’s true. Each time I reviewed them, it was with the experience of having previously reviewed and edited them. In my brain, such experiences accumulate, and over time, coalesce into a foot that promptly kicks me in the pants. This kick inspired me to play the story visually through my head as though it was a movie. WTH? Immediately, the most exciting moments jumped out at me, and I quickly wrote them down.
I’d had a head-bashing time of it while editing the (nearly) 120K version of the story down to the size it is now. Thinking about distilling it down to no more than two pages from the perspective of ‘author’ made doing so practically impossible for me. Visualizing the story as though remembering a movie I had seen, revealed to me that I should use the synopsis to show the high points of the characters’ journey, with the twists and turns that make the story an exciting ride. Fueled by that epiphany, I wrote with intent and purpose, fusing the plot points into a clear, concise, and shorter! synopsis; not a single wasted word.
To my surprise, the ‘hook’ easily fell into place. An adaptation of a paragraph that I had previously – and erroneously – thought of as the log ‘line’, and the first paragraph of the synopsis; the hook shows the beginning of the main character’s journey and hints at the disasters to follow. The true log line took a little more work, as it had to be a single sentence. Toying with the high points from the synopsis, I saw that I could play on the incendiary meaning of ‘Sparks’ to create descriptive phrases for each of them. As I did so, a tag line fell into my thoughts. I’m keeping it – for now.
For the first time, I have a set of artifacts that I believe in; that truly represent the story. How good they are will only be revealed by time and results (or the lack thereof). But at least what I have is the foundation for what is to come. I finished them last Saturday, just in time to welcome in the year of the Fire Dragon. Happy Lunar New Year!