Thursday, April 21, 2005


Sometimes if you've been on an email loop for a while, all the questions asked become super annoying. You've heard and answered the same ones a thousand times and you're sick of the list being clogged up by them. And in the back of your mind, you're thinking to yourself, "God save me from newbies!" It's mean, but you know you do.

An example of one such post:

Hi all,I'm new to this email loop but have been loving the discussions so far. Now I have a question to pose. How does one write a chicklit synopsis? I guess what I'm asking is whether it's diff than say a straight romance type synopsis. I mean, should the synopsis be witty and funny and have attitude like the book? Or more straight - just stick to the facts/plotline? Does anyone have an example ofa good chicklit synopsis they could post (or email me)? Since it's such a new genre, there's not as much info about it as other types of synopses.Thanks!

Okay now who wrote this post? Someone just getting into the genre. Someone totally clueless. Someone you might like to hit over the head with a rubber mallet and say, "Do your homework!"

Someone like... me!!!

Yup - I pulled this post from the archives of the Chick Lit loop. I originally posted it August 2003. I was working on my first chick lit and had just joined the loop and really, honestly, had no idea how to write a chick lit synopsis. Sadly, no one responded to my post and I was left to fend in synopsis land by myself. I remember feeling like such an outsider - all these cliquey writers had their own friends and discusssions and didn't care about me and my little just-started manuscript.

I almost quit the loop right then and there.

Anyway - I guess my point is, lest we forget, we were all newbies in the writing world once. We weren't born all knowing. So when someone asks what you might consider a dumb question, think for a moment where they are coming for. And maybe answer the "dumb question," even though you've answered it a thousand times before. Because in this way you will nuture and grow that writer and someday they will be able to pay it forward to other newbs.

Back in the summer of 2003, the prolific Alesia Holliday hadn't made her first fiction sale. Lani Diane Rich didn't have a title for Time Off for Good Behavior. Katie Maxwell had to head to the bookstore to get a glimpse of her first Emily Smooch book. And I was a complete newbie, writing a little book I called "A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court" - with no idea how to write a synopsis for it.

Just sayin'



Diana Peterfreund said...

Girlfriend, I really hope that's not in response to my Reno post! I *totally* recognized that I'm a cynical old hag! Embraced it, even.
~Diana, feeling bad...

Marianne Mancusi said...

Nah - I had come up with this idea before I even read your Reno post, D. :-) Actually, I thought yours was a great post and not condescending to newbs at all. You address their fears and then basically tell them not to worry, by using your own experience as an example. Totally would have helped me to read that post last year at this time - when I'd never been to a national conference!