Thursday, June 17, 2010

You know you've gone too far when you reference LiLo...

As writers we all know that voice is probably one of the most important ways we can distinguish our work.  As you may have gathered from our recent tweets we've been hard at work on a synopsis for LIAR SOCIETY and, um, let's just say it was kind of a struggle.

Our first draft was pretty much a total nightmare. We'd managed to distill Kate's entire story into two single spaced pages, but we'd left out the most important ingredient of the book: our voice. Ok, so theoretically that's an easy fix, right? Just go back over your craptastic, dry as a bone synopsis and add in some voice.

Yeah...not so easy.

Some lines worked, like:

Just as Kate's wondering if Nancy Drew has some kind of 24-hour hotline to rescue girl detectives in distress, her mysterious (and ridiculously sexy) knight in not-so-shining armor, Liam Gilmore, saves the day.

Some...not so much:

She came clean, but Cameron turns everything around on Kate, so she looks about as trustworthy as Lindsay Lohan.

So, how do you guys walk the line on voice? How can you tell when you've crossed it?

P.S.
For the record, I stand by my LiLo line. Don't tell Laura, but I totally added it back in before sending the final synopsis back to our editor. (Ha! Do you hear that furious clicking noise? It's Laura frantically checking our sent e-mails to see if good old Linds made the cut. Good times.)

36 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

I thought you meant Lilo like Lilo and Stitch, that Disney movie. Oh well, I guess that shows what being a parent (and totally out of touch with the Hollywood elite) does to you.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I'm really glad my WIP is fantasy - I don't have to be witty in a synopsis or query. Yeah, I still have to have voice, but I don't have to be clever. :)
You guys are hilarious, though. :D I'm sure your synopsis ended up great! And personally, I think too much voice is better than too little, but that's just me.

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

I get it, Lisa! Hello, ankle bracelet to monitor your alcohol intake? Yikes! Hope your editor gets a kick out of this quip, too :)

Marissa

Lola Sharp said...

Lindsay (aka LiLo aka Fire Crotch) is a train wreck. And I'd totally keep that line in.

Christina Lee said...

LiLo--hahaha!

My synopsis totally sucks A. They are evil and I hate them. But now you got me thinking about my voice in it *pulls up file to read it again for the 100th time*

Stina Lindenblatt said...

OMG You mean as authors you still have to write those nightmarish things? I thought that torture device was saved only for us saps in the querying trenches. :(

Janet Johnson said...

Synopses are evil. Sounds like you're getting there, though (unlike me). Man, I need a sister to write with.

Jessica said...

It is disappointing to discover that a synopsis is still required after you've found a publisher.

I'm sure yours was good though, and I like the lilo line.

Christine Danek said...

I like the LiLo line. I'm not even going to go there with my synopsis. Sorry.

Larissa said...

As the lovely Suzie Townsend says, Synopses are evil.

I like the LiLo line, also. (sorry, Laura).

Emily J. Griffin said...

This is how I know we'd be drinking buddies: I readily reference LiLo in my daily life, on my blog (I actually did it today before I ever read this), and in my writing.

I see nothing wrong with this.

Corey Schwartz said...

Just write your synopsis as if it were a blog post. I'm sure it will come out with tons of voice that way!

salarsenッ said...

Click, click, click...hear it. You know, you could always change her ring tone on her phone. Really drive her mad. *sneaky snickers trail down the hall*

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think voice is something you only find once you've been writing for a while. It's like a 'groove' you get into. And it can change. My two ms's have different voices. Its whatever the story needs. But yeah, I think once you've found it, you just know.

Laura Marcella said...

LOL, Lisa you're positively evil! In the brilliant kind of way though. :) You know Laura will get you back for that!

I read my work out loud, so I can hear when my voice crosses the line!

JEM said...

I definitely thought you meant Lilo and Stitch. Not that that would have made me any happier. I haven't had to write a synopsis yet, but I don't guess it will be easy. After having the luxury (or curse) of telling a story in 200+ pages, I can't imagine boiling that all down to one page. May the prosecco be with you ladies.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

LOL. Is it sad that it took me a second to realize who LiLo was? Wait--don't answer that.

Personally I solve the voice issue with synopsi (hey, you used the word, so can I) but telling myself--dude, they're making me do this is two pages. They're lucky if I get one or two good lines in there! Probably NOT the best attitude, but it's more fun that way. ;)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara B. Larson said...

Your sisterly antics make me seriously snort. I have four sisters. If any of them ever wanted to write a book with me, I can just see the mayhem that would ensue after watching you hysterical ladies.

I personally think the LiLo sentence brings a very vivid image to mind. I hope it made the cut, ha ha! ;) (JK Laura... or maybe not)

Krispy said...

Eck, I hate summarizing anything (I'm terrible at it!), and now you want voice?! I think you ask for too much! (I love your sisterly snark though. Too good.)

Adriana said...

I love it! I could totally see that catching on whenever someone is telling super ridiculous lies. "You are so LiLo-ing to me right now.Ugh."

Icy Roses said...

Well, I mean...your blog posts always ooze with voice. If you wrote a book about your lives, I would probably read it because I love your voice.

I mean that in the least stalkerish way possible.

Talli Roland said...

Ah! I so hear you on this. I'm writing a synopsis now and it is SO dry. I mean, it's like reading stage directions or something! ARGH!

Lisa Gail Green said...

To me that is the trickiest thing! I have a harder time with that than the book itself!!

Erica Chapman said...

LOL! I love the LiLo bit. Voice. Hmmm. I agree, adding it in would be hard. Having it, it's just natural, well maybe, I mean, okay maybe you have to work at it. I mean it's your voice... right?

I think those lines sound awesome!!

DL Hammons said...

Lilo....hadn't heard that one before. LOL

Do you think that one day they'll refer to the two of you as LiLa? :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Haha. I like the LiLo line. :)

Melissa said...

I enjoyed the Lindsay Lohan line. I don't know, I agree with Matthew, at first I thought you were talking about lilo and stitch.

I haven't got to queries or synopses yet but I am dreading the moment with every fiber of my being!

Jemi Fraser said...

Voice is crucial for everything! That's why I'm not a big fan of writing queries or synopsi (I'm so using that word from now on!)

I think my voice is good in the ms, it's just getting it in those tiny spaces & including actual information :)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Voice is hard. I'm new to your blog, but it sounds like two of you are writing a book together and successfully. How awesome. So how do you find your author voice with two people writing the story?

Shannon O'Donnell said...

It took me a minute to catch the funny, but I finally got there! Here's my delayed reaction: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Talei said...

:) Wow, I'm still learning to develop my voice. I know you gave me great advice when I first started and that was to blog often and as much as possible...which for me is practising. Am sure you final synopsis will ROCK just like you ladies too! Happy Friday! ;)

Talei said...

PS: I'm am loving your wallpaper! xx

Solvang Sherrie said...

I hate writing synopsises -- yikes, is that even a word?

Holli True said...

Love the new look on the blog!! :) Voice can be tricky, but I agree that it's probably the most important element. I find it hard sometimes to keep the voice of my main character and not my own- so when I feel like I am straying away from my MC, I spend some time with my outline. It helps me stay on track!!
PS: The Lohan reference made me laugh. :)

Nishant said...

I'm really glad my WIP is fantasy
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