Thursday, March 13, 2008


is something writers continually do. No matter at what stage we are in our career, we can always learn more. And much of what we romance writers learn, comes from fellow writers. Yesterday I discovered just HOW much one writer had taught me.

I'm going to enter a contest and it calls for a short synopsis. Now, I LOATHE synopses, but as this is an older ms I'm entering, I knew I already had one written. So I pulled up a copy, printed it off and read it while on the elliptical. And was horrified. It would need major work.

Something told me I might have a more recent version somewhere on my hard drive. So after I'd finished my workout, I ran up to the computer and checked. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for. And wow, what a difference. Unlike the previous version, which meandered and made the plot sound ridiculous, this one was focussed and well-paced.

Puzzled, I had to think about how I changed it so drastically. And then it hit me - the second version was written after I took Deborah Hale's What to Pack in your Synopsis Suitcase workshop at National in NYC. It was one of the final sessions on the Saturday, but I remember thinking it was definitely well worth attending because Deb is a great speaker.

It wasn't until yesterday, faced with the Before and After that I realized just HOW valuable that session was. And makes me thankful yet again for RWA and the published authors who give so much back.

What workshop has helped you?


Currently Reading: Book for Review
Link of the Day: Deborah Hale's Writing Tips


Ashley said...

Hi Teresa I found your blog through Authors Blogs. I'm trying to visit fellow writer's.

I too am not a fan of writing synopses, mostly because I'm not good at it. I should look into that.

Melissa Marsh said...

Since I wrote a lot of back cover copy for books, that has helped me with the whole synopsis process SOOOOO much. I try not to sweat them too much anymore!

I think writing books have helped me more than workshops, actually, which is rather strange...of course, I haven't actually been to a ton of writing workshops, so that could be the reason!

Leah Braemel said...

Margie Lawson's Empowering Character Emotions, and Deep EDITS courses have been a major influence on my writing.

I hate writing synopses - off to search Deborah Hale's tips...

Kelly Boyce said...

I have the luxury of attending many of Deb Hale's workshops since she's a chapter member in RWAC with me and I love every one of them. I always learn something new that makes my writing better. And when she's not doing a workshop, zipping over to her website for great articles are the next best thing.