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Thread: My Synopsis

  1. #1
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    My Synopsis

    After much procrastinating - hence my frequent visits to this forum - I've finally decided that it's crunch time. I should probably get around to composing the actual query + synopsis if my manuscript is to ever stop being a manuscript.

    I have a minor problem: My synopsis is way too long.

    How does one synthesise a 190 page manuscript into a 2 page synopsis? How does one make the synopsis appealing enough that the reader will actually want to read the manuscript? My current synopsis is double what a synopsis should be and contains nothing more than a recount of the novel itself. How do I cut it down and jazz it up (so to speak)?

    I don't have any problems with the "blurb" inside the query, but I am having a lot of problems with the synopsis. I'm starting to get worried because if I can't do the synopsis, it means that I am having trouble finding the "essence" of my story. You'd think that after the better part of a year living/writing the story, that it would actually have a point/purpose - that I didn't just waste all of those hours. But now, it seems that I am missing out on the point entirely. How do I get at the essence of my story?



  2. #2
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    Re: My Synopsis

    gm,
    There are several ways to create a synopsis. I'll detail a couple.

    Method One: 10-point method. Devleop a list of the ten (or nine, or eleven) major plot points of your story. Write a paragraph about each point. The results is your S.

    Method Two: Chapter by Chapter. Write a one sentence description of the action in each chapter. Assemble into paragraphs with pleasing flow. This method works best with books of twenty to thirty chapters. Fewer chapters, and you may have to write a couple sentences per chapter. More, and you may have to condense two chapters into one sentence.

    With either method, the target is an S of about 1K words. That's about four pages double-spaced. From that you can develop an S of around 400 words that will fit on one page when single-spaced.

    Stan

  3. #3
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    Re: My Synopsis

    I have a one page and a two page synopsis.

    For starters, quit worrying about it. You're putting too much pressure on yourself. It's a synopsis, not an atomic weapon. Nobody gets hurt if you do it wrong a few times.

    Concentrate on the core storyline and begin there. Then you can add in the ketchup bottles and salt shakers. It's a process. It doesn't come instantly to any of us.

    Hang in there.

  4. #4
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    Re: My Synopsis

    Can the core storyline be in the middle of the story? I find the most interesting parts of my story in the 5th or 6th chapters.

  5. #5
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    Re: My Synopsis

    "the most interesting parts of my story in the 5th or 6th chapters"

    Then there's a problem, Larry. Who wants to wait until the 5th or 6th chapter to get to the interesting parts? If even YOU think the really interesting stuff isn't happening for 5 or 6 chapters, you must ask youself if another person will read that far to get to them.

  6. #6
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    Re: My Synopsis

    Well, to me the first chapter is interesting, but I find the action is a couple of chapters further along in the book. I've read books that started out blah and then perked up later.

  7. #7
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    Re: My Synopsis

    I rarely get past the blah.

  8. #8
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    Re: My Synopsis

    It's true, Larry. Most readers don't continue if the opening is not very interesting. And, really, that's a shame, because a story can start out slow and get more involving later on.

    Readers want something to get them involved from the first 5 pages.

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