I ordered my armload of books (most of them plot-centered), and they arrived yesterday.
So far, I’ve read most of Plot & Structure by J. S. Bell, with occasional dips into The Writer’s Little Helper and The Fire In Fiction.
I’m doing my best to apply the techniques in P&S to the ~30K story I’m tweaking — some of the ideas are a little awkward, because I already know what happens and I don’t really need to worry about how I want things to go. (For instance, I don’t have to worry about deciding on what kind of ending I want to have, or how I want my readers to feel at the end of it. I’m really happy with my current ending.)
One of the things I’ve been fiddling with has been the back-cover copy. So far, I have:
It all started when Jesse Swanson stopped to pick up a dead bird.
– – –
Jesse Swanson’s life is pretty normal. He has a job he doesn’t mind, his parents are pretty decent, and he’s got a boyfriend. So what if he still lives at home; so what if he thinks he maybe argues a little too often with his guy?
Then he stops to pick up a dead bird, some vague notion of burying it floating through his head, and nothing is ever the same again. For one thing, there’s suddenly a new guy in Jesse’s life; for another, the guy doesn’t seem to be precisely sane…
– – –
Warning: This story contains strange logic, spoons, more eggs than your doctor wants you to eat, bad ideas, inappropriate responses to common life events, and ravens.
– – –
Warning: consuming raw or undercooked food increases your risk of food-borne illness. Contains egg, milk, wheat, and soy ingredients. Written by someone who doesn’t wash their hands after handling and/or consuming peanuts and tree nuts. Also contains ravens, strange logic, spoons, instincts, and produce.
I think I may be better at blurbs than I am at synopses. I’m certainly better (or at least I think I am) at coming up with silly warnings than either blurbs or synopses.
One of the more disappointing parts of reading my books, however, is realizing how much work I have to do in places. So far, I’m still not entirely sure what to cut, but I do know that I need to add a few things. I’m not certain how much rewriting I’ll have to do, either…
I’m also not sure that I’ll ever find a home for this story. It’s one of the few stories I’ve written where I love it and want others to love it in the same way, so much so that the idea of sending it out into the big wide world is more daunting than usual. (And yes, I know, it can always use a little editing, no matter how much I love it.)