Working On New Story

So yeah, working on story with the robot. I’m kind of liking where it is going, but it needs some tweaking here at the beginning. Also, I’ve already renamed a major character. Her name just didn’t sound right to me. It’s better now than later on.

So how do character names affect the character perception, anyway? I mean this is actually something I think a lot about. When was the last time you saw a mob boss named Wally? Or a President named Delbert? A brilliant scientist named Tawny? We all know they can be named that, but it’s not our first thoughts with those names. At least not mine. I picture Wally as an easy going going, maybe shop keeper or gardener, for example.

So maybe the fact that I can’t think of those names in those roles is the biggest problem. I suppose that makes sense. A name has to feel right to me for me to get in the head of the character while I write them. Unless they are a side character, I have to be very careful with names. I could see writing a character whose name doesn’t fit their personality or role in the story at all, either as a form of misdirection or just ironically, but it would take a very special situation for me to feel comfortable doing that.

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Last night I pulled up the video for the song ‘Same Love’, by Macklemore & Lewis. I just thought I’d listen to it quickly and go on. Instead I started thinking of the first time I heard it, and also the first time I heard it along with my wife. We weren’t married yet, but we were pretty much set on doing that as soon as we possibly could. Anyway, I remember that night, and I remember fighting back tears in the car. I know it’s just a song, really, but it’s the thought behind in it.

We’ve come a long way in that short time since that song came out. It seems like there are those out there who are attacking at all times, trying their very best to claw back all our hard fought rights. But the thing to remember is where we were at that time and where we are now. These were a couple of guys in a part of the music industry that wasn’t exactly the most gay-friendly part. They did this anyway. Yeah, they became more famous and popular for it, but it was a huge risk for them. I think they did it because they felt strongly that it was the right thing.

It’s little things like that which ended up changing hearts and minds in this country. It’s going to take more, for sure, but that was a small step. Marriage equality had a lot of things stacking up against it at the time, but we overcame all that and now can all marry. There are more battles to win, such as ENDA, but it’s going to take people making little stands for what they believe in. If you make those little stands when you feel strongly, others sometimes come along. A few at a time, but then that few brings a few with them, and they bring a few with them, and supporters grow. I think we need to try to focus less on the negatives–the administration we have that is pushing so hard against LGBTQ people, for one– and instead focus on taking steps and bringing others along. At least that is what I try to remind myself.

Anyway, everyone have a great weekend!

Fall Is Upon Us

How is everyone?

Enjoying the weather? I mean I guess we better, since it’s still warm out. Of course here it is also quite humid, so… not fun. I’m actually looking forward to cooler weather.

So I gave this some thought, and I don’t know if this is a complete fact, but I think I do my best writing in the fall. I wonder why that is? Anyway, right now I have a billion ideas flying through my head, and I can’t wait to get going on each and every one of them. Not that it’ll happen, obviously.

So many stories, so few years to write them in.

Still querying. It’s a long and trying process. But I have also started working on another book. This one is going to be interesting, I think. At least from a writing standpoint. I’ll share more about it when I get more into it, but it’s probably going to have some kind of robot and a huge conspiracy. We’ll see if it ends up that way, but it’s the plan.

I’ve actually had this story banging around in my head for quite a while, I just haven’t had a chance to work out the details and get moving on it.

Anyway…

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

What Even Is A Synopsis?!

I’m in the process of querying my latest, and I created a query letter I feel comfortable with and can change around as needed for each individual agent I’m querying, I’ve got my blurbs all set, I have a short personal bio, and I have the first chapter/10 pages/20 pages/3 chapters/15 pages/etc. ready to attach and/or place within the body of my emails, depending on what the agent requests.

But now I find that many agents use Query Tracker, and within the form there I am finding that there is a section for synopsis that seems to be required.

What?

Why wasn’t I told?

Ok, so I can just create a synopsis. I can do that. I know my story in and out, I can give a… give a what? Overview? Summary? Outline? What exactly are these agents looking for when they say they want a synopsis, and how long should it be? And isn’t that kind of what I condensed down to put withing the query letter? Isn’t this duplicative?

So, striving to actually know what I’m doing and what is expected, I googled. That provided a lot of varied responses, but didn’t really provide clarity on the level I need. So, just to be sure, I even hit dictionary.com to see what they have to say. To paraphrase:

Synopsis

1. a brief statement giving a general view of something
2. a group of short paragraphs giving a view of the whole
3. a summary of the plot of the novel

Bingo! There it is, number 3. A summary of the plot of a novel. Er… but, I sort of did that… already. In the query letter.

Oh. So… so, um…

Where does that leave me?

Well, more googling, more research, and I basically came up with the idea that what they are looking for is the main character arc and important events that happen to the main protagonist, leaving out side details and secondary storylines unless very important.

So I set out to create this “short” summary.

What was my story about again?

So yeah… not easy. It’s like the second I decided to write this thing, my entire story flew out of my head. I know what it’s about, but the second I try to write it all out I get halfway through and go “oh, oh, but this thing that happened back five chapters ago actually was important, and I didn’t include it, and so…” you get the idea.

I’ve got a basic one ready to go, sort of. It took a lot, and I’m making it sound worse than it actually was, but it is basically ready. Like everything else, I need to edit it once more to be happy with it.

In the meantime, I’ve been sending queries to those agents who don’t actually ask for a full synopsis (bless them, every one!)

Last post I mentioned some retro computer stuff, but I couldn’t show you pics because my server was being dumb and wouldn’t let me upload pics. It’s working now, so here are the pics I talked about:

The Tandy Color Computer 2

The Tandy Color Computer 2 (Coco 2)

The external drive case I retrobrighted:

Image of yellowed drive before retrobrighting.
Image of drive much whiter after retrobrighting.

As you can see, there is a lot of difference. I was hoping for better (you can see it is still a little yellow), but this isn’t terrible.

Everyone have a good weekend!