16 June 2011

The Long and the Short of it

It's been a long while since I wrote a synopsis. And the last book was long and slow without much of a plot (I realised later), so I suppose it wasn't too much of a challenge back then. Now, I'm finding it to be as much of a challenge as everyone says. The problem isn't writing a flowing narrative which documents the plot. The issue is length. I've read that the ideal synopis is 500-1000 words long. Mine is... ahem... 3928 words. Five (and a bit) single-spaced pages. And I stuck to the main characters and plot lines. It killed me that I had to leave out the little details - it's all the details that make this book what it is (or so I'd like to think). But now I have to go back with a sickle to slash it by three quarters. I'm realising that the sypnosis is not a plot summary. It's more like an extended hook from a query letter, with an ending. Right?

So tomorrow I'll go back to the drawing board for my second draft of the synopsis. It has to be more like tip-toeing over the plot than wading through it. The good thing is, it should be much easier to get the query done once I have the synopsis finished. Don't get me started on the hook paragraph/s. I already have about thirty different versions.

Tell me how you go about writing a synopsis - how do you sum up your 300-page masterpiece in a single sheet?

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