Month: December 2013

On Endings

My favorite stories end without endings. They’re neither cliffhangers nor unresolved, but they’re bittersweet and very real. It is in these kinds of stories that I see who I am. I’ve spent my life looking for distraction, for approval, for anything to chase away the apathy. A sad story is like a punch to the gut. The pain jolts me awake, and for a moment, I remember how small and fragile I really am. I will never find this thing that everyone is supposed to have. Call it happiness or happyness, but it is in the pursuit of it that I lose sight of who I am. A life without happiness is a life without movement, and sad stories teach me how to be still. Sometimes, I need to be still. As the new year approaches, I hope for bigger and brighter things. I always hope for bigger and brighter things, because even if I’m bad at being a human being, I’ve gotten quite good at pretending to be one. 2013 has been difficult, but I wouldn’t want to change a …

On Secret Worlds

I’m sitting at the airport watching people come and go. My laptop’s plugged in, and I’m trying to write another hundred words before it’s time to board. I’m feeling my way through a new project at the moment. Not sure what will come of it, but I’m enjoying the story and the characters. That’s all I really need to keep going. There are so many different kinds of people around me. Family people. Alone people. People with pink suitcases and people with backpacks. Some are in a hurry. Others not so much. There are so many stories at an airport but not enough time to write them all. “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody—no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds…Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.”—Neil Gaiman in The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You I want to write these worlds. All of them. …

I’m Supposed to Write a Manuscript Synopsis Now (and I have no idea what I’m doing)

Manuscript to freelance editor. Check! Two to three sentence pitch. Check! Query letter. Check! I’m writing the synopsis now. Query letters and back cover copy I know I can do, but the synopsis is a weird hybrid of sexy and “just the facts, ma’am.” After scouring the internet for tips and examples, I’ve been trying to cobble something together. It’s a neat exercise. Stripping my entire manuscript down to its bare bones means I get to really see what the core of the story is all about. No subplots. No side characters. I’ll wait until I get my notes back from the editor before polishing up the final version. (WHO KNOWS. I MAY END UP CHANGING HALF THE STORY AFTER HE TEARS IT APART. OH MY GOD.) Anyhoo, I’ve consolidated several helpful “how the hell do I write a motherfucking synopsis” links below: Synopsis Examples Learn by studying those who came before you, grasshopper. Chuck Sambuchino writes sample synopses for a bunch of movies. Back to Basic: Writing a Novel Synopsis The writer of the piece, …