Monday, May 17, 2010

Synopsis to Signing . . . Gag Me

I began work on my synopsis last night. I read advice that made writing a synopsis sound relatively simple, if rather dry. And to be honest, I've attempted writing these two important pages before. But when I tried putting down a few plot points, and character arcs, I began to wonder if my manuscript was any good. The synopsis didn't seem to be going anywhere. I'm letting a couple of trusted writing partners take a look at it and then I'll give it another go.


To round out my angst, Parnell Hall released this hilarious (well, sorta) video the other day. I'm sure he stages just a bit of it, however. After all, Parnell is used as a great example in Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novell.

So today I'm thrilled to be stumbling through a synopsis. Afraid. Hesitant. Filled with self-doubt. And someday, I'll be thrilled to be stumbling through a signing. Afraid. Hesitant. Filled with self-doubt.

Er . . . thanks, Parnell.

Signing in the Waldenbooks by Parnell Hall

CR: Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. Wow.

It's all better with friends.


  1. Ha Ha! Thanks for the laugh Peg! It's tongue in cheek of course, but you know, I'd find it a bit daunting to approach a row of authors behind desks - rather like going before the Inquisition! So good luck with your signing and make them give you a cosy chair, lamp and side table!


  2. Did I read what you wrote right? Daunting to approach an author behind a desk? Like at a book signing?

    So THAT'S the problem. We should let someone know. *smile*

    But I like the picture you paint. . . .

  3. The synopsis is harder to write than the novel. People have probably died writing synopses. Or at least gone white-haired from the terrible shock of it. The best advice I can offer--aside from getting those reads from your trustys--is Elizabeth Lyons' THE SELL YOUR NOVEL TOOLKIT. Just writing the title calms me down a bit ;)

    Now excuse me while I go purge the word synopsis from my consciousness...

  4. Ta-DAH! I do think I have a synopsis, Ollie. (Or Charlie Brown, depending on your generation.) A rough query letter is in place and I'm currently researching potential agents.

    Hard for me to believe that book isn't sitting in my bookcase, but it's not. Huh. Imagine that.

  5. What, you mean it's not easy to distill 90,000 words into two pages? All you need to do is skip all subplots, character development and nuances. Oh, and give away the ending. All while making sure your voice comes through.

    It's been my theory that the publishing industry is really just survival of the most stubborn. And writing the synopsis is just another one of those awful tests we must go through.