cj Sez: Because I’ve been toiling on the dreaded synopsis for an unnamed work-in-progress, I was looking for examples to send me in the right direction and found the following archived Lyrical Pens post from 2018. With a little editing to specific times, the post is perfect for today…pay special attention to the questions.
What is a synopsis, you may ask. The successful publishing consultant Jane Friedman defines the synopsis this way:
“The synopsis conveys the narrative arc of your novel; it shows what happens and who changes, from beginning to end.” (“Back to Basics: Writing a Novel Synopsis” )
Basically, the starting sentence of my synopsis is my elevator pitch—the twenty-five or so words I'll have time to say that might pique the interest of an agent in the few seconds we’re caught on an elevator together.
A synopsis should also reflect the same voice/tone as the manuscript. The document will be chronological in terms of where things happen in the manuscript and to whom. All the story threads will be neatly tied up, but it will include only major characters and major scenes. Beginning, middle, and end which means even if it’s a mystery, it will (must) reveal the ending. This is, after all, going to an agent or publisher.
When I’m finished with the whole thing, I’ll ask another writer if s/he can make sense of what the story is about and if are there questions that need answering. Of course, that means I’ll need to get into edit cycle four, five, ad infinitum.
I usually wait until the manuscript is complete to do a synopsis, but a friend of mine suggested doing a synopsis for each chapter as it’s completed. That does sound easier since everything is really fresh in my mind.
The interesting thing for me about writing the synopsis is that it helps me identify the plot holes; hopefully, all of them.
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*I call the feral, ginger cat that dines on my patio “Brimley” because he has such big whiskers. . . and here he's trying to cool off by stretching out where the concrete is shadowed.
Three questions: (Remember this is a repeat of a 2018 post)
Ques 1: We’re slightly over a month out from the first day of summer so I’m asking…why are we already seeing hellacious heat and humidity on the Gulf Coast?
Ans: Okay, I know the answer to that one. It’s because Mother Nature doesn’t pay attention to humankind’s calendar.
Ques 2: Two weeks from now is Memorial Day weekend…anyone care to guess how high the national average for gas prices will be? They’re climbing fast.
Ans: And your guess is:
Ques 3: When do you write your synopsis…when the manuscript is complete or when each chapter is complete?
Just because it’s pretty:
Bayou La Batre,
That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Prayers going up for your health and safety.
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P.P.S. Pre-signed copies of THE BIG FANG are not available at The Haunted Bookshop, but when you order a book from them and want it author-graphed, let them know, and I'll pop down there and sign it for you. Thanks!
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