Learning to Enjoy Olives

Okay, so maybe I was a little hasty in saying that synopses suck. In fact, writing synopses do not suck. I think it’s like learning to enjoy olives. At first they’re vile and you can’t wait to spit them out, but after a little while you’ve managed a couple, then a couple more, and then suddenly they’re delicious and you add them to every meal! Alright, got a little carried away there but you know what I mean?

I had a synopses breakthrough in other words. Thanks to Felicity for passing on the fab advice from Jenny about doing a conflict synopsis. This is especially valuable in Modern Heat which is all about the internal conflict. I did two synopses for the contest that I’m entering at the end of April and after a day fiddling with these things, I finally cured the conflict problems in both mss that I knew were there but couldn’t get a handle on! It was great. Now, of course, I have to do a tonne of rewriting (deep sigh) but it’ll be worth it in the end. Anyway, if you’re wondering about your internal conflict, do a synopsis that concentrates solely on how your h&h work out their conflicts – if there’s a problem with it, you’ll soon find out.

Good old conflict. We had an RWNZ chapter meeting just this weekend about it. One of the Desire authors told me that in Desire it’s best that you have as little internal conflict as possible and that it was better to have lots of external! I was surprised – which shows you just how mono-manic I’ve become about getting the internal stuff right. Ah well, I like to think I’ve learned heaps about it at least. No doubt if I ever write anything else, they’ll tell me I now have too much internal conflict and not enough external!

Hope everyone else had a good weekend. We put our clocks back last night – welcome to winter. 🙁

11 thoughts on “Learning to Enjoy Olives”

  1. Congratulations on your synopses breakthrough. That conflict method sounds like a good idea.

    Our clocks went forward last week – still no sign of summer though(not even a hint of shoots on the trees yet).

  2. In contrast, Suzanne, we have no sign of winter. It’s beautiful blue skies and warm weather. Weird huh?

    Yep, I’m liking this method. Doesn’t mean my synopses are any good though!

  3. So you’ve finally come over to the dark side 😉

    Welcome, friend 🙂

    Seriously though I think it does save so much time if you do them, um, before you write the story. I shall say no more…

  4. Synopsis before story. Note to self: must remember that one 😉 The conflict synopsis sounds like a brilliant idea! Might get me out of my current fix 🙂

  5. Knew you’d laugh at that one, Lorraine. Yep, I have seen the light. Should have listened to you all along. 🙂

    Lucy, I was never one to do a synop beforehand but I have been totally converted. And it’s really, really brilliant for working out conflict. Give it a go!

  6. Glad I could be of help (via Jenny of course). This method turned me around too, but in my old methods defence (in which there was no method), I did manage to paint myself into a corner late last week with my characters, so it pays to go back as you are writing and tweak the synopsis as well. Our clocks have changed as well and to celebrate, they are predicting snow.

  7. I’ve heard that about Desire being external driven but I love external conflicted books (as long as it’s realistic) as much as internal category. One book on writing (can’t remember which at the moment) compared authors as having primary internal and external conflict focus in their early work. Nora Roberts was primary internal, Diana Palmer primarly external.

  8. That’s quite interesting Lacey. Nora Roberts is internal eh? Well, I think I’m quite an internal conflict sort of girl – at least now I know what that is! I wonder what other categories are primarily internal conflict driven?

  9. Interesting post Jackie. I’ve only recently had the syno breakthrough myself and yes you’ve totally hit the nail on the head.

    I think of it as the most basic route map of the relationship only. The tighest journey on getting them together. Nothing else, no plot or secondary mentions, nada.

    I’d had requests for fulls on terrible waffly synos before. But I now see the light. And I think it does make a difference to the book if the syno is tight and on course.

    Progressing to doing the syno first? I can dream but can I pull it off? lol jx

  10. You can do it Judy! Treat it as a roadmap that gets you to your destination. You might find you take a surprising route or shortcut, but the end is still the same. Or something. 😉

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