I’m in synopsis hell and have decided without a doubt that I hate writing them. Those little outline type pages that is supposed to divulge everything about your story within a couple thousand words. I suck at them. Sure, I can write something down about each chapter but I have never, ever done them successfully in my mind. They always seem lacking something.
Take today for example. I send my final synopsis to my critique group as I’m about to send the whole packet to my agent. This is the book of my heart and is something I’ve slaved over for years it seems like. In reality, I wrote it very fast and it just took years to edit to my satisfaction. It is the one story I have always felt is my breakout story if I ever had one. And when I did finally decide to start shopping it around, I have a couple of years of personal things that make me keep moving it to the back burner because I didn’t want to ruin it.
Frankly, I’m beginning to think that all those years of classes didn’t account for much because at this moment, I feel very, very stupid. And I shouldn’t. Synopses are hard for everyone. One of my problems is that this is part of a series. Book 1 and its synopsis is complete or so I thought. I just got back the crits and boy, I feel down yet somehow relieved. I knew it needed work and now I see just how much. Ugh. Yet all are simple fixes with a line here, a delete there.
Do all writers feel this way sometimes? Do they wonder why they write when they can’t get the story idea down in a synopsis correctly? I swear I have been studying this for years but looking at this…I am sure I missed the boat. More than one boat matter of fact.
So let’s look at the anatomy of a synopsis. Again, there are definitely some things that a synopsis needs and doesn’t need to do.
· It needs to cover the big parts of a story and not the little details. Matter of fact, little details can bog it down to the point of it not being a great selling tool for your novel.
· It needs to be written in third person, present tense.
· It is the one time where telling the story is important but does not need to be a blow by blow detail oriented summary of every aspect of your book.
· It needs to introduce all your characters, their main conflict as well as their emotional story arc.
· There are no cliffhangers allowed as it tells of your plot twists and the ending. It’s point is to show that you have strategicly layered your story and that it sticks together the way it should.
Sounds simple right? Ha! Do not fool yourself as this can be just as hard as it was to complete the book. When writing these things I had to have some zen moments and remind myself that I could do this. It isn’t rocket science though there was a moment I certainly thought it was.
Now, I’m off to finish everything but I’d like to remind you that I am promoting my latest book Night of the Blue Moon…and it’s the last book in the Blue Moon Magic series. It has a few fans already and is slowly getting some sales. You can find a lot of information right here on the blog as well as the series blog at Our Blue Moon World.
And no, I haven’t forgotten that I was going to write an article about ebook pricing, synopses just took center stage. That topic will be covered next week!