Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Synopsis Is Not a Bad Word
Sometimes writing synopses can be like 
trudging through the tundra. 
It requires much stamina and effort, 
but it builds character in authors.

            Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to get back to work on your dreams.                                                                                                            
            For me, it’s time to look for professional editing for my memoir about attending college with five children in tow instead of continuously changing and tweaking it.  To that end, I came across an offer after watching an excellent webinar called “The Synopsis Solution” presented by Jennie Nash, a book coach, for a critique of a synopsis for my memoir. 

            I was impressed.  Jennie gave concrete information and examples.  So I’m taking the chance.  Now all I need is that synopsis of my memoir.  *Gulp*

            Besides giving the format of a synopsis: single-spaced, present tense, third person, no more than three pages, Jennie informed her listeners to “tell a story and hook the reader” –even in the synopsis.  Not everything can be included in the synopsis summary of the story.  Use the main thrust of the story and give a resolution.      

            While I understood to tell whose story it was, in memoir or fiction, I never tried the line of thinking:  because this thing happens, the next thing happens and then the next thing.  I’ve heard of cause and effect, plot points, internal struggle.

            So I stepped back and looked at my memoir about attending college with five children in tow. 

            Because I had no prior college classes, I needed to take a Basic Skills test in order to begin my college journey.  And because I hadn’t had any upper level math courses or any algebra in *ahem* eons, I failed the math portion of the test.  And because of failing the math portion of the test, I needed to take basic skills math classes in order to begin my college journey.

            Okay, so that’s the external beginning of what happened.  What’s the internal struggle I faced?  Well aside from numerous motherhood duties, I couldn’t leave my fear of failure behind—that nagging thought that I wasn’t properly prepared for college—to be able to think positively, to engage in an experience of learning. 

            Then just when I thought I might be able to succeed in college, I was offered a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania.  And another belief was tested, never to let opportunity pass me by.  I had to go to Penn.  I just had to, or another nemesis would enter the picture.  Regret.  Even if I failed, I had to try. 

            Wow!  Where did this all come from.  I could go on, but I need to write that three-page synopsis for critique.  I’ll keep you posted as to my experience and knowledge learned.

            Please share any tips or experiences you may have about writing synopses.  All the best to each of you in 2016!