Friday, January 11, 2013

A Seriously Lean Synopsis

Over the course of the past four months, I would periodically allude to a novella that was to be the story I wanted to meet my New Year's resolution with, and I thought not only would I refresh your collective memory about it, but solicit your opinion about the synopsis that I had recently written for it.

The novella came about in a most unusual way, in that it wasn't inspired by an idea or an incident, or even a person (well, maybe), but by a blog post. Specifically, this blog post, which I wrote during a burst of creative whimsy.

Anyways, about a month or so after I had written that blog post, I was still in a creative mood, so while I was looking for something to write, I remembered that particular blog post. After re-reading it and thinking about it for several minutes, inspiration struck and within a few weeks I had a novella written.

Now, imagine if that preceding paragraph was true, it would showcase me to be a super fantastic writer. The truth of the matter was a bit more mundane.

While I did get inspiration from that blog post to write about an obsessive love, it quickly morphed into something completely different, in that it became as story about revenge. And since I was starting to dabble in using religion in my writing, some time was spent both at the library and on Wikipedia, researching the following: demons, spirits, archangels, Hell & Purgatory, and Dante (see this post for a slightly more thorough explanation). About five months later, I had a good 1st draft of a novella.

For the next year or so, I had it proofed by a reader, changed the title five times, edited four times, and completely re-wrote it from past tense to present tense.

The re-write came about due to a conversation I had on Facebook late in 2012 with a fellow writer, who offered to help me with my next submission. Jumping at the offer, I whipped out my novella, did a round of edits, that complete re-write, and another round of edits.

I also finally planted ass in chair to write a synopsis for it. And in keeping with the theme of present tense in the novella, I wrote the synopsis in first person p.o.v. This is where you, my favorite readers come in. I posted the first draft at my other blog and I would like you to take a stroll over, give it a read, and offer your opinion on it.

Because reading a synopsis can be a bit confusing without a modicum of a background story (i.e. query), here is a very brief plot synopsis to work with.

Ashanti, a demonic spirit that escaped from Purgatory centuries ago, is blackmailed by Kevin to become Keisha, the girl of his dreams and thus by proxy completely ruin her reputation so that he could be her knight in shining armour. A distress call is eventually sent out by her eldest child, to which archangels Michael and Raphael answer the call. They in turn help Ashanti get her revenge on Kevin. Ashanti, before taking her leave and going back to what she was prior to meeting Kevin, makes things right with Keisha by giving her the opportunity to relive her life again.
On second thought, if you could, please let me know what your opinion is on that paragraph, because it sounds like a good synopsis to use in a query letter.


  1. Honestly I'm a little confused by the first sentence. Who ruines Keisha's reputation? Is Keisha a person who existed previously and was possessed by Ashanti, who then ruined her reputation, or did Ashanti materialize into Keisha and then Kevin somehow ruined her reputation?

  2. I think it is a good synopsis for a query letter, in fact. I will check out the other post when I'm not on a work computer ;)

  3. S.R.: Excellent points made. I should expound on that particular sentence.

    What it is, is this: Keisha is the girl/woman that Kevin wants, but Keisha gives Kevin the cold shoulder. Angry, he contacts Ashanti, a demon escapee, and blackmails her into taking over Keisha's body and becoming her, and while being her, ruins her reputation by turning her into a sleaze.

    So it sounds like I need to clarify the opening sentence so as not to confuse the potential publisher.


    M: Thanks.


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