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!

Vintage Computers

I guess it is probably my tinkering with the Raspberry Pi, not sure, but for some reason I’ve had a very strong urge to find an old computer from the 1980’s. I used to use an Apple IIC, Tandy 1000, and Mac 512, so I started looking for one of those. I’ve always been interested in these old things, but I’ve kind of let that go.

Until now.

I put an Apple II emulator on the Raspberry Pi and started messing around with it. Eventually I decided to try to write something for it. A game.

I have a degree in Computer Science, and I used to work as a programmer, so I have written a decent amount of software, and even a couple of games. But that was all on newer computers, with more modern programming languages, not on an Apple II using their very rudimentary BASIC language.

So yeah, it’s… rough going. The thing is, it’s so lacking that it is hard to do things you want to do on it. Even simple things. Even drawing two boxes of different colors right next to each other isn’t really possible because the way graphics are done on a hardware level will cause the colors to bleed over into each other. At least in hi resolution, which is what I’m trying to use. It’s rough, that’s all I’m going to say. I’m still working on it.

Anyway, I wound up looking around for one of these old things, and I came across a TRS-80 Color Computer 2 and bought it. I’m waiting for it to ship, but from what I can tell (never even seen one of these in person) it is very similar capability-wise to the Apple II, except possibly being a little easier to program for. So I’ll probably finish up the game for Apple, then port it over to the Color Computer 2 when I’m done.

As far as writing-

I’ve been querying more. No agents have been interested yet, but I got a very personalized rejection, and the agent seemed to like the idea and the story quite a bit, just didn’t love it quite enough to represent it. I’m taking this as a positive thing, and I’ll keep going.

Meanwhile, ideas for new stories have been flying into my head lately, so I’ll be making some notes so I can get to these in the future.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!