Tag Archives: publisher

Why Should A Writer Trust Romantic Shorts?

Imagine you’ve created something from nothing. You had an idea in your head; maybe you woke with it, maybe it was inspired by something, maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a long time. Until finally, you determined to flesh it out into something real, something memorable, something significant.

You spend hours at a time thinking about it, planning it out, considering all the variations it might take. Hours more working away at sculpting and smoothing, building and polishing. At this point, your investment is great: the emotion, the time, the effort, the trepidation.

But you’ve finished, and it’s good. It’s really good. You’ve created people, a world in which they live, lives for them to lead. You’ve told a story.

Sure you can show it to a few people. Likely people you know. And they’ll read it. Nowhere near fast enough. Too fast. And you’ll wait patiently on the outside, seething on the inside, for them to tell you that what you’ve written has somehow impacted them.

But you get one sentence.

“Yeah, it’s good.”

Or, “Well, now what do you do with it?”

Truth is, it doesn’t matter what they say, it’ll never be enough.

As writers, we have to settle for inner appreciation. Self-pride. And some sense of accomplishment.

But if you can share your work with the masses, get your message ‘out there,’ perhaps, it is possible to leave your mark on this world.

Romantic Shorts are not fine literature; they’re great stories. They are not epic tomes; they’re moments in time. They’re not carved in stone; they’re etched in memories.

But, whether you see us as a first step in your writing career, a measure of success, or a bucket list challenge, the fact remains that we respect and appreciate an author’s work. Because first and foremost, we’re writers.

It is my goal to transform Romantic Shorts from a stepping stone in a writer’s career to a destination. It is my plan to create something from nothing. I had an idea in my head; I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. Until finally, I determined to flesh it out into something real, something memorable, something significant.

Welcome. And enjoy!

Alexandra Stacey Brown
Founder, RomanticShorts.com

2 Comments

Filed under For Writers

Next Steps in Publishing

You know, you can post pages on your website all you want, but if you don’t keep an eye on them, the next thing you know they’re out of date and irrelevant and you’ve got a big embarrassing splotch on your face. You can tell yourself that no one noticed. But, deep down, you know the truth.

And so it was with our FAQ’s page. The ‘frequently given answers’ were a good year old and many either didn’t apply anymore or were now, well, I’ll admit it – wrong.

Reworking the entire page is a fair bit of code, typing, editing, and rechecking, not to mention thought, genuine inspiration, and effort. Personally, I think it ranks right up there with drywall taping.

And just like drywall taping, the finished product is worth every calorie expended in its creation. Our FAQ’s page is now not only up-to-date but crisp and efficient. All of the links work. (Although if someone wanted to shoot me a quick email using the link under “MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION – How long does it take to receive a reply to a query or submission?” I’d appreciate it, as I don’t use an offline email program for any of my communications and can’t check it myself.) And for the most part, the page includes pretty much every question that’s ever come our way, even if it was a little less-than-frequent.

Heavy sigh. A job well done deserves a cup of coffee.

And then, on to the next challenge. So much to do to get the stories online. It’s a bigger process than I’d imagined and I’m struggling a bit with both the process and the comfort levels. But because I have a goal in mind – I know how I want this to look/work in the end – staying on the right path is a lot easier. Trudging through the snow drifts on the path can be a little tiring at times, however.

Welcome to the life of a new publisher. Ignore any grumpy complaining. Truth is, I’m having the time of my life with this! Who could have ever guessed that my love of reading would lead to a love of writing that would lead to my intense and insane desire to inspire the love of writing in everyone else?

Let’s get some stories published!

Alex.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under For Writers, What's New @ R.S.

The Importance Of A Synopsis

Oh, you’ve worked so hard at finishing your manuscript and it’s truly a masterpiece. Congratulations!

Now it’s time to pitch it to a publisher, most of whom simply want an idea of what your story is about so that he or she can decide whether or not it’s worth the time.

Think carefully about this. You do the same thing. When was the last time you opened a book without reading the back cover first. Do you ever watch a television show without reading the description? Ever seen a movie trailer?

We like to know what we’re getting ourselves into.

But never does an intro weigh as heavily as it does for your manuscript. It is estimated that you have between 2 and 30 seconds to win over an editor. Two seconds can cover as little as a single sentence!

But no pressure. Enter the synopsis.

Keep your goal in mind. Your synopsis, first and foremost, should adhere to the publisher’s guidelines. Many are very specific as to  length and format. Know your audience.

If, on the other hand, you’re left to your own creativity, here are some tips.

Length Can Matter – A Lot

Try to make the length of your synopsis suit the length of your story. While it can be quite difficult to sum up a 100,000 word novel into two paragraphs, resist the temptation to give two full pages of details for your 10,000 word novella.

A good guide is approximately 2-5% of your word count. 2000-5000 words for the novel. 200-500 for the novella. Depending on the topic, anecdotes and short stories should fall into the 100-250 word range.

Don’t overdo it. But give yourself some space to sell your work. You’re writing a synopsis. Not a novel…

What To Include

In a nutshell, you’re telling your story. You’re outlining your setting, introducing your characters, and summarizing your plot. You’ll want to include all of your key components, plot twists, and, yes, the ending. And don’t use the words ‘spoiler alert.’ You’re talking to an editor, not a reader.

Don’t explain why you named your characters what you did. Don’t get into how you know about a certain topic. Don’t give background information that isn’t included in the story. Don’t ask questions. Just summarize the story.

You can discuss your inner most inspirations and ideas at your book signings. The editor just wants the goods.

Is There Room For Style?

Don’t include anything in your synopsis that the reader won’t find in the story. And that includes style. If the story is humourous, write the synopsis with the same sense of humour. Casual dialogue and dialect? Match it in the synopsis. You are telling the story in a shortened, accurate, and effective fashion. You are not describing your story as if it were written by someone else.

Remain true to your point of view as well. First person story? First person synopsis.

The only thing that changes for the synopsis is the tense. Regardless of the timing of your story, the synopsis is typically told in the present tense.

Keep in mind, you have the chance to exhibit your skill when an editor reads a witty – even snarky – summary of a black comedy, immediately after the professional demeanor of your polished cover letter.

Be True To Your Story

Probably the most difficult point to relay, and the reason for this post, is the failure of the synopsis to adequately reveal the genius in the story. I received a fairly uninteresting query from an author who submitted what amounted to a television preview report of the story – a scant and boring paragraph – within the query letter. In fact, if not for a spectacular pen name that caught my eye, I would not have continued beyond the cover letter itself – a rejection letter forming in my mind as I turned the page over.

But because I glimpsed a little imagination in that name, I decided to give the manuscript a go.

This story had me from the first line! Some of the best writing I’ve received: witty, sharp, excellent dialogue, and some intriguing details throughout. The point of view alone left me eager to read.

Lucky day for that writer.

Do not count on that kind of luck. Sell your story. It was worth writing – make sure the editor sees that.

Polish Polish Polish

Finally, your synopsis is your calling card. It’s the tool that will either sell an editor on giving you a chance or land you in the trash. The most common reason for the latter is lack of polish. Give as much care and effort to the editing of your synopsis as you did to your manuscript. Grammar, sentence structure, spelling are all critical to the impression you’ll make. No editor will ask for more crap. Show off your editing skills and land that sale.

Don’t think for a minute that your manuscript will be requested if your synopsis doesn’t turn some heads. Lead with your best foot forward. Overlooking the quality of your synopsis – whether one paragraph or a small book – will ruin your chances with your manuscript. Guaranteed.

Writers, editors, what are your thoughts?
How important is it to ace the synopsis?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under For Writers