On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Too Much Plot

When I was unpublished and HeartMate was making the contest rounds, I got a couple of comments that my synopsis had too much plot, that the judges couldn't see how I would make it work. I did, of course, but that was the last synopsis I did after I'd written the book. And in my opinion synopses are FAR easier to do after the book is written. Pam McCutcheon's Writing the Fiction Synopsis really shines then.

I had one "trust me baby" book, where Berkley bought a book without knowing even the vague idea I had in my head for it. Sigh. That was truly wonderful. It was Heart Quest, out this September, and the book my Berkley editor likes the best of the Heart series. The next three Heart books have synopses.

But I still have trouble with Too Much Plot. (I don't know if my editors read this, or how often, but don't think they do, or rarely. So I feel ok revealing the next bit.) As a matter of fact, about a third of the story in the synopsis of Protector of the Flight (from the middle to the 3/4 point) wasn't done at all. I'm sweating this. I've had good response to the story as is, so as a book, it works without that other stuff, but....yup, sweating it.

Too Much Plot came up as I was/am writing the next Luna book synopsis. I had something NOT in the Protector of Flight synopsis, but roughed out in a couple of scenes of that book, that also didn't make it into the story (hey, the draft ms. was 635 pages, cut to 590 upon submission). I think I can get this thread into the next book, though, and what with I've already planned, it may be the longest book I've ever written, and I may keep it that way...

I love my characters, and consider my stories character driven, but it's also gratifying to think that I have plots, too, since they are so damn hard for me to put together. And Too Much Plot can always be cut, and saved for another day.

May your mixture of plot and character be just right today.
Robin

2 Comments:

Blogger moonhart said...

I always wrestle with too much plot, even though I write character-driven stories. I think the whole plot thing comes from writing fantasy, though. When you are world-building there is so much THERE. Stuff you want to explain as opposed to what you need to explain.

My 2 cents.

moon

6:00 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

True about world building, moon. I just got smashed on amazon for my world building in Sorceress, but it's a real tightrope not to slow the pace of the book and weigh it down and still give the reader a taste of "otherness."

Robin (who pretty much laughed at the amazon review, though it did "lower" my "stars."

8:31 PM  

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