Back in '06, I went to my first RWA conference. Out of all the lectures, the one I enjoyed the most--after the Sharon Sala lecture--was "Blockbusting: putting the joy back in writing" by Laurie Schnebly Campbell.
I met her during Nationals and immediately stuck my hand out. I also asked what caused her to shift her focus to craft of writing and she said,
Shoot, this is gonna sound like SUCH a cop-out...but I'll tell you what keeps me teaching all these different classes is the feeling it gives me to empower people.
That probably happens the most directly in my "Block-Busting: Putting The Joy Back In Writing" class, but I've seen it happen in half a dozen others as well -- when somebody gets that light-bulb moment of "Hey, I can do something I never thought I could do!"
I just LOVE that feeling--it's why I started writing romance in the first place, that desire to REACH people with my words, and I've discovered I can do it a lot more directly and personally with online classes than with romance novels.
Her latest book, Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams currently has four five star reviews on Amazon.
Laurie was kind enough to join me in talking about the dreaded synopsis. She'd love to get your opinion, and in exchange, if thirty people comment, she'll enroll one lucky person in her August class for free!
Hate Synopses? It’s Not Your Fault!
by Laurie Schnebly Campbell
First, I’ve gotta thank Jodi for inviting me to blog--and tell you about the coolest way to meet someone! At RWA National I walk into my first workshop and take a seat halfway back, and immediately the woman next to me introduces herself. (You can guess who she was, right?) It was such a treat to run into friendly company...and to discover all the fun I’ve missed on the Noodles blog.
Now, onto the actual topic. The synopsis. Seems like whenever I mention that I’m gonna talk about synopsis writing, all my writer friends turn pale and mutter about how they HATE doing synopses.
The thing is, a lot of ‘em feel guilty about that. They feel like if they can write a great novel (which they can), they shouldn’t have any problem writing a great synopsis.
But the fact is, it’s not their fault. And it’s no wonder so many great novelists have trouble writing a synopsis--because it requires completely different skills from writing a book.
Think about it. If you can write a computer manual, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can write a one-act play. If you can write a poem, that doesn’t mean you can write a cookbook. Same thing is true with writing a novel and writing a synopsis...they’re completely different jobs.
I used to think I was incredibly gifted because I DIDN’T have a hard time with synopses, until I realized that was only because I already knew how to write ads. (I could write a great synopsis; I just couldn’t write a book!
That’s when I realized, though, that the techniques for writing a successful synopsis are the same as for writing a successful ad. And those are what we learn in “Tips From Madison Avenue: The Selling Synopsis.”
Which leads to my question for YOU -- what do you hate most about writing a synopsis? What knowledge (other than a fairy godmother saying “don’t worry, sweetie, I’ll write it FOR you”) would make you think synopsis-writing isn’t that bad after all?
I love knowing what writers think about synopses...and if at least 30 people reply, one of ‘em will win free registration to my August workshop!
An advertising copywriter for 25 years, Laurie Schnebly Campbell was delighted when one of her Silhouette books beat out Nora Roberts for “Best Special Edition of the Year.” Information on her August 3-28 synopsis workshop is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SynopsisInc.
If you'd like to explore Laurie's other classes, visit her website, booklaurie.com