How to Write a Novel Synopsis

Here is my most recent article at Authors Publish: “How to Write a Novel Synopsis.”


There’s been a lot written on the subject of writing a synopsis, and I may suggest doing certain things a little differently, but the experts all agree on one thing: finish the book first.

So. Are we done writing the book? Good. Now how do you boil down from 70K to 300K words into a page or two? It’s a little time consuming, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. As long as you know who your main character or characters are, and what the main conflict in the book is, you’re good… (click to read entire article)


Back from ConGregate

Back from my first ConGregate and I really enjoyed it. Erudition and wit will re-commence shortly. But first, some photos:

Here I am getting ready for my first panel. FWIW my hair is now long enough I can style it into a chignon.

And here’s the first panel:

I fell in love with this Mary Poppins hat in the dealer’s room…

…but had nowhere to wear it. Still, I had to try it on.

Obligatory hall costumes shot!

Here I am helping to run the Allen Wold Regionally Famous Writers Workshop. Poor Allen was made to wear a sign the advertised his unpopular opinion, that, “…blood does not taste like copper; blood tastes like blood!” in vampire books, etc.

Hey, I didn’t make the sign.

Tera Fullbright, the programming director for ConGregate, heard great things about my writing workshop at RavenCon and wants me to come back next year and present it. Whoot!


Irons in the fire

My new books I am working on:

  • Wolves Masquerade (non-fic)
  • Writing the Entertaining Story (non-fic)

Recent editing-for-others projects:

  • Humor book on the subject of writer’s block
  • A flash-fiction horror story
  • And, of course, A&A slush

By the way, I have 14 stories and poems out on submission.

Back-burnered projects:

  • The MIME series (SF, will finish book 2 after the two non-fics above are done))
  • Three new short stories.

As Julie Czerneda always says, #Love my life.

Conversation with a fan

At a recent convention, I met a fan who’d been touched, deeply, by my book about  (1) what severe organic depression feels like and (2) what coming out of severe organic depression feels like…in other words, dealing with healing. It was written with two audiences in mind: those who were currently depressed, so they would not feel so alone, and those who wanted to understand was depression was really like, so they know how to help.

This reader belonged to a third group: sexual abuse survivors. I simply cannot tell you how marvelous it made me feel to be able to point her to a support group and sign that book. In case you or someone you know is in one of those categories, here’s a sample of what’s inside.


It reminds me of when I suddenly had a job five minutes from home

Instead of 50 minutes away.

It’s similar to when all three of my children toilet trained within a month,

And it felt like I grew an extra arm – much more got accomplished.

It’s a paradigm shift.


I need less sleep.

I have more energy.

I can think clearly.

I can make decisions.

I can concentrate.


It’s exhilarating to know that I was ill with depression,

Not just lazy or stupid.

But it is terrifying to finally see this expanse of time

That healthy people take for granted:

What do they do with it?


So many responsibilities–put off ‘til later–

That time is now.

They crowd around me like a pack of reporters

At a dramatic rescue, and

It’s overwhelming.

Crushing me from all sides, like reporters yelling

And shoving their microphones in my face,

“What are you going to do now?” they ask me all at once.


I bite back my fear and make a statement

to this internal press corps:

I will tackle the priorities slowly, I tell them,

Because Rome wasn’t built in a day

And I will be as gentle on myself as I possibly can.

This is uncharted territory.

I will try to find myself here.


No, maybe it is more like winning the lottery

And being besieged by old creditors.

They had given up calling to say, “Why haven’t you taken care of this?”

They had stopped sending me nasty letters.

Now they all seem to know that I have new resources.

This is way past due, they each call to tell me.

My emotional phone won’t stop ringing.

I’d like to rip it out of the wall.

But it here:

Another Five Star Review

“…insightful, delightful, and a very interesting viewpoint on what it means to be a safety engineer first, and a female second. Delmater has penned a tell-all book describing how, despite the advances we’ve made toward gender equality, there are still areas we men need to step up and improve.

“I recommend this highly, as both a fun read and an eye-opener. Don’t be like the men who misbehave in this book. It’s unbecoming.”

Read the book by the Accidental Feminist. On sale now!