Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Novelist Johnny Ray's bike trip to the end of the Pinellas Trail

Like writing a novel, the greatest feeling in the world is making it to the end; especially when you have so much fun along the way. Yes, I love Tarpon Springs and Greek coffee. I finished rewriting another novel and hope to present it in the next few days to some great editors and agents. I will report back later on how it went.

Johnny Ray

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A writer’s use of technology
The world is changing for many as technology expands on a daily bases. And this could not be truer of anyone more than writers. With writing programs the ability to catch errors in grammar and spelling, not to mention word choices are so easy almost anyone can become a writer.
With the enhanced technology come more demands in other aspects. Details, the world is at a writers finger tips, literally. The ability to become an expert in any field is only a matter of time spent on the net. The great writers know how to become such an expert and to be able to impart such knowledge seamlessly to the reader. Readers want to be entertained for sure, but they also want to learn something new and in an interesting way.
The stumbling block is not forgetting there is a world out there beyond the computer where people live and explore life; a life with emotions and feelings that can only be experienced in the world away from the computer. The ability to merge technology and real life is a gift very few writers achieve.
So, where will the future technology take us? We could only dream, but perhaps that is what a great writer needs to do—create a world only the mind can conjure up.
Johnny Ray

Monday, February 15, 2010

Johnny Ray

I attended a workshop presented at the local Tampa chapter of The Romance Writers of America monthly meeting by literary agent Nephele Tempest. She discussed two parts and I will make this a two part blog as well. The first part is the synopsis.

The length of the synopsis is often discussed as she made it clear a short one is preferred and you needed one only a paragraph or two and one about one and a half pages. I have seen many agents set their requirement from very short to very long. It depends on the agent. As such it stands to reason to have a long one and the ability to shorten it according to which agent you are pitching.

The main difference in a query letter and a synopsis is the ending. The query is designed to hook the agent, the synopsis is required to show the agent you can fully develop the story and have enough plot to carry it. Kind of like a one two punch.

A short synopsis describes the major points in the novel. A longer synopsis can add complexities and minor plots. In either case the author has to be able to show a satisfying resolution.

Some authors work with an outline that can be converted to a synopsis and others write a synopsis specifically designed for a specific agent. The ability to demonstrate a writer’s style inside the synopsis is a big bonus. Being a business relationship, the agent will want to know they will enjoy working with the author and his style fits the type book he is proposing.

In listening to Ms. Tempest I realized how important it is to custom the synopsis to the individual agent. She offered some very valuable insight into the process of attracting and obtaining an agent.

Johnny Ray