Friday, April 20, 2007

Pretty Please ... Synopses ... help, please?

Our local RWA group assigned a little bit of homework: write a synopsis by the next meeting (tomorrow at 4). Okay, so, it’s 1:17 a.m. the night before, so I figure it’s about time to get down to it.

(Okay, yes, I did start it before now, but for what’s actually on the page, you may as well say I’m starting it now.)

It’s good practice. I’ve never written a synopsis in my life. I used to run a paragraph pitch by my editors, but they tended to do the email equivalent of patting me on my head. Ya’ know, but sometimes we need the pat on the head.

So I have a few hours tomorrow to shape this blob into something interesting. It’s not like I’ll be paid for it, so it’s not high priority, but ... it’s good practice. And maybe it’ll help shape this blob of a novel I’ve got started.

I know. The Big N shall henceforth be called the Big Blob.

(I must be getting slap-happy-sleepy, because I just laughed at that.)

A good search turns up a bunch of sample synopses from erotic writers and romance writers. But no thrillers. Not a single one.

Anyone see a good, sample thriller synopsis around town?

What I have so far is definitely eye-glazing material. Maybe I can work a miracle tomorrow morning/afternoon. (Speaking of which, I’m off to a writer’s retreat this weekend! Yay! Yay, yay, yay, yay, YAY!)

11 bonus scribbles:

StarvingWriteNow 4/20/2007 06:55:00 AM  

Ahh... all answers are revealed... I just sent you an email about this very thing. I had no idea we were supposed to bring a synopsis. Oy. Well, I'll come up with something. Maybe.

B.E. Sanderson 4/20/2007 08:33:00 AM  

I've blogged about synopses a couple of times and I've thrown some good links out to places like BookEnds and Fiction Factor. If you're interested in how my thriller synopses looks, Spy, shoot me an e-mail.

Rhonda Stapleton 4/20/2007 09:31:00 AM  

LOLOLOL crap, I forgot all about that! Oops...well, mine might change, anyway, since my agent has my book and is reading it now. LOL

Good luck on the synop--I'd show you mine for my other book, but it's YA chick lit. Don't think that'll help you. ROFL

StarvingWriteNow 4/20/2007 09:43:00 AM  

BTW, was your string of "Yay's" at the end of your post to the tune of Hava Nagila?

Mark Terry 4/20/2007 03:23:00 PM  

Here's the link to the BOokEnds blog on it:

And then the advice my agent gave me: "Keep them short. We hate reading them."

Eric Mayer,  4/20/2007 11:46:00 PM  

I'm afraid I know little about synopses and less about thrillers, but in reference to digging a hole to China (on your profile page) this might help:

Amie Stuart 4/21/2007 09:34:00 AM  

Lisa Gardner's Synopsis Project!!!!! It used to be on her website in PDF files--hopefully it still is. It's one of the BEST synopsis teaching tools I've ever found bar none no matter what you write.

BTW seh's teaching a suspense writing class at Writers Univ in June :D

And if this helps, it's all about the big picture, plot points and character growth.

Kate S 4/21/2007 01:07:00 PM  

I'm shivering and cowering behind the monitor just thinking about synopses. Good luck.

Bernita 4/22/2007 07:30:00 AM  

Is there really a difference in the basics?
~colour me clueless~

spyscribbler 4/22/2007 10:05:00 AM  

Sorry, everyone, I was away for the weekend!

Starving, thank goodness for the two-week reprieve! B.E., thanks so much! That's so helpful.

Rhonda, I love your stories! You have such an imagination. Good luck with your adult one.

Almost, Starving! Good ear! To that tune, it should have been: Yay! Yay! Yay, yay, yay, Yay! Yay!

spyscribbler 4/22/2007 10:21:00 AM  

Thanks, Mark! That was a good post. I like that advice. I've been hearing 5 - 15 pages, but then also 2. I like short better, too. :-)

Eric, let me repost your link so others can check it out; it got cut off! Earth Sandwich I was thinking of digging a hole about an inch below the surface, horizontally through the border, LOL. I'm lazy. :-)

Amie, she has a COOL website. One of the best! Wow ... I am going to be spending a lot of time there, in the next few days! Thanks!

Kate, I know the feeling! Very well!

Bernita, I doubt it, but what do I know? I am curious how one how conveys action and suspense in summary. Heck, I've read only a few. Synopses are a complete mystery to me.

I'm going to be practicing them a lot this week!