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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Synopsiseseses and other pieces of hell....


Not that I resemble this woman on the left at all, mind you, but I did just spend a couple of days putting a synopsis and an overview of 3 books together for my editor.
The synopsis is the fly in your soup. The pebble in your shoe. The pain in the a**....in other words, it is a writer's living nightmare.
When you have 400 pages to tell a story........or even 200, there's room for character, and humor and depth and emotion and description.
When you try to boil that whole manuscript down into five or six pages...well, you see the problem. The trick, I've learned, is to keep as much detail as possible OUT of the synopsis. The book is where the details belong. There, you can spend pages if you want to, (although I don't reccommend it), describing the heroine's clothing or what she had for lunch. Do NOT put it in the synopsis.
Basically, what you've got to do is find a way to tell your story and only hit the highlights. I tell people to write a synopsis as if you're telling your best friend what your story's about. Then you'll hit the big stuff, and blow right past the pesky details that will only confuse the situation.
The best part of writing a synopsis??? Having written it.

5 Comments:

  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    I love "having written" a synopsis, and hate writing them. But they are an important tool so we have to do them. Sigh.

     
  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Maureen Child said…

    Ah, Jen...wish they'd just take our word for it when we say we know where the story's going!!

     
  • At 11:00 PM, Blogger Dana Diamond said…

    Put brunette on that picture and that's me when I'm working on a synopsis. You have my condolences...

    And thanks for the tips! Next time I work on one, I'll remember to ditch the details.

    :) d

     
  • At 8:10 AM, Blogger Sandra D said…

    Maureen....that picture made me gasp with laughter!!! The feelings that it inspired were me this week!!!
    A Marketing Manager at my company had me soooooo mad...you know threatens to "take it up the flag pole if I don't approve a very late contract for review for his VERY IMPORTANT huge very identifiable technology company"

    Essentially I told him that he could take his "flag pole and put it where the sun don't shine".

    Can't relate to synopsis horrors but definitely can relate to feelings!!

    That was so darn funny!!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    ~Sandy

     
  • At 6:05 PM, Blogger Maureen Child said…

    Hey, Dana..........ah, but you probably look CUTE while ripping at your hair!!

    Sandy......I so get that. Everything to SOME people is so very important. Oh wait. Let me find you someone who cares.... sigh. Have a great weekend!!

     

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