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  1. #1
    Jay Elwood Seymour
    Guest

    Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    Okay, I've just hashed out my synopsis, something I have not looked forward too. For my 90,000 word novel, the synopsis is 11 pages long (double spaced).

    ... Is that WAY to long? If so... EEK! because I have no freaking idea how to get it shorter. Cutting out anything would honestly, make the ending not make any sense at all. EEK!



  2. #2
    Sail Away
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    Cutting out anything would honestly, make the ending not make any sense at all. EEK!

    I find that hard to believe. Sounds like you need to step away for a while and come back with fresh eyes.

    For example (very rough and off the cuff, but you get the idea)...

    After hearing a mysterious distress call from a beautiful princess, a young man leaves home on a daring rescue mission. Mentored by the last survivor of a mystic race, he befriends a roguish space captain and begins to learn the ways of the force. Together, they rescue the princess, but at a great cost - a confrontation with a galactic weapon that has the power to destroy their world and put an end to the freedom fighting rebel alliance. The young man joins the rebels, and with some last minute help from his friends, destroys the galactic threat and restores hope to the galaxy.

    ----

    Your synopsis will need a bit more detail than this, but not 11 pages worth. Cover major plot points and show that you can create a story arc with a satisfying conclusion.

    Good luck.

    -SA

  3. #3
    Jay Elwood Seymour
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    Okay okay okay.... I guess I was being quite dramatic. Truly, if I am to keep every plot detail, including love interests, subplots, and the fantastically weaved web of conflict... it would be 20 pages long (or more).

    So after calming down (and having a ice cream cone :-o) I have pulled it down to six full pages. It's depressing, and most of all it's completely void of feeling! BUT, despite lacking the love interests, subplots, and constant un-assuredness of the protagonists, it honestly tells what happens from page one to page 371...

    UGH, but it's so SOUL-LESS!

    I've gotta calm down. Writing this synopsis was so... ugh! I can't even talk. I need more ice cream.

  4. #4
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    John DeChancie once wrote a .5 page synopsis of Moby Dick. It had everything that needed to be there, was easy to follow and very understandable. Unless your book is 12 times as long, I find it hard to believe that you need six pages. What you probably have is an outline, not a synopsis. You don't want to list everything that happens, just the most important points written so as to show the basic flow of the plot.

  5. #5
    Sail Away
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    I've gotta calm down. Writing this synopsis was so... ugh! I can't even talk. I need more ice cream.

    Brownies always worked for me...until I discovered the itchy hives were due to chocolate.

    -SA

  6. #6
    Andrew Smith
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    I don't think you need to double-space a synopsis. If yours is double-spaced and 6 pages long, it sounds like a reasonable length, given the word count of your work.

    Anyway... this has been my experience. My first synopsis (the work was published) was 4 pages. The next two (also sold) novels, I only wrote one or two single-spaced paragraphs.

  7. #7
    Jay Elwood Seymour
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    My problem is the explanation of what happens at the end, which requires a bit of back explanation. I'm gonna attack again, I'd like it to be five pages double spaced.

  8. #8
    Cathy C
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    Six pages double spaced is pretty close to fine. Five would be better, since many agents prefer a two-paged single spaced synopsis (which works out to about five pages double spaced.) One thing that works pretty well for me is to remove the subplots except for the mention that they're there. For example (using SA's example), you're perfectly allowed to say in a synopsis: "One subplot includes a budding romance between the princess and the space captain." That's it. Nothing more needs to be said. The agent/editor can read between the lines. You're ALSO allowed (which a lot of writers don't know) that you can tell the story out of order in the synopsis. You get to tell the agent/editor both that something unexplainable happens in chapter 2 and in the same sentence, explain the result that comes in chapter 10. For example (using SA's example again):

    "Mentored by the last survivor of a mystic race, he befriends a roguish space captain and begins to learn the ways of the force. But even though the mentor is killed mid-book, he continues on as a spirit guide to continue the man's training."

    Remember also that while a synopsis needs to have some soul, it also needs to be primarily a business tool for the agent to decide several things: 1) Is there an interesting plot? 2) Are the characters likeable/unique enough to grab a reader? 3) Is the logic of the plot sound? and 4) Does the plot resolve in an interesting, satisfactory manner?

    Answer these questions with brevity and clarity, and it'll result in a request for a partial or full.

  9. #9
    Jay Elwood Seymour
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    Okay... wow, after a lot of pulling out my hair (and several tins of ice cream) I've managed to pull that grossly obese 11 page synopsis to a 2 page double spaced synopsis.

    Now, if you remember, when I pulled it from 11 to 6, I was depressed at the lifelessness of the synopsis.

    SOMEHOW! ... I can't even fatham how I did it... Somehow, my 2 page synopsis has more life than my six pager!

    Wow, I'm actually quite confident in this new 2 page double spaced synopsis.

  10. #10
    Sail Away
    Guest

    Re: Synopsis Troubles... Eek!

    Wow, I'm actually quite confident in this new 2 page double spaced synopsis.

    Good for you!

    -SA

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