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Category Archives: synopsis

The End or The Beginning?

A friend of mine, April Snellings, took this in Toronto. I had no idea anyone else knew about this word I dreamed, but they did!

A friend of mine, April Snellings, took this in Toronto. I had no idea anyone else knew about this word I dreamed, but they did!

Those are beautiful words, aren’t they? I finished my story on December 30, because I didn’t want to drag it into the New Year. I was so excited and I emailed my friends, posted it on Facebook and had a little celebration. I know, seems kind of overboard, but I started this story three years ago and it’s finally done. The next morning when I woke, panic set in. Now what?

Let’s see. I’m holding steady at 80k words, which is good for a YA novel. I know for sure that I have two semi-major scenes to rewrite. Then I have to go back and clean it up and do lots of revising. Right now I’m working with one critique partner and will have to start looking for a couple more. Then, after I make additional corrections I need to send it out to beta readers and get a feel for their reaction. Oh. But I also need to write a one sentence pitch and I have to write the synopsis and query. Ugh. I’d much prefer just to write. But this has to be done. I love my story and want others to see it as I do – which does not include me telling the person what I meant to say here or was trying to get across there. My story has to be above and beyond. No story is ever perfect, I know, but I don’t want to have to make make excuses for my writing. Yes, I know not every story is liked by everyone, but I just want to be able to tell this story as best I can. And as you can probably see from this paragraph, I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to storytelling.

So, I’m going to do something that I have a hard time doing. I’m going to ask for your help. I want you to tell me what you think and how you feel about the idea for my story. This is also to get a feel for the upcoming workshops we’re going to be offering. By “exposing” myself like this, I want to show you that we not only want to help each other, we want to help all writers. I’m trusting you, my friends, to not laugh at me or tell me I’m a complete nutter. This is really hard for me to do, but I want you to know that you can trust us with your beautiful stories also. Here goes…

The working title of my story is LUMA. This is NOT my one sentence synopsis, but just an idea of what the story is about: Two seventeen year old best friends are given a gift by a down on his luck, tired superhero.

Need more? Yeah… I thought so. Deep breath. Okay. This is NOT my synopsis, but just a general idea of my story: Seventeen year old Abbey is a party girl. When she hears about an underground club being held at an abandoned amusement park, she has to go. She loves the club scene and everything to do with it. This is the world where she feels she belongs, but one kiss changes everything. A stranger hits on her and after seeing her best friend, Callie, is occupied with her jerk boyfriend, Abbey kisses the stranger. To her, it’s nothing but a hope that he finds her beautiful, but to someone watching, it’s a death warrant – for her. Callie interrupts their moment and tells Abbey they have to leave. Abbey gives the stranger her number and she and Callie leave, but instead of finding their way home, they find themselves trapped in the amusement park. After being hunted through the park, they find themselves in the basement of the old theater. There, they find a man shackled to the wall. After saving his life. he gives them a gift. A gift that only a superhero can give – strength, power, abilities and many things in between. As their abilities grow, so does the danger around them. Someone wants this gift they’ve been given and will stop at nothing to get it (cliche, I know). Abbey and Callie have to decide not only what’s worth fighting for, but who is worth fighting for.

Sucky, I know. But, that’s part of my problem. I don’t know how much to give away and when to keep my cards hidden. I know I’m not the only one with this problem, which is why I’ve posted my issue. So, tell me, is this something that would interest you? What else do you want to know? What questions do you have? I know I’m not the only person with this question, so feel free to post your story summaries in the comments and I’ll see if we can help you. Synopses are hard. They have to be perfect. I want you to see that I’m struggling with mine and though my story is finished – I’m really having a hard time.

I work on my story everyday. Right now, it’s labeled as a YA dark urban fantasy, but it sneaks into so many other genres. I have to incorporate them all somehow. What problems do you have? Let’s work it out together and make sure we help each other reach our goals. I’ve taken a huge step by trusting you, what leap of faith will you take for your story?

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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Critique, Motivation, Revision, Support, synopsis, Writing

 

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My Favorite Hugs and Chocolate Posts

Sometimes, a hug is all what we need – Jesslee Cuizon

What a good year it’s been over here! I though that the best way for me to end off things would be to share a few of the post by the wonderful ladies I share this blog with. If any of the links go to places they shouldn’t, please let me know.

It’s been such a pleasure getting to know all of you this year. I’m giving all of you big virtual bear hugs. I can’t wait to see what next year will bring us.

It’s been an honor, ladies and gentlemen.

Jamie Raintree

My Romance With Writing

Who Cares About Writers?

