Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dreaded Synopsis

So one of the things I worked on during my break was my synopsis.  I pounded the thing out in an evening and sent it on to my crit partners.  Apparently they died of boredom so bad one even forgot to send it back to me with notes.  Sigh....

So, back to the drawing board.  Thankfully my wonderful crit partners were able to explain to me a little more about what it's all about and give me some great notes as well as give me this great link from Elana Johnson's blog :  How To Write a Synopsis



I'm still a little clueless as to how we are supposed to make an essentially dry and boring book report into something so juicy you want to immediately sink your teeth into it.  It's one of the most frustrating things I've dealt with in my writing "career" so far.  But I'm working on it...(as you can see by the self portrait)






So tell me, how did you overcome the dreadfully boring synopsis and make it shine?

(also, don't forget to enter mine and Colene's contest HERE!)

17 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The synopsis is always so difficult! I rewrote mine twenty times and sure I bored my critique partners with the constant revisions. My publisher adjusted it further and now it's not bad. But it was painful to get there.

Lola Sharp said...

Oh the dreaded synopsis...they're evil.

Good luck! And nice to see you back. :)

Happy 2012, Abby! May it be your best year yet.

Huggles,
Lola

Meredith said...

Ugh, the synopsis. Not my favorite thing. I write it over and over again, paying attention to word choice and the info I'm including, and then I hope for the best. Good luck!

Michelle Merrill said...

Oh man, this is what I need to be writing as well! I've avoided it like the plague, but it's now time since I want to start querying soon. Thanks for the link. I'm going over to Elana's post right now! Good luck with your synop :)

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

Oh I'm terrified of the synopsis. Right now I'm burying that fear in the much more present terror of THE QUERY... I feel like the query letter is more difficult... but maybe that's just because I haven't finished it yet.

Okay, who am I kidding, I've hardly started.

Jamie Burch said...

I'm still working on mine! It's too long and very boring. Letting it sit awhile since I'm back doing revisions.

Good luck with your synopsis and welcome back!

Hope the New Year brings you all good things. :)

April Plummer said...

Well, this is really bad, but I avoided it. When I was querying agents, if they required a synopsis, I wouldn't query them. Now...I'm self-pubbing. If I have to one day, I'll figure it out. But they terrify me! Good luck! I'm sure you can do it! I'm just...synopsis deficiant or something.

Colene Murphy said...

Uuuughhh. You know where I stand on it, but chin up! You'll make it shine in no time, I have no doubt!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Synopsis. Sounds like an ancient Greek philosopher, doesn't it? LOL. Go to IMDB and check their movie summaries. Some are great. Some not so much. But learn from the good ones.

Pretend your novel is a movie and you're writing the TV Guide summary for it. That's your hook.

Next, pretend you are writing the 3 paragraph summary for IMDB. One act, one paragraph. Then, sum up the impact with a short, spicy sentence to hook the idea in the mind of the reader.

Just a few thoughts. If you have time, check out my blog, Roland :-)

Kristin Rae said...

I'll tell you how I've dealt with the synopsis... I haven't written it yet! LOL. I'm waiting until my first draft is completely done and probably a round of revisions as well. Thanks for the link to Elena's synopsis post. I'm going to need all the help I can get... one day ;)

Jennifer Hillier said...

I had to write a synopsis as part of a proposal for my current book... and I almost died. A synopsis is a horrible, awful, evil thing, designed to make you wonder why you ever wanted to be published in the first place.

Somehow I got through it, though. It took me about 20 revisions to get it right, and I finally managed to sum up my story and even interject a little voice into it. In the end, it's a marketing tool, and what matters ultimately (in my humble opinion) is how well you write the novel, not how well you write the synopsis. The synopsis has to be decent, but the novel has to be great.

Um, why do we do this job again? *scratches head*

Nicole Zoltack said...

Yeah, I call them sucknopsis for a reason. My is ok but I should definitely work on incorporating more voice into it. *sigh*

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

The synopsis is so hard! I could cry just thinking about it...as other people here said, it's really about revising down and down and down, until you have the bare bones of the story, but still the voice...and the excitement...whoever invented them was a very mean person.

Rachel Morgan said...

Ugh! Evil, evil synopsis! I've written one in my life, and I have yet to make it shine, so no help coming from me unfortunately!

Jennie Bailey said...

My still doesn't shine. I need to send it to you so you can see how rusty and ugly it is and not feel bad about yours. In your crit person's defense, she was not bored...she had pneumonia! I love that image - where did you get that? Too perfect!

erica and christy said...

enter colene's contest: check
clicked to elana's synop post: not yet
write synopsis full of voice and intrigue: impossible

best of luck to you! i feel your pain! christy

alexia said...

I don't think I've ever written a great synposis. GTLA has some really good examples though, and he uses popular movies so you can follow along better.