One would think that writing and editing would be difficult, right? Well it does have it's up and downs, that I will admit. But it is a breeze, a piece of cake, a walk in the moonlight compared to having to do a Syn!
For non authors, you think all we do is write? Nope, that isn't all there is to it. You think authors have it easy? LOL! Ok well let me give you a run down! Here is the way things go:
1. Think about what all the voices in our head are saying. ~ Yes, I think a lot of authors have to be crazy to write. How else do you explain us talking to the voices in our head? How do we get away with it and not thrown in the loony bin? We give them names and say they are the characters in our books!
2. Write down our ideas, or the ideas of those voices that just won't shut up until we do! ~ Yeah, yeah, I hear you snickering out there! Cyberspace is filled with the echoes of it! If you see someone talking to themselves remember don't just assume they are crazy. Ask them what they are writing!
3. Fill out character backgrounds. ~ Yes, that's right. Even if we,the authors, don't give you the full details they are written down, floating around, somewhere. Getting to know your characters isn't much different than getting to know someone on the streets... except that they aren't real, only in the authors heads, and no one else can hear them which can be a good thing... digging myself further into the "crazy" pit huh?
4. Research, research, research. What's that? You didn't say anything? Ugh,
5. Then it is time to start writing the actual book. Yeah, we hadn't started writing yet. That's right I said it, this was ALL before actually starting on the story! And you thought it was just us sitting at a desk, going hmmm, and writing? Pffffft! No that is not it by a LONG shot! And no, we are not done yet! Because while we are writing the little voices get louder, more insistent, and demanding. You think it's easy to write and hear "HEY! THAT's not what I would say!" or "Hmmmph I would NEVAH do that! DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!" or even the snark of "Hmmmph and you call yourself a writer? I could do better in diapers!" *sigh* yeah sometimes our
5.A. Making of Mock-up cover, playlist, pics as inspiration. Yes, 5.A. Authors like actors use props to help us. Whether to help us through writers block, spark the imagination, or to help us have a goal to reach. I know you are thinking "
6. Self editing What? You didn't think we cranked out what you buy the first time around did you? HELL no! We agonize, debate, mutter(once again but no other voices this time, just our own), gripe, cuss, and sometimes rewrite the whole thing~ Or so it seems. This is where we deal with our WIP (Work in Progress) like it's an unruly child until we get it just right!
7. Have a Beta Reading Group read and critique the story. What is a Beta Reading Group? That is a group of people some friends, some other authors, some editor, and sometimes just strangers but NEVER only friends, who take your tale and read it. They then give you their thoughts and suggestions, which we (the authors) look over, critique ourselves, and go back through the editing process. *sigh*
8. Now comes the hard part Blurb/Query letter. Yeah more writing, but this time it is to interest a publisher/agent into the "thing" (as we are probably calling it by this point). The blurb we write separately, similar to what you read on the back of the book. We then add this to a letter to said publisher/agent
9. And now we come to the evil Synopsis Now since I have begun my descent into this black pit I have heard of many ways to do it, and many agree on making an outline and fleshing it out as you write (And they tell me this NOW! AFTER I wrote it!) And there are many ways to do it! :( *sigh* So wondering exactly what a Syn is? It is a 2-5 page summary of the characters and actions of the book. Yep. You would think that would be easy right? WRONG! *SIGH* Two to five pages of each plot twist, character, and subplot from beginning to end. Cut down into those few pages... in the PRESENT tense... And people wonder how we authors become so twisted. They wonder why we seem insane and our hair (what we have of it) is gray and standing straight up. Yeah think of Albert Einstein! He has NOTHING on an author on a bad day!
So next time you think of giving that wild eyed, crazy haired, forgetful person who is talking to themselves in mismatched clothes a wide berth and a quick pass to the loony bin remember this. Because who knows, they may be the next Great American Novelist!