Aaaargh! Synopsis!

Friday, August 17, 2007, 8:13 PM

I took a day off today to catch up with some stuff, including reading SS@S's rather excellent novel, Hinterland. I'm enjoying it a great deal.

I also took an hour or two out to do one of the things all writers, would-be or otherwise, dread. I started working on the synopsis. I did one of these bloody things for the last novel, and I can tell you, it was no fun. I hate writing synopses almost as much as I hate gardening. And that's a lot of hate.

To get the ball rolling, I sat down and summarised every plot point in sequential order from beginning to end. In essence, that's what a synopsis is, except you need to jazz it up a bit so it has some style about it. So, my sequence of events, when formatted with Courier 12pt double spaced, comes out at eight pages and 1559 words. Which is way, way, way too long. I need to get that condensed down to two or three pages,and still make it sound exciting.

I hate synopses.

On a brighter note, there have been some success stories among some of my blogging friends and acquaintances. Chris F Holm (there's a link just over to the left) has been signed with the Donald Maass Agency by Jennifer Jackson. That's pretty major. Also, one time Crapometer regular Sha'el Princess of Pixies (I think she might actually be a pixie...) has secured a publishing deal. Congratulations to them both. Stephen Parrish, who I was recently introduced to by SS@S, tells me he has also bagged agency representation. Just goes to show, for all the scary odds, it can happen. :)

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Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

I'd take a look at that 8 pager if you like. You only have to read Hinterland's synopsis in response! ;P

You know, maybe I'm crazy, but I don't think they're so bad, especially if you write them alongside the novel. They help keep me from making errors, and they show me in more simplistic terms where my book is going.

I'd think your book would be a snap because it's so logical! Don't be in too big a hurry to throw out the long one also, cuz different agents want different lengths.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Conduit said...

Thanks, Betsy, I'll take you up on that. At the minute, though, it's just a list of "this happens, then this happens, then this happens" and so on. It needs a going over before I let you at it.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for the mention, Stuart! Although it sounds to me like maybe you're good luck, so maybe I should thank you for that, too!

It took me forever to get my synopsis down to two pages, and I hated it when I was finished. My final edit, I read the thing looking for words I could replace with shorter synonyms because it was just barely trailing onto the third page, and if you ask me, that's no way to write. A couple weeks later, I read it, and decided it wasn't half bad. I think that's the trick -- finding perspective for something you're so damn close to.

2:49 PM  
Blogger McKoala said...

Synopses. You know how I feel abouot synopses... *runs for cold compress*

4:04 AM  
Blogger Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

"might actually BE a pixie?" Might?

Of course I'm a pixie! One of the drawbacks to being one is that it's hard to scratch your own wings when they itch.

8:39 PM  

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