Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How I Write a Synopsis

Well, I am just about finished with my final read through. Which means my thoughts have turned to less fun things (at least for me). The synopsis. I despise writing these. I might not even need one, but I like to be on the safe side and figured I might as well just get it over with, just in case :)

When I write a synopsis, I start out by writing chapter abstracts. Basically, I take each chapter and write a 1-3 line blurb about what happens in that chapter. Then, I combine them. I take out the chapter headings and mash all the blurbs together. And I have a rough draft synopsis.

I go through, clean it up, edit things out, reword to make it more exciting/more cohesive/just plain better. I add or subtract depending on the length I'm going for, and I beef up the most important plot points.

And I'm usually left with a pretty decent synopsis.

How do you go about writing these annoying little necessities? :)

**Also!!! I've donated copies of my new picture book, A Magical World, and Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers for the tornado disaster relief auction site All 4 Alabama. A Magical World goes up at 1 CST today. Please come over and check it out. It's for a great cause and there are tons of awesome things to bid on!!**

7 comments:

Lindsay said...

Yep, I'm not a fan of them either.

I write in a similar way. I try to use the main plot points and write a few sentences about each chapter. Then I combine them ;)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

I haven't tried to write one in forever, but I have critiqued a couple for friends and I find them as tricky as ever. The hardest thing for me is being succinct, yet showing the distinct voice of the story.

Yay for disaster relief!! I'll head over right now and see where the bidding's at. :)

Laura Pauling said...

I try and keep mine to one page double spaced, so I write a paragraph for the inciting incident, first turning point, midpoint, dark moment, and the climax. Not easy and I dread writing them.

Mark Noce said...

OMG, I'm so bad at synopsis work...in fact I've delayed pushing out my latest manuscript with agents because I still can't get the synopsis right. I've got the book edited, the query ready, but alas I loath the synopsis. Will you be posting your synopsis online as an example? It would very much help slackers like me to see a good one:)

Michelle McLean said...

LOL you are assuming that I can write a good one. That is up for serious debate :) But I'll see what I can find, example-wise, and maybe do another post on it :)

Rachelle said...

Yep, I use the same method and I don't have any love for synopsis-writing either. It's kind of like, let's take this beautiful story and wring it out until there's nothing but dry bones left. Good for you for being at the point to write one! :)

Marianne said...

I'm new to the process and completely forgot about a synopsis. Now I am completely scared of it.