Sunday, October 23, 2005

The (Literary) Benefit of Time and Distance

With the opportunity to send a chapter and synopsis of "Wings of Winter" to an agent, comes my return to the book for the first time since the summer. A few months may not sound like a lot of time, but for me, it has been enough time to look at the manuscript with some critical distance.

The good news--I am still jazzed up about the story. The characters breathe, the plot compelling. The bad news--there are many places where the poetic language runs away with the story. However, that's also the good news--I have some wiggle room to edit.

I worked through the synopsis process using this terrific article by Dee-Ann Latona LeBlanc, starting with a one sentence synopsis and moving through one paragraph, one page and then the final expanded version.

Here is my one sentence description of "Wings of Winter":
A young woman of mixed human and shapeshifter parentage and a human prince must survive a harsh winter, betrayal, and loss to avert a war that threatens both peoples.
Getting from that sentence to a five page synopsis was the work of several days and constant vigilance against the evils of passive construction. It's amazing how sneaky the passive voice is!

My goals for the fall/winter: send "Wings" chapter and synopsis to agent by Oct 31st, prepare and send poetry manuscript for entry into the Dorset Prize by December 1st, return to "MindBlind" and focus on complete and cogent outline by January 2006.

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