May 13, 2011

the dreaded synopses.

Plotting. Every writer has to do it, for without a plot, there's no story and therefore no book to write.
Throughout my years of putting together plots, I've always started my novels with no idea of how they ended. I usually didn't figure out the endings until I actually started typing down the words to the final scenes. In fact, with a few of my projects, I simply started off with an idea for an opening scene and let the storyline bloom organically from there. Somehow, it always works out and fits together--with character archs, threading subplots and a picture perfect ending. It's like Ariadne says about being an architect in Inception (one of my favorite movies): "It's almost as if the house is designing itself and you're simply discovering it." (<-- that's actually a paraphrase, don't really quote me on that)

Earlier this week, my agent (I still can't believe I can type those words: my agent) emailed me asking to see synopses for the next two books after "Godmother" (the sequels). As I read that email I was slammed by a moment of panic. A synopsis? Two synopses? She actually wants me to plot out my novels before I start writing them? She wants me to know the endings?

But I'm finding, as I dip my feet into the process of constructing a synopsis, that it pieces itself together a lot like the rough draft of a novel does. I don't have to know the entire thing when I sit down to write it. I can simply let it flow. I can take wrong turns and I can fudge up a few details. But in the end it will work out, just like the rough drafts of my novels do.

So here's to the lovely process of discovering plots before they're written. Hopefully I'll be able to get through it. :)

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