Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Dreaded (Dreadful) Synopsis

With revisions completed, I'm planning to start querying Novel #4 again soon. But before that can happen, I need to create "the package" - which includes a synopsis.

I HATE writing the synopsis. For me, it's worse than writing the query letter.

I never know how much to include, so I usually end up with all kinds of stuff that isn't needed. To me, everything seems important to the story. Otherwise, I wouldn't have put it in my book. But I found this:

How To Write A 1-Page Synopsis by Susan Dennard, over at Pub(Lishing) Crawl.

Wow! Although I wouldn't go so far as to say it made writing the synopsis fun, by following the template, I managed to come up with a 1-page bare bones summary in only one morning! (Okay, it's one page plus 2 lines, since I forgot to include room for the title. But I'm still amazed!)

From there, it wasn't so hard to flesh it out with more details to create a longer 2-page synopsis that captures most of the main story events (okay, mine is 2 1/4 pages, but compared to the 5 or 6 pages I usually start with, it's impressive.)

Which do you find harder: writing the query or writing the synopsis? Any good resources to share?





13 comments:

  1. Love writing a query, hate doing a synopsis! There are just too many details I want to sneak in. I'll have to check out that link you shared. Thanks for passing it along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! When I'm writing the synopsis, suddenly every detail seems critical.

      Delete
  2. Writing the query, writing the synopsis... Both equally difficult and slightly ebil. By hey, at least no one's asking for an outline. I think a couple of agents were still doing that when I started this writing thing. :shudder:

    Interesting that you wrote the one page first and then added. I write the long synopsis first then pare down. Today I have to pare down my 2-pg into a 1-pg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the 1-page is harder so I started there.

      I actually had a pretty good longer synopsis from before the revision that I stole snippets from (thanks Car!).

      Delete
  3. Synopsis are definitely harder to write, because you have to cover more material. With a query, you just have to hook them, and that's often challenging enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I try to pack too much into each book. And then it makes it doubly hard to write the synopsis.

      Delete
  4. Both are hard but for me it's the query. For my first story, I've spent at least 40 hours on it, no lie. Maybe I should get Stina to write it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Some people do seem better at queries than others. I wonder if it's genetic?

      Delete
  5. I struggle with writing both, but I'd say I've had more trouble with synopses. Thanks for that link, Andrea!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the link. It will be very helpful, I'm not very good at writing a synopsis.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I used to find the synopsis the hardest, but with my recent novel, I find it easier to put into 3 paragraphs than one.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, you're writing a synopsis? I will pray for you sister...

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I've decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).