Thursday, October 29, 2009

In this issue...

I receive the Writers' Journal courtesy of the year's subscription garnered by an honorable mention in one of their Write-to-Win contests. However, I will be renewing the subscription when it runs out, because I've found it to be a treasure-chest of information and ideas. One of the features I particularly like about it is that it seems somewhat shorter and more compact that The Writer and Writers' Digest to which I also subscribe.

For example: Every month, Janet Elaine Smith writes a one-page article on Marketing Helps--enough information, succinctly put forth, to be useful without being overwhelming. Also, the fiction section publishes winning stories from the various contests, always good reads.

I never sit down with one of the three writing magazines without a highlighter in hand. In the most recent September-October issue, I hurried to "Synopsis: A Four-Letter Word" by Josi S. Kilpack. While you'd need to buy the issue and read the entire article to get the most benefit from her sage advice, I learned the following (in a nutshell):
  • Synopses are necessary.
  • They are 1 - 2 pages in length depending on spacing.
  • They begin with a chapter outline, generated by condensing each chapter into a single paragraph.
  • When each paragraph is further condensed into a couple of sentences, the sentences must be revised with an eye to whether they contain important information and flow together as a single entity.
  • Subplots and secondary characters should (usually) be eliminated.
  • The resolution of the novel must be included.
  • There is a standard format for a synopsis. (See the article for a nice walk-through.)
(Ms. Kilpack is the author of nine novels. Unfortunately, I was unable to access her website due to being asked for authorization.)

Patricia Fry, president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network)  writes an excellent article on book promotion, something I'm very anxious to learn about right now. In her column "Words--Tools of Our Trade", Betty Garton Ulrich gives good reasons for writing even if being published isn't your goal. Finally, Angela Render authors Part One of "Communicating with your Readership--Building an E-mail List". 

Disclaimer: Recommending this magazine and these articles is strictly for blog purposes and no other.

1 comment:

nlindabrit said...

I too find these magazines enormous fun and have learned a great deal from them.