Thursday, October 27

The hard work that is the synopsis

As I am working on my first novel, I come to think of a lot of questions. How to do several tasks involving my novel, except from writing it. I think that's going pretty well right now. But what about the synopsis?

Writing a story is hard enough. How to build up the plot, when to give the reader some ease, and how to introduce characters. All that is bridges that I must cross, but the synopsis is something that I'd really want to shine. I've tried a few times, and this is what I have at the moment.

Jack Colson is a political science student, currently living in Texas. He is an idealist and a dreamer. He refuses to 'grow up', which to him is the same as giving up principles and replacing them with pragmatism.
In an attempt to make a difference, he gets involved in a death row inmate's final struggle. His principles will be put to the test, in a struggle with the reality that he suddenly finds himself in.
Do I give too little of the story away? Is this enough to persuade people to purchase the book? It will probably not cost more than $2-3, but to get those clicks, the synopsis has to stand out. This is probably just a very early draft, and I will most likely write and rewrite it several times. Any tips?

Wednesday, October 19

First Excerpt

Earlier today, I opened my Facebook page by publishing a first excerpt from my book. It is a draft of the two opening paragraphs of the books.

The setting is a dorm party:
"I hope they just give him the needle. He so has it coming!"

"Are you serious? No, it’s just not right! The state is there to protect us, not killing those who break the rules. No, you listen to me. What gives a judge the right to kill, and is there really a civilized society out there if we continue to avenge murder with murder? The idea of an eye for an eye should have passed away with the burnings of the witches and slavery. I don’t care! A murderer is still a human being, not something for the state to kill to please voters, to create a stir and an illusion of safety and justice. Now, admit that you’re wrong. Either that or you are just as damaging to society than a murderer."
I can reassure you, that not much of the book would contain monologues, but this intro, I feel, is important to create the main character in the book. He is Jack Colson, and is the one mouthing that second paragraphs.

I'm not trying to push my story into a conform way of doing it, and hopefully I succeed. I will try to enlighten both political issues like the death penalty from more than this one side, but also create characters that are life-like and believable. As a new writer, I believe that this is my greatest challenge. In my mind, they spring to life, but it's up to me to make them live on paper as well.

The zero-word days

I have only been at this for a few weeks, but writing my own book has now become such an important part of my day that I really miss is when I don't get the chance to sit down at the computer and write. Yesterday was such a zero-word day. 

The best part of not sitting at a desk, hammering away on the keyboard, is that I could be elsewhere, namely outside. I have found that my phone is even more of a treasure now than before, because when I'm outside, taking a walk, I suddenly get new ideas for the story. New locations, new character traits, and new plot points. So, although I miss the joy of seeing the page count increase, I had a productive day. Today would be much of the same.

I have come to the point where my story is introduced, and I'm doing the hard crossover into the territory of the main storyline. Now I give myself time to adjust, and to get more thoughts jotted down on my phone, wherever I am, so that I have even more foundation to begin writing again.

I really hope that the story that is living its own life in my mind, would eventually make a good result on paper. Being published, even if it is self-publication, is probably going to feel pretty fantastic!

Monday, October 17

Designing the cover

I have started to design my book cover. I have only made one sample yet, and as I'm not sure that it reflect the story enough, I'm still working on it.

Death is, of couse, involved in a novel depicting issues like the death penalty, but how bloody do I want the cover to be?

What is your opinions on this cover? What kind of book do you think is behind it? Is it a gory horror book? Is it possible to have a romance developing in a book with a cover like this?

I am all new to both writing books and designing covers, but the inspiration to write this book is so strong that I need to learn more about it. I'd really appreciate your input!

Thanks to @TortugaTess who suggested another font. I'll consider using it.

Update: I have been asked to include a short synopsis so that it could be easier to give feedback, so here I go. Jack Colson is a political science student, currently living in Texas. He is a stubborn idealist, and a dreamer. He refuses to 'grow up', which to him is the same as giving up principles and replacing them with pragmatism. In an attempt to make a difference, he gets involved in a death row inmate's final struggle in his final days. Later, his principles are put to the test when his life is brutally changed. 

Sunday, October 16

My first book project, Fighting Death
"The only time Jack is apathetic about politics, is when it involves politicians." Jack Colson is somewhat of a socially awkward student, an idealist who gets into a struggle with his own principles.

As I am still in the early fifties - that is, on the page count - I still have a long way to go. The plot outline is, well, outlined, and I write in every spare moment. My goal is to self-publish it as an e-book, and I've recently started to browse various sites offering those services.

I will use this blog to ask questions, discuss writing, share frustration and joy. I'd hope some of you will bear with me, and follow this project.

You could follow me on Twitter as well. There, I could be found as @Fighting_Death.