Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deserted by the Muse

It has been several days since I was asked by this publisher to write a synopsis of my story. But it’s only slowly taking shape in my mind and I’m not hurrying it. I think I’m afraid to use the wrong words or to give the wrong impression to would-be readers.

The manuscript is for a children’s picture book I had been nursing for years. Based loosely on local folklores/beliefs, it tells about young Peter who spends his school holidays on his grandmother’s farm. He doesn’t care about the stories Grandmother tells him nor the dos and don’ts one must observe in the kampong… you know... like cats should be kept away from dead bodies!

I have to ‘teach’ Peter a lesson so I take him out of the safety of his grandmother’s house and put him in an unknown (and therefore, dangerous) place. All kinds of action take place there. For all his stubbornness (keras kepala, to us) Peter is a good boy so the reader roots for him and wishes him well.

Peter solves the problem which he has actually brought on himself. I make sure he learns his lesson, goes back to where it is safe and is assured that Grandmother loves him despite his shortcomings.

This is what I learn about writing for kids: After all the hoopla and hair-raising actions, bring the protagonist to a safe place. You don’t want to scare the young reader forever!

Fireflies—that’s the tentative title—is a good story to read aloud by flash-light to entertain fidgety kids on a cold, dark night when there’s a blackout. After the reading, a kid-centered discussion on things that go bump in the night would be most appropriate—especially for relatives’ kids whose visit you’d like to shorten!

I wonder what the publisher will think if she chanced upon this post. Anyway, wish me luck, okay? I need a whole tangkop of it because there’s no black and white yet. No contract has been signed. She may decide to publish based on the strength of my synopsis.

So I’m praying for inspiration. O Muse, wherefore art thou?

Pictures from Google Images


  1. I can't wait to read your next book! :)

  2. Good luck with that. :)

    Don't worry about it, it'll come when it wants to.

  3. Hi Tata and MFG and Angel! Thanks for visiting and thank you for your support. The synopsis (lack of it, actually) has been on my mind all day. I'm going to do it and send it by Sunday. Fingers crossed!

  4. Keep us posted with news of the new book aa aunty, and hopefully get us invited to the book launch via facebook, maybe? :-)

    All the best with the new book.

  5. Thanks, Rick. It'll be my pleasure to update you all on 'developments'. Thanks for visiting. Hope to return the favour soon!