Tag Archives: synopsis

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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Query Trenches: I Got a Request?!

INTERROBANG.

So, PitchMadness went well, but not in the way I hoped. I didn’t make it past the slush round, but honestly, I didn’t think I would. Once I (finally) noticed that 90% of the other writers were YA and the agents all wanted YA, I figured I wasn’t going to make it. What I DID accomplish was what I really wanted: getting The Killing Type, and myself, out there. I received so many wonderful comments on my pitch (which you can read here) and gained so many new writer (and agent) friends.

Ok, so I was bit bummed at first, but it didn’t last. The following week I decided to throw my pitches in for PitMad. I had no idea how to keep my pitches fresh and interesting, and I had only a few hours to pitch before work. I saw agents tweeting about checking the hashtag, even one I had my eye on. I tried to keep it interesting.

And then it happened.

One of my pitches was favorited.

I almost died of excitement. She wanted my query, a synopsis and my first six chapters. She was interested. I had hooked someone!

And then I realized that I didn’t have a query. Or a synopsis. And then I panicked.

So my Easter weekend was spent trying to figure out how to write one. For once, the internet wasn’t all that helpful on telling me what to do. I got advice from Cat. I wrote out what I needed. The synopsis nearly killed me because I had to cram 373 pages of BOOK and PLOT into ONE PAGE.

Alternately, the editing wasn’t the hard part, though I did note some things that seriously need changing. And I changed them. I set up the email. I looked over everything a hundred times.

Hitting send was probably the scariest thing ever. But I did it. And now I wait. And while I wait, I’ll continue editing, researching other agents, and working on…

The second book. It’s going to be a good one.

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