Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Writer's Digest Tutorial: Writing The Perfect Synopsis

In This Issue

From the Editor
I hope this note finds you doing well! I have a variety of topics to share with youtoday—and I hope you'll find inspiration and tips to use within your writing and upcoming projects.

>>This week's new and featured tutorial is about a topic most of us dread—writing the synopsis. A well-written synopsis is a must—a critical element you need to master. How to Capture the Essence of Your Story in a Synopsis is sure to make the dreaded synopsis less 'dreadful' and will help you to master the elements necessary for writing a brilliant synopsis.

>>Grammar mistakes—we are all guilty of them. As much as we'd like our own writing to be perfect, it's not reality. I tend to make more mistakes when I change how I'm writing something mid-sentence. (Does that ever happen to you?) It's also true that our ownwriting is the hardest to proof. Once in a while, it's necessary to take a step back and review common grammar mistakes—no matter how elementary it might seem.

>>At the bottom of the newsletter, you'll find two lists: 1. grammar mistakes, and 2. the top 7 WD tutorials.

>>Last, another great tutorial was added between last week's newsletter and this week's newsletter . . . Creativity: What's the Big Idea? This tutorial is informative and unique, and I'd urge you to at least take the time to watch the preview. 
This tutorial will help you find new ways to reach more people with a meaningful and creative message—you'll gain positive attention, media buzz, and enjoy increased revenue. And if you are simply looking for the answer to "how?" when coming up with new book ideas, look no further.

I'd highly recommend taking out a WD Tutorials membership if you haven't already. 80+ tutorials are available to you, at least one new tutorial is added weekly, and many new tutorials are in development. Please feel free to preview the many tutorials immediately available to you through the WD Tutorials site!

Wishing you only the best!
Julie Oblander
Online Education Manager
Writer's Digest Tutorials

Featured Tutorial | How to Capture the Essence of Your Story in a Synopsis
A synopsis should be simple and to the point—but it should also be entertaining and must contain the narrative flavor found within the story. Capturing the essence of your story in a synopsis involves incorporating the rhythm, tone, pacing, and voice contained within your novel. Like a well-written novel, showing—not telling—is paramount . . .  and that is what makes writing a successful synopsis so hard! In this tutorial, you'll learn the ingredients necessary for boiling down your novel and conveying the essence of your story in a brilliant synopsis.

This tutorial is presented by Charlotte Robin Cook, an experienced publisher and story editor, and Jon James Miller, an award-winning screenwriter and debut novelist. Jon and Charlotte have also read, written, and polished numerous synopses.

In this 32-minute tutorial video, you'll discover:
>>What a synopsis really is
>>The ingredients necessary for writing a compelling synopsis
>>Why you should never include the "why" of your story in the synopsis
>>The difference between a plot-driven and a character-based story and why this is important to know when writing a synopsis
>>How you can tell the ending of your story in a synopsis without "spoiling" it
>>How to avoid writing your synopsis as a marketing tool
>>Why you should never use the word "conflict" in a synopsis
>>The three magical parts of a successful synopsis
>>The special language of the successful synopsis
>>How to capture the tone of your story in a synopsis

A well-written synopsis is a must—a critical element you need to master if you wish to be seen as a new force in today's literary market.

Preview this tutorial or subscribe to watch it today >

Missed a previous tutorial? You are sure to enjoy one of these . . .
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Live Webinar | How to Find the Right Agent to Sell Your Book
There's still time to register and attend! 
Session date: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Starting time: 1:00 p.m. EDT
Duration: 90 minutes

Having the right agent on your side can make all the difference. But looking for the perfect agent can often be a confusing and frustrating process. Whether you're a brand new writer looking for an agent to sell your first book, or an experienced author wondering whether an agent can help you take your career to the next level, there are many questions to consider. What do you want out of your agent/client relationship, and what are your priorities? How do you identify the agents who can deliver what you're looking for? What can you realistically expect your agent to do for you, and what should you expect to do to be considered a professional? How do you advocate for yourself in your search for your author advocate?

In this live webinar, Gina Panettieri (literary agent and president of Talcott Notch Literary Services) will give writers the information and strategies to help them find the best agent. The changing publishing environment has also meant that an agent's role has been changing and expanding as well, and this webinar will help you to understand the range of possibilities an agent can bring to the table. 

This webinar includes a critique! You are invited to submit a 'pitch and a page', a 25-word summary and the opening 250 words of your book. Gina Panettieri will review and critique all submissions. Don't miss this chance to have your work in front of a top literary agent!

Learn More or Register Today >

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Grammar Mistakes & The Top 7 Tutorials
I have two helpful lists for you! (Note that these lists are not related to each other, they merely appear in this section together.)

*  *  *  *  *  

GRAMMAR MISTAKES. This list is in no way an exhaustive or complete list. What you see below are mistakes I've encountered during the past week:

>>Farther vs. Further – Think of it this way, farther is used when you can measure the distance, and further is used when you cannot. Examples: I definitely ran farther this weekend than I ever have before. The war is going to cause further global chaos.

>>Your vs. You're – I know, sounds silly to list this, right? Maybe so, but it's THE mistake I see most often. Here's what I see on a regular basis: Your welcome! I usually see this at work, via e-mail, and every time I see this, I cringe. Remember that it'syou're welcome. The easiest way to know if you use your or you're is to read the sentence with "you are" – if it makes sense, chances are, you need to use the contraction.

>>Its vs. It's – Another seemingly simple one? You'd be surprised at how often this is written incorrectly. We are programmed to use the contraction it's and I suspect that's why this is written incorrectly so often. Just like the above example, read the sentence with "it is" – if it makes sense, you need the contraction. If not (and there will be many times when it does not make sense when reading "it is"), you need to use itsIts is actually a possessive pronoun.

>>Affect vs. Effect – An easy way to remember the difference: affect is most often a verb, effect is most often a noun. Examples: Cloudy, dreary skies will affect my mood negatively. The effect of April showers are May flowers. (Notice that I said "most often" regarding verb vs. noun for these two words – that means there are exceptions. Effectcan also be used as a transitive verb, and there are rare cases where affect can be used as a noun.)

>>Complement vs. Compliment – This is one of my favorites as the trick to remember is easy. Notice that the different between the two spellings is the E or the I after theL. How I remember the difference: I like to give compliments—which is, to say something nice. Complement means that two things pair well together or add to each other. Example: Peanut butter and jelly complement each other perfectly.

I could go on and on with grammar mistakes, tips, and tricks. No doubt, the English language is tricky! If you have a grammar tip or hint or common mistake you'd like me to share with WD Tutorials Newsletter readers, please e-mail me

*  *  *  *  *

THE TOP 7 WD TUTORIALS. The "most popular tutorials" list is continually changing as new tutorials are added and the WD Tutorials site grows. As of today, the Top 7 WD Tutorials are:

1. 8 Things First-Time Novelists Need to Avoid

2. How to Plot and Structure Your Novel 

3. Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less

4. Start Your Story Right: How to Hook an Agent in Your First Pages

5. An Agent's Tips on Story Structures That Sell 

6. How to Become a Ferocious Self-Editor

7. Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal

As always, keep this link handy to see the newest tutorials added and to quickly locate all tutorials available for immediate viewing: View All WD Tutorials

Go forward and win!

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Critiques also provide suggestions for improvements and enhancement. 

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Query Letters: $25.00 Flat Fee  

Editing: $45.00 Flat Fee
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  •  Spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc.

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