Seductive Synopses

Something from the motivational conference I attended earlier this week must have snuck into one of the spare rooms in my brain because I have shifted some work this week. For the first time ever I chose to put writing above the day job so I got a real feel for what life might be like if I ever give up the day job.

In line with my policy of trying to get a couple of articles accepted every month I have a queue of pieces all waiting in their allotted folders to be fully developed. The basic idea is there together with notes and research material. To get them all placed I sent out a half-dozen pitches and whilst I was at the conference two came back as acceptances…well one had a laconic “let me have a look” but ever the optimist I take that as a yes. Writing those two articles kept me full at it until the witching hour on Tuesday.

But the big thing this week was a nibble from a publisher and very pleasant it was too. In a rush of enthusiasm, on spec I had submitted a 150 word general summary of the book The Uncertain Coast via the publishers’ website. Just in case you’ve forgotten the Uncertain Coast is an illustrated light-touch history of the towns and villages lost to the sea on the unstable Holderness coast and of some of the people who lived in them. On Wednesday the publishers came back and asked for a full synopsis.

Yikes – this presents something of a problem. They want details of word count, how many photos/piccys, chapters and chapter summaries, markets and market sizes, hat and shoe sizes – no I made those up just to check you’re still awake. The problem is I simply don’t know. I’m about a third of the way through the research and have just the first chapter written plus two others.

I’m not great at planning out a structure, chapters and content before I’ve completed the research. When I judge I’ve got all the material I can access together, then I start to fit the pieces and the book evolves. So collecting up some emergency rations – fruit, energy bars and sport water – what? Who wrote that? My emergency rations come in the form of choccy, cashew nuts and a fruity red wine. I went into conclave with my co-author i/c photography and we knocked something into shape. I was elected to turn that something into a persuasive, seductive come-and-buy-me to the publishers.

I’m currently on version 5, weary, wordless (well almost) and most telling of all, I’ve realised that seduction is not my forte.

Y’all have a good weekend now.

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6 thoughts on “Seductive Synopses

    • Aw shucks, thank you. I’m a real ingrate tho’ – I wish it were the novel that had generated some interest but then I’ve still to finish that and have no idea how it’ll turn out! Enjoy your weekend and take some more photos to show. 🙂

      • Your comment on the old building of Trentham Hall set me a thinking. I plan a mini-series of blogs posts (kind of) of local places with my images. I’m sure you will read it even if our friends in America, Australia and India aren’t too interested.

        I once produced an article on Trentham as a commission but then the magazine went bust. So did the magazine that published my article on Antarctica – owing me £300! Spot a theme here?

      • Absolutely I’d read it. Staffs Life is usually a solid mag/payer – have you tried them? What about the Countryman? You could turn them into touristy-info or a places to visit travelogue. Go for it.:) Non-payers and “quick deaths” – I’ve only ever had one and that was enough! £300 down is painful – my commiserations.

      • That was a few years. I don’t have time for articles at the moment – remember the best selling novel!

        £300 – boo hoo, sob sob. The article was printed (‘Real Travel’) so I guess I have proof that I was once famous – 15 minutes of fame and all that.

      • Right I get it. I’ve a sneaky feeling my best seller will never see the light of day because I keep getting other ideas that distract me. I must have three novel plots hanging around my PC somewhere – none of them are finished! Clearly not a completer-finisher

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