Frustration At The Starting Line

Frankie says:

Hello all! In the last few days, NaNoWriMo has opened up their site so that you can begin work on your novel. Currently, it allows you to input a title, synopsis, excerpt, and book cover.

I already have the title and cover for my novel, but I’ve never spent much time thinking up a summary or synopsis for it. And boy, writing one did throw me a little. How do you tell someone about a story that you have had in your mind for years, without spoiling it, but attracting enough of their attention to make them want to read it?

At first I thought, I will keep it short, keep it simple. But in the end it was just a little too simple and didn’t say enough to even grab my own attention! So I changed it, added in another few sentences and thought, yeah, that will pull them in! Of course, it didn’t help that I was also sitting with my family watching a movie while attempting to write it. So when I read it back over, I knew immediately that it was a load of old rubbish.

I wrote another version and passed it over to Sam and to be honest, I wasn’t happy with it but I was beginning to get quite irritated with the thing. Sam, as always, was completely to the point and told me it was rubbish. Which, of course, I appreciated. I don’t want to have my novel going out there never to be looked at because I botched up the synopsis and people passed it by.

So I closed the laptop down and decided to look at it today instead, and get on with enjoying the dwarfs, hobbit and dragon of one of my favourite films. Which is also one of my favourite books, incidentally. So I spent some time on it, and came up with one that I liked and sent it through to Sam. It was fine, she said, but had to be in present tense! Of course I was frustrated and instantly deflated, but she went on to say how important this could be and that was why she was being “picky”

I laughed at this. Of course it was important, such things should be thought over carefully and not jotted down haphazardly in the hopes that someone might take pity on you and read your book despite the drivel written on the back.

I looked at it again, changed as much as I could into present tense and threw it back to Sam. It passed this time, except for one word that didn’t pass the inspection and so was cut. My synopsis, for now at least, is finished. Once the story is written, I might change it, but for now, it is done.


Cain Barnes can jump into alternate realities, an ability he discovered at a young age. His unusual talent even allowed himself and his younger sister, Cara, to escape their heartless father. Cain’s journey takes him to many versions of Earth; no two are alike and he has yet to find one exactly like his own. He mostly travels alone, and in these worlds he sees beauty beyond belief and unimaginable horrors. With every jump he discovers something new and exciting. But when Cara becomes ill and falls into a coma, Cain believes that she is lost somewhere on an alternate Earth and so he searches the Multiverse to find her, and bring her home.


About oneofthedragons

Samantha K. Balk and F. R. Donaldson met on An Archive of Our Own, one of the many fanfiction sites online, when Sam asked Frankie to illustrate the fanfiction that would one day lead to Sam's first novel. They've been friends ever since! This blog was created as a way to share the oftentimes difficult journey any new author experiences on the uncomfortable quest of an introvert for attention to his or her most personal work. It is meant to remind you that authors don't just appear fully fledged like a George R. R. Martin, that all of us start out unsure and feeling inadequate. Feel free to ask us anything. Sam: Frankie:

Posted on October 17, 2014, in Frankeh Updates, Updates and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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