About Mindy Klasky
I have a confession to make: I ***HATE*** dream sequences and drug sequences in my books, movies, and television shows. (You might think that I’m being a bit too forceful, with stars, capital letters, bold, and increased font size. Believe me, I’m not. My goal is to make you understand the depth of my emotion on this topic.)
I get it. Authors want to convey information outside the mainstream of their narrative. They want to show a character’s inner self, her secret motivations, his true core beliefs. They want to demonstrate what happens when a character is plucked from all that is familiar and normative and thrust into a world where none of standard rules apply.
But when I read these scenes, or when I watch them, all I get is a disconnect from the story. All of the creator’s careful worldbuilding, the contract between the author/director and the [...]
Continue reading Dreams, Drugs, and Yawning
A few years ago, someone (Sherwood Smith, I think, but I might be wrong…) started posting on LiveJournal as one of the big cons approached — World Fantasy or Worldcon, I don’t remember which — saying that she wasn’t able to go, and she was bitter, listening to all her friends chatter on about the approaching event. She started hosting “Bittercon”, an online discussion about all the panels she would dream of being on, if only she could be on panels.
Spring forward a few years. Most of our MW regulars are at ConCarolinas this weekend. I, alas, am very far away from ConCarolinas. I won’t be able to join in on the panels. I won’t be able to hang out in the bar with my new and old friends. I won’t be able to put faces to so many names I love conversing with here.
I am bitter.
Continue reading Bittercon
So, last week, I promised to post my own synopsis. Here’s one for an as-yet-unsold novel. I don’t follow my own formula perfectly (for a series of long, boring reasons that I’m not going to go into here…) Nevertheless, I mostly stick with the formula I shared. Obviously, on this website, you can’t see proper formatting, but assume that I nailed that, okay? In comments, let me know what you think — does the synopsis hold your interest? Does it show you the development of the main characters? Does it give you a view of what the novel is actually about?
* * * BEGIN SYNOPSIS * * *
ASHLEY WARNER is a typical high school senior: a good daughter to her widowed father, a great friend to the brilliant, high-strung KAYLA BARKER, and the somewhat unlikely girlfriend of Lincoln High’s ultra-popular All State pitcher, BRANDON METHENY. Ashley understands the [...]
Continue reading I’ll Show You Mine…
A couple of weeks ago, I told you about my basic take on synopses — what they are, what they aren’t, how they should appear, in either physical or pixel form. I promised to devote a post to how, exactly, to write one, including step-by-step directions. Here we go…
Let’s begin with one key fact: Your synopsis isn’t about the plot of your story. (I’ll give you a moment to scoff in disbelief, to roll your eyes, to tell me that I have no idea what I’m talking about.)
Your synopsis is about the character arcs contained within your story. Your goal, in writing your synopsis, is to tell about your main characters (usually two, possibly more if you have a really complicated, 250K or more epic on your hands). You are *only* going to tell plot details when you have no other way to describe what happens to your [...]
Continue reading Synopses: The Nitty and the Gritty
(You know — Synopsis!)
Two weeks ago, I got a phone call from my agent, who is currently shopping around a new manuscript for me. He said “[Editor Redacted] is very interested in Shiny New Project, but he needs a synopsis to continue pitching it in-house. Can you get one to me by the end of the day?” I, of course, put a smile into my voice and said, “Of course.”
And the thing was, I wasn’t really lying. I could get him the synopsis. I hadn’t written it yet. But I had just finished putting together my speaker’s notes for a presentation to a local writing group — all about writing synopses.
I still haven’t heard back from [Editor Redacted] yet. But I figured there was no time like the present for sharing my thoughts on synopses. So, without further ado…
There’s a lot of confusion in our field [...]
Continue reading The S Word
Once upon a time, I read a book about an ordinary woman in everyday contemporary society who wakes up to find an elf in her kitchen. She says, “Hey, what are you?” and he says, “Me? I’m an elf.” They proceed to have coffee and chit-chat, as if nothing at all is out of the ordinary.
Now, there’s a fantasy novel where that could happen — where people regularly confront the supernatural, where they have no understanding of boundaries in their natural history, where the extraordinary is absolutely ordinary.
But there was nothing about this book that made me believe that the kitchen-owner lived in such a world. Every aspect of her world was presented as identical to the one that I live in. And I can tell you that if an elf showed up in my kitchen — be he a tall, glamorous, Tolkien-ish elf, or a small, green-and-red [...]
Continue reading The Elf in the Kitchen
Earlier this week, I had lunch with a writer friend. The conversation turned, as writer-lunch-conversations are wont to do, to promotion — what each of us does to promote our work, and what we should be doing. My views on promotion have changed considerably, so I thought I’d share them here, and we can hash out what we thinks works and what doesn’t work.
I promoted my first novel, The Glasswrights’ Apprentice, with a self-financed book tour. I traveled up and down the West Coast, stopping at a dozen bookstores (Borders, B&N, and independents) for readings and signings. I spent weeks scheduling the visits, phoning community relation managers, begging for a calendar slot. In addition to the West Coast tour, I visited my hometown (Minneapolis) for a reading, and I hosted a reading in my then-town (D.C.) I hosted a book launch party at the law firm where I worked. [...]
Continue reading Get Yer Hot Fresh Books!