Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the one page synopsis has defeated me

OK - I'll admit it - I'm stumped. I'm near crazed. I did the four page synopsis and it was so helpful. It made my last revision cleaner, I cut all the stuff that wasn't story and I'm very happy with the result. The four page synopsis was for the contest I entered March 1st. That was twenty days ago and now I'm six days past my own deadline of getting four packages out to agents. And why, you may well ask? Because I cannot do a one page synopsis which doesn't make my eyes bleed from boredom. I've tried everything. I know I don't have to do it in chronological order - that I don't need to include sub-plots, that I should keep names and places to a minimum BUT GAWD!
Sometimes I'm lying in bed and I think 'by George, I've got it' but when I go to write it down - I'm wrong. I don't have it. I know that I can't get anyone to do it for me. I have to at least have something on the page for someone to riff from BUT I CAN'T do it.
Help. Throw me a line - tell me how the heck you do it - or what worked for you or commiserate with me or something.
There - I stand before you, naked and vulnerable, (not in a good way, Tartlette!) with my hands open and beseeching, the trees soughing, the hens clucking, the earth warming, spring happening and me without my packages done.

11 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Summarizing the book is never easy!
Matthew's blog, The QQQE, critiques query letters, namely the synopsis. Maybe he could help?

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Alex - I'll go there now.

Liza said...

QQQE is a great resource...wish I could help you more...

KarenG said...

The only way I know how to conquer these horrible synopsis issues is to write it then go back and go back and go back. Much like the ms, only it's shorter, thankfully.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

All I can give you is a virtual pat on the back and encouragement. You can do it. You will.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I know exactly what you mean!!! I've had to do that, too, and it's soooo challenging. Sending all kinds of positive vibes to you. Nobody knows your work better than you do; you can show it off! You can!

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I feel your pain! I hate hate HATE doing the synopsis! The best thing to do is to force yourself in the chair and plunge in.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, Jan, you have my full sympathy. The fact of the matter is synopses ARE boring. They don't have any of the heart of any of the other stuff because you have to TELL. Put your pitch and your 4 page next to each other and maybe you can get a feel what 'in between' should look like, but I just haven't seen many that don't look like lists.

Words A Day said...

i fell back on cliches for mine and imagined the voiceover guy from the movies telling it... that got me down to three paragraphs...I concentrated on getting across the tempo/ mood of the novel more than actual plot. That could be terrible advice for you, but its all I've got:)!

If its any consolation I feel the same about synopsis, hair wrenching things that they are:)

Ann said...

I will have to commiserate, because I am no where near the synopsis stage. So, 'There, There' everything will be ok! It wil come.'

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks everyone - it is wonderful to just hear that I am not alone - crying out in the wilderness! And what am I crying? 'it sounds just like a teenager telling a movie plot to a bleary-eyed parent at three in the morning - and then, and then the guy, you know the first guy, and then...'