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What a kick! No posts. You hate them as much as I do?
Posted: Friday, March 18, 2011 4:56 AM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 4

I couldn't help myself. No one with wonderful advice? No one bragging on how well they do them? No one willing to admit that they hate them with an absolute and complete passion that borders on insanity?

wow... okay that was a bit of a rant, wasn't it?  Who cares. I HATE THEM!

Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 4:31 AM
Joined: 3/17/2011
Posts: 3

Haha. Your post made me laugh, Meg, because seriously who doesn't HATE writing the synopsis!
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 8:20 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 46

I loathe synopses, but can't quite drum up passionate hatred. Probably because I'm not writing one right now.

The only advice I can give that I've found effective is to start writing it early. Like, before you've finished the book. That early. Why would you take time out of a work you love to cobble together a tool you despise? Because the synopsis can actually help you during the writing process.

I usually pause around 1/3 and 2/3s of the way through a book to check on my pacing and make sure I'm roughly on track with the main plot arc and sub-plots threads. On my last book, I formalized my check by drafting a synopsis. It was a raw draft, but it helped me to identify one climactic scene that fell flat, thus dragging down what I had wanted to be an important sub-plot. I was able to correct that while writing, rather than having to go back and perform invasive surgery after completion. And I had a draft of the synopsis to work from when I finished.

Of course, stories and characters change in unexpected ways during the writing process. That's part of the delight and magic of writing. But, the synopsis doesn't just have to be an enemy. It can, along the way, be a friend...who then turns around and bites you on the bum when you sit down to complete it.
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:56 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

I like my long synopsis (five pages). But agents are asking for synopses that are much shorts -- as in, one to two pages. How is that possible? I might post mine eventually, because it really is short and sweet.

Let's look on the bright side of things! There are worse things than writing a synopsis. Like sticking your hands in a hot vat of frying grease, maybe?
Danielle Bowers
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:37 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 280

I haven't gotten this far yet in my writing career but this did give me a good laugh.

LisaMarie, It sounds about as fun as a cross country trip with my mother-in-law. With no AC. In the summer.
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:47 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

It IS about as fun ... why?

Because there is such great specificity involved. Some agents want a 4-5 pager AT THE LEAST. Others only a couple of pages ... at the MOST. Gotta love the ones who want **EXACTLY two pages.** No more, no less.

I'm not even clear on the spacing and formatting issues. Pretzel your mind enough times, and a root canal seems enticing.

I don't mind writing a synopsis. "A." One. Uno. Une. But please, let's strive for some consistency here, industry folks. I have FIVE synops. of varying lengths. Only one of them does not blow: the one I used as a template to actually write my book.

***Rant Finis***

Jessie Kwak
Posted: Saturday, April 23, 2011 7:37 PM
Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 27

*timidly raises hand*

I kind of like them? I mean, maybe I haven't written enough to really start to loath them, but I find that writing a good synopsis does wonders during the revising stage. It's really gratifying to identify plot threads and themes, and to boil down all those words to see what the true essence of the story is that I'm trying to tell. Yes?
Marshall R Maresca
Posted: Saturday, April 23, 2011 8:00 PM
Joined: 3/7/2011
Posts: 56

A piece of advice on writing synopses I recently heard (but have yet to implement in my own-- that's a project for the next couple weeks!) is that your synopsis should only mention three characters. In other words, you need to boil down the events of the book to that level of simplicity. Who is at the core of your story?

Now, I can imagine that a lot of stories would be VERY hard to boil the synopsis down that much. Of the three that I have uploaded here, I THINK I can do that with Thorn of Dentonhill and Maradaine Constabulary. I'm stymied at how to do that to Holver Alley Crew. But that's the goal...
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 2:34 AM
I'd rather drive railroad spikes into my eyes than write one single synopsis. They're their own special kind of torture.
Toni Wyatt
Posted: Saturday, May 7, 2011 10:41 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 53

My first synopsis is 5 pages long for a 107,000 word novel. My second synopsis is 3 pages long for a 54,000 word novel. My third synopsis is a little less than 2 pages long for a 118,000 word novel. Ironic. My biggest problem with synopses is, I fear mine are boring. I feel like they are, 'the facts and nothing but the facts.' Snore.
Posted: Saturday, May 7, 2011 11:23 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 245

I haven't yet tried my hand at a synopsis, so I have no opinion one way or the other. So many people hate them and moan about them it does make me wonder what my relationship with the process will be.
Angela Homister
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 9:35 PM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 4

I love that I came across this and it reflects my feelings right now. I haven't had to write the synopsis yet, or should I say I have avoided it completely. I know it has to be done and I am dreading it, I can't seem to find the right way to express the core of the story. I am glad to find there are many people that feel the same way I do and can give me a laugh about it.
Tara Kollas
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2011 12:47 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 19

I agree with Mari. Honestly, I would pay someone to draft this thing for me. I have a two page synopsis that is passable. But I find myself doing anything else to avoid reading it an getting it in shape for submissions.
Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 7:17 PM
Joined: 9/30/2011
Posts: 3

Everyone's read plenty of synopsis advice articles, but best way I have seen to *think* about synopsis is Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method. At the very least it exercises your brain into thinking how to relate the different levels of detail that different length synopses require. That at least has made it less painful to think about the approach. Randy has a free PDF. Some argue it stifles creativity, so also Google "Pros and cons of the Snowflake Method". Good fortune!

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