A darned good synopsis has always been just a little out of reach for me. I’ve written them and never have been satisfied with the results until just recently. It’s sort of like dating. He or she seems nice. There is some interesting dialogue there but something about the interaction doesn’t click. I wouldn’t want to introduce them to my family, but I’ve still sent them out, not altogether satisfied.
Anyone who has followed my blog knows that I’ve rewritten, revised, submitted, been rejected and repeated the process time and again. I’ve never thought deeply about the synopsis. It’s an important part of the submission process. During a NY Perfect Pitch Conference I attended when the editors expressed interest in reading some of our manuscripts, we were elated. The caveat was that not only did most of the editors ask for thirty or so pages of our beloved work, they asked for synopses. Most of us looked at each other, groaned and our eyes glazed over. We all knew that we needed them but the preparation was another issue.
There are wonderful guides on creating excellent synopses. I’ve read some of them and followed the suggestions. I’m good at following suggestions. It wasn’t until this past week, as I’m finishing up the gut job on my condo, I mean my manuscript, that something clicked. My synopsis flowed. It’s not magic. I take this to mean that I’ve gotten to know my novel. We’ve spent time together every day. I took it out to lunch often. I thought about it throughout boring meetings. I sat with it instead of watching a reality TV show. This showed in my synopsis. The description of my novel is in-depth, but not too long. It manages to show the personalities of the characters. There’s a clarity that was most certainly missing in previous versions. In fact, it makes me want to read my own book again. That’s no easy feat considering I’ve been working on it for several years now.
I’m probably not going to marry my synopsis. My spouse may not be too happy about that. I will continue to spend time with it. I can help it to develop and shine brightly in this world. Supporting its growth as well as my own is what I can do in this surprisingly fulfilling relationship.
Here are a couple of interesting links on writing a tight synopsis. Good luck! You may at the very least get engaged!
Any tricks of synopsis writing that you have devised? Share them. We would love to know about them!