I could have spit nails today. (If I’d eaten nails. Then not died.)
The day was going rather well until a meeting met me in the sternum.
The meeting was frustrating, not because the content was unexpected (a project that hasn’t been going well) but because largely the ideas we discussed are ones I’ve been pushing for without any success. (Well that and because the timeline changed and I felt my entire contribution was wasted.) I was frustrated and my negative thought machine went into overdrive.
“Why are you on this project?
What value are you to this team?
Maybe they’re not listening because you’re not saying it right…Maybe you’re talking in pig latin and they’ve been too polite to mention it.”
(You know, normal stuff.)
But the bad parts aren’t what I wanted to mention. (I’m sure it’ll get better tomorrow.) What I wanted to mention is that I for the first time in a long time handled my frustration well.
I came home. I complained for ten minutes then I sat down to write. Often when I’m upset I have trouble separating those emotions from…well…everything. Then I end up doing nothing because everything is upsetting. But today I had a conversation with myself about tomorrow. I asked myself what makes going to work tomorrow worth while. The answer was writing.
I love writing. It makes me happy even when I’m upset. Its why I go to work (where I get to write). Sometimes I forget that. I think I might have to put up a sign.
After my very mature conversation (Is it less crazy to talk to yourself in the context of a personal mental health intervention?) I did several hours of editing that have been on hold. It was satisfying. It was productive. It helped me put a bad day behind me. Yay me. I think I can, I think I can, I knew I could, I knew I could.
We may be in the presence of emotional growth here folks. Someone put up a sign.
At SiWC I took a class on synopsis writing. I’ve been challenged by it in the past but it was largely because I kept thinking of a synopsis as a summary. I was intimidated by having to put the content of a novel into a few short paragraphs. What the course taught me was to think of the synopsis as a teaser, providing an introduction to your main character, a few major beats from the story and a bit of a story tease.
To practice, our instructor had us write a synopsis for a major film. She asked us to start by making notes. We identified the protagonist, antagonist and important secondary characters. Then we listed the setting, the goals of the main character, the conflicts and resolution. We then listed the major beats or story points. From this resource list she asked us to:
- Introduce the protagonist, what they want and what is in their way in no more than two sentences;
- Describe the three most important plot points (not the ending);
- Add the antagonist into the picture, then the secondary characters; and finally
- Re-word each sentence to hint at the emotions the story made us experience.
It was a very powerful process that made synopsis writing vey approachable.
Choose your favourite film and in the next ten minutes write a synopsis. Happy writing.
Dorothy dreams of leaving her dreary homestead in rural Kansas. But when a tornado sweeps her off to the far away and magical land of Oz she finds herself wishing for home. Dorothy joins forces with fantastic creatures to find a Wizard who has the power to send her home. Beset by flying monkeys and kidnapped by a wicked witch Dorothy and her companions struggle to reunite and earn the gratitude and assistance of The Wizard of Oz.
Newly Drafted Synopsis for my novel Riveted
Answering the call of Rosie the Riveter, Samantha (Sam) Tomlin seeks a new life 1000 miles from her restrictive home on the Prairies of Saskatchewan. When Sam’s tomboy tendencies win her a demanding job building bombers for the war effort, she struggles to find acceptance in a workplace forced to welcome women. Faced with a stiff learning curve, industrial accidents and the confusion of young love, Sam’s struggle for acceptance takes a hit when a bomber, destined for a critical mission, fails inspection. Accused of incompetence and even sabotage Sam’s attempts to prove her value and innocence are undermined by Peter, a colleague determined to drive Sam out of Boeing for good.