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.


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.


  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!

  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 :)

  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.

  4. I awarded you with a "stylish blogger" award. To accept, please go to my post
    to get the award photo and follow the rules for posting. It was kind of fun, but NO PRESSURE!!

  5. R: Clean fun keeps us alive.

  6. Ms Alvarez: Many thanks for stopping by.

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


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