The Synopsis: The Red-Haired Devil Step-Child of Revisonland*

Those of you following my Twitter know how much I hate the synopsis. The good new is, pretty much every writer out there hates it as much as I do. There’s something inherently nasty and soul-destroying about taking that 80,000 word novel/screenplay/musical and crushing it into 2 pages worth of cliff-notes.

It’s painful, it’s exhausting, and it’s impossible to nail down a single, fool-proof method. People suggest reading book covers and DVD cases, but that doesn’t work for everyone (i.e., me).

Oh, and you run the risk of sounding like a middle school book report.

So how do you keep your voice and the heart of your story alive while simultaneously condensing it to fit into a teaspoon? Delilah directed me to this awesome (and life-saving) post by Chuck Wendig: 25 Things You Should Know About Queries, Synopses, and Treatments.

If you’re stuck in the query trenches and frantically looking for answers, that’s your post. Wendig’s humor and profanity are what dragged me up out of the “well, I cut it to two pages but it still sucks and how do I make this dynamic and engaging” blues.

Nos. 2 and 16 were my favorites.

The fact is, writing a synopsis sucks for everyone. It’s harder than writing a novel. I deleted my first synopsis and started over. Then I deleted that one, too. It definitely increased in badassery, but all I can really ask is that it be an effective lure. That’s the job of the synopsis: it should make your read crave the rest of the story, making them want to know how it all unfolds.

The good thing about the synopsis is that it makes you think about your story. It can point out flaws or help you strengthen it. It helps you discover another side to your story, which is pretty awesome.

Either way, you have to strap your big girl panties on and get over it. We all have to slush through the muck to get where we’re going.

What do you do to keep yourself into gear for the Synopsis writing?

Interested in learning about my ms, THE KILLING TYPE? Keep your eyes open, I’m going to tell you all about it.

Until next week,

x.M

 

 

*Phrase coined by my kick-ass CP, Anna-E. She’s an amazing photographer and generally awesome person. Go check her out.

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