Synopsis or Synopses, That is the Question

As a writer, I hate writing synopses.

synopses--plural, more than one

It's right up there with the query letter, but for a different reason.

A synopsis is the entirety of your story, told in third person, present tense. The idea behind this is to give an indicator to the reader (editor / agent / contest judge) of the story arc, emotional development, plot and ending.

Yes, you have to tell the ending. It's a given if you write romances that there is always a Happy For Now situation, except for Nicholas Sparks. I have yet to figure out why they call his books 'romances'. Romantic, yes, but not romances. It's right up there with Love Story, where the heroine dies at the end of the movie. Come to think of it, that's probably where he got his idea of killing someone off in the end.

With DRAGON, I knew what I wanted to do with the first 3-4 chapters, and I knew where I wanted it to end. It was all the stuff in the middle that I hadn't figured out. Oh, I knew it would work out, because I almost always figure it out, but I needed a synopsis for this one contest I wanted to enter, which meant I had to write one.

After a few days of jotting down notes and ideas, I wrote the darn thing. It was a mess, but it was written. I sent it to my good friend and CP, Meg.

This is where it pays off in spades to have a good CP who doesn't pull her punches--well, I DO think she pulls her punches some, but she hits me hard enough to jostle my brain pan into figuring out the answers.

I tweaked my synopsis and sent it back. SCORE! . . . for now. I'm sure the story will change, but it's merely a guideline. The problem that I had with this story--and most my synopses--is that I want to add all my subplot information. And, let me tell you, there's a lot of subplotting going on in this next book! It grew organically from the first three books, and I think it adds texture to this next story.

So with notes galore--remember all that thinking about the synopsis?--I managed to handwrite profuse amounts of chapter notes. They are all over the place and in no logical order. But the notes are there.

This will be the first time that I've written any story--even the ones that will never see the light of day--with a completed synopsis and profuse notes.

I can't wait to dig into this story!

Later, Peeps!

No comments: