When you’re trying to write something that’s proving very awkward, blogging can be a great respite.
Today I’ve been attempting to rewrite the synopsis of my first novel, which has been something of a millstone round my neck for the past couple of months. (For anyone not in the know, a synopsis is brief outline of a story.)
Depending on who you speak to, when submitting a novel for publication the synopsis should be anything between 1 and 10 pages long, but the ideal size as far as I can gather is about 2 pages.
The difficulty is that my book is 363 pages long, so in writing the synopsis I have to identify the salient points and condense them into less than 1% of the whole book. It might sound easy to write less rather than more, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be.
It took me 6 months to write the book, and I have a horrible feeling that it could take me the same length of time to write a synopsis I’m happy with.
Writing the actual book was a picnic compared with writing the synopsis.
Despite not being entirely happy with it, last month I sent out my synopsis to a couple of agents.
On the plus side, I received my first rejection yesterday.
Strange, you might think, to refer to this as a positive result, and prior to receiving it I’d have said the same. I was fully expecting my first rejection to make me feel miserable and dejected. I admit that it did come as a bit of a disappointment, but it also made me feel curiously buoyed up and encouraged.
It made me think about all the other authors who’ve had rejections (and from what I’ve read on the subject, that would appear to be pretty much every author who’s ever submitted a manuscript). I’ve had my novel rejected, ergo I must be a proper author.
Comparing it to receiving an OBE might be stretching things a bit, but I definitely feel as if I’ve joined the ranks of a noble and esteemed group of human beings.
Admittedly, I’m no closer to publication as a result of this rejection, but most of the books I’ve read were written by people who were, at some point, in the same boat.
On a completely different note, another strangely positive thing happened here today.
Several weeks ago my mum fell and tore some ligaments in her groin. Since then she’s been hobbling about in great pain, impatiently waiting for the injury to mend itself.
Last week, her doctor sent her for an x-ray and today she got the results. The x-ray clearly showed that it wasn’t just ligaments to blame for the discomfort she’d been feeling, she had in fact broken her pelvis.
She was inordinately pleased about this; her first broken bone, aged 77!
In response to her jubilant reaction, we celebrated fittingly with tea and cake.
I think I put too much lemon curd in the middle because it was determined to escape wherever possible.