Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Midweek links-Synopsis

Synopsis = sucknopsis.

For those of you who don't know Synopsis suck, hence the name sucknopsis. A Synopsis is a one to two page summary of your book. That's not a big deal, right? you wrote the book, you should know what's it's about? Right.

Um no.

How do you condense a 70,000 word book into 1 page?

Leave out the details.

Tell, don't show <--which goes against EVERYTHING you know as a write.

Main plot points only.

Focus on the main character.

Sounds simple enough, but here's the thing, no one goes into writing to write a summary. No, we write because we like word play, we like characters, we like dialogue or exploring new ideas or rich worlds that are completely unlike our own. In other words we write because we like to be creative.

A synopsis is boring, its like REAL work... worse yet it's like a homework or a book report.

Why does it need to get done? Because some agents require it, how else are they going to know what happens in your book if you don't tell them.

So below are a few links on how write a sucknopsis.


At Guide to Literary Agent blog, Chuck Sambuchino gives an example of a great synopsis for possibly one of the greatest movies in the past 20 years, Eternal Sunshine in a Spotless Mind. What's nice about this is that the movie is very confusing story and yet makes complete sense. It would be a nightmare to write a synopsis for it, but Chuck does an excellent job of it. And he includes some links at the bottom of his page.

He also give a few step by step example of how to write it here. Blog is always a good resource on how to write in general. Here's one on how to make your synopsis ROCK and who doesn't like a little rock.

YA Highway has a great article about the dreaded synopsis and I'm pretty sure this is where I stole to term Sucknopsis.

Because a mid week link session would be complete without it, here's Nathan Bradford's take on a synopsis.

Lots of the sights repeat the same information, again and again.
And it all comes down to practice.

Yes, it's skill and drill. Yes, its homework. But of the query process is like the final test, then having a great synopsis is like having a great study guide.

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