All right. It’s time for an analogy.
As a writer, have you ever been down a dead end? I’ve been hitting my head against the wall of the maze, and I can smell cheese on the other side, but I think the way to get the cheese is to go around, because going through isn’t working. The cheese is still there, and I’m still here.
In short, the reason I’m having trouble articulating the essence of Gossamer and Veridian is because I don’t know it yet. So, I keep filling synopses with what happens in the plot, or overall themes and conflicts. This will never work, because that is not what a synopsis is.
When I write a book, I write the book, then think about what I have written, then write some more and see what I get, then plan, and then write some more, and by the end of it, I do know what the main thrust of a story is, and it’s all worked out.
I’ve been trying to put the cart before the horse because I wanted to use Gossamer for my Viable Paradise application. I wanted to work with something new that I’m excited about, but I’m clear now that I’m not at that stage with this story. That’s why I’ve been doing everything except plotting it. I mean, I’ve formatted the first chapter correctly, for crying out loud!
I need to sit down and write and enjoy the writing, and see what the import (if any) of the faerie soap opera is, without trying to impose expectation upon the beast because I want to use it for a hoitsy and/or toitsy purpose.
What I need for Viable Paradise, on the other hand, is material that I have revised a lot, I feel is pretty good, already has the support of enthusiastic readers, and has been looked at by lots of eyes, but still hasn’t made it. A fresh look could give it that je ne sais quois that all of us have been missing so far.
Substance of Shadows it is, then. I have a synopsis, an outline, and well-polished chapters. No one has taken it on yet, and no major publishers are considering it. If I become agented, and the book undergoes scrutiny, we’ll see what happens next, but I’ll go with what I know right now, rather than what might be.
I owe Bryon. I was discussing my frustration with my application, and he said that if they wanted to see what you’d done best, you should send something you’re confident about.
So, yeah. Duh.
That means my application can go out as soon as I double check the synopsis and the outline. And I can go back to working on Gossamer and Veridian in a way that’s more fun for me.
Moral of the story: It’s good to try new things, but know thy creative process.