Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Synopsis Chopsis Slicesis Juliennesis Yousis Brainsis Intosis Nothingsis

There is probably no worse thing in the solar system that a writer has to perform in order to get published, than to write a synopsis.

Seriously.

You think there isn't?

People, sitting your ass down in a comfy chair/hard back chair, with a notebook/PC doing line-by-line editing for your book (be it getting it ready for submission or, if you're at that level that I aspire to get to, getting it ready for production) is not worse than writing a synopsis.

If you're like me, then you probably have the same fault that can drive everyone within a one foot radius of you completely mad, which is that you take forever and a day to make your point/come to a point/create a point with a beginning, middle and an end.

Being long winded is great for a blog, but shitty for a synopsis.

Let's recap shall we?

Back in October '10, I was seriously stuck in writing my synopsis. The only thing I had accomplished, besides printing out a primer on how to write one, was that I had formatted the document in which I was to write my synopsis. Beyond that, I couldn't make myself pull the trigger to write the thing.

However, my conscience slowly and surely convinced me that if I wanted to get published the normal way, I needed to write this synopsis. On Thanksgiving weekend (trust me, I had enough time on that weekend as I was off for four days) I sat my ass in my chair and began writing it. First by hand before transcribing to the computer, then eventually by keyboard and by early December, I had a total of ten pages written out for a first draft synopsis.

I thought I did pretty good, condensing a 149 page novel down to 10 pages...until I got some good advice from a few writer friends who told me a synopsis should be no longer than two to four pages. So back to the drawing board I went. After doing a little more research, which included printing out yet another primer on writing a synopsis and a couple of primers on what the difference between active voice and passive voice is (don't laugh because I honestly had no idea on what the differences were), I sat my ass back down and began to work on my second draft.

A few weeks ago I finished the second draft (wrote it on the extra long vacation I took in early January specificaly for that purpose). I took a ten page, six-thousand-one-hundred-seventy-two word synopsis and chopped it down to three pages and one-thousand-seven-hundred-thirty-eight words, which for me was no easy feat. But what it made it just a little bit easier to do, was to write a chapter-by-chapter synopsis. Somehow, writing a chapter-by-chapter synopsis makes the entire process seem less daunting than to simply to do it in one fell swoop.

So that's where I stand with my latest novel, Line 21. I probably will have to do another round of editing on it, but for now, I am mighty proud in what I've accomplished. And since I love it when my friends critique my stuff, why not shuffle over to Partially Yours and check out my synopsis, and perhaps afterwards, leave a thoughtful comment or two on how I might be able improve it.

8 comments:

  1. Hey Georgie, I've known of your brilliant writing since 2006, the infamous FL brigade incident in the Lowcountry. Keep on writing!! You are HILARIOUS!
    smd

    ReplyDelete
  2. So believe me, I hadn't seen this post when I e-mailed you...and I was trying to be funny in the subject line. Obviously I failed, sorry about that :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Charles: It took me almost five years to finally write one. Not wanting to write one was one of many reasons that I tried my hand at self-publishing.

    SMD: Ummm....okay. Not really sure what you're referring to, so that makes me a little curious as to where you know me from.

    R: I believe you. I think it was just a pure coincidence that you happen to mention this while I was getting ready to post it, which is why it took me by surprise.

    No harm done as it was all in good clean fun.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I awarded you with a "stylish blogger" award. To accept, please go to my post http://amelancholystate.blogspot.com/2011/01/ooooooooh-pertiful-award.html
    to get the award photo and follow the rules for posting. It was kind of fun, but NO PRESSURE!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. R: Clean fun keeps us alive.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ms Alvarez: Many thanks for stopping by.

    I shall indeed check it out and I thank you for the adward.

    ReplyDelete

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G. B. Miller

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