Instruction Manual for a Full-Time Writer

Why Character Archetypes Aren’t Just About Commercialism

Why I Heart Scrivener for Outlining

How to NaNoWriMo During Thanksgiving

Tonia Marie Houston

Bring Your Shovel

St. Patrick and the Writer’s Trinity

Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life

33 And It Feels Divine

Give Your Characters Quirk

Synopsis Fundamentals

Heather L Reid

Learn to Love Writing Queries

Dream Big and Never Give Up: How I Landed a 2 Book Publishing Deal

The Third Perspective: Why I Love Third Person Narrative

The First Editorial Letter: Let the Revisions Begin… Again

Riding the Revision Coaster: Completing My 30 Day Deadline

Rebecca Fields

What If…

Luck of the Irish?

The Magic of Fairy Tales

A World of Ideas

Pardon Me, Social Media

Read A (Banned) Book

Courtney Koschel

Filtering Filter Words in Your Writing

Questions to ask When Hiring an Editor

I Suck Syndrome: Recognize it and Beat it

Giving and Getting the Most Out of Critiques

Common Comma Issues

Manuscript Formatting

Jani Grey

Support from the obvious places

Need a little motivation or inspiration? I have some of that for you

Personal Perspective: Why I write 1st person POV

Let me tell you why you’re a winner

The Small Things

Why the subject of your blog post is so very important

Guest Posts

Visualize Your Way to Success: Guest Post by Vaughn Roycroft

DIY Editing and Proofreading Part 1 with Karen S. Elliot

Editing, Proofreading, and a Contest with Karen S. Elliot

Pants on Fire: Guest Post by Laura Long

Guest Post by Brian Taylor: Take a Walk… On a Tightrope: One Writer’s Journey

I’ll see you next year. Have a happy and safe new year!

 

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Synopsis Fundamentals

Mono_pensador     “The synopsis conveys the narrative arc of your novel; it shows what happens and who changes, from beginning to end.”

     ~ Jane Friedman

I did some research and found out that, indeed, synopsis is not a synonym for “a brief journey into writer hell.”

A synopsis is a 1-3 page summary of your novel. Simple. But, if you’re anything like me, simple tends to get complicated, especially when we factor in its importance in selling our story to an agent or publisher. That’s when we start acting like contestants in a greased pig wrestling match.

Beginning next month, we’re offering our readers a chance to receive feedback on synopses, among other tricky beasts like the first 500 words of your novel and the query.For more information about our newest endeavor to help motivate and inform our readers, go here.

I wanted to take a moment before the full furor of the holidays takes over and introduce a few basic components and principles of the synopsis. Like you, I’m learning more about the craft of writing every day. If after reading, you have any questions, or would like to add something valuable you’ve learned, or any experience, please join us in the comment section. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I’ll find it for you.(Or any member of our tribe may have the information/encouragement that you need. The H&C tribe is awesome like that.)

Format

*Always check submission guidelines with any agent or publisher you’re seeking*

Double space

1″ margins

standard font like Courier or Times New Roman

Header on each page- book title in upper left corner, your last name and page # in upper right corner

Do This:

*Start with an energetic, bold hook

* Be precise; keep it tight. Every word matters.

* Focus on what the story is about.

* Use an active voice.

* Use third-person, present tense.

* Set up the story in the first paragraph

* Clearly show the core conflict and how it is resolved.

* Include characters’ reactions- their feelings and emotions- this will give the story color and life.

* Use your distinct writing voice

* Research your market and aim your pitch for that market(i.e., what is the agent/publisher looking for?)

Don’t do this:

* Tell the story and how things happen (Re: Show the story, just as you do in your manuscript)

* Passive voice

* Forget to include the ending

* Don’t turn the synopsis into a list (First, Marie woke up. Then, she brushed her teeth while contemplating how life is like a tube of pink lipstick…)

* Don’t write copy- “incredible, heart-stopping action”…Don’t editorialize.

* Ask leading/empty questions- “Have you ever had to kill a vampire with only a bottle of rum and a roll of toilet paper?”

* Include too much or unnecessary detail. (Again. Precision. Precision. Precision.)

Relates Links:

http://www.longridgewritersgroup.com/rx/wc01/the_novel_synopsis.shtml

http://janefriedman.com/2011/10/25/novel-synopsis/

http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/how-to-write-a-synopsis.html#

http://www.charlottedillon.com/SynopsisSamples.html

http://writerunboxed.com/2012/12/03/synopsize-me/

 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Craft, synopsis, Writing

 

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