Archive for the ‘Synopses’ Category
Saturday’s NARWA meeting went great, and — as usual — I came away inspired. Our guest speaker, Harlequin American author Cathy McDavid, presented talks on characterization and that bane of many writers’ existence (or at least mine), the synopsis.
I came away with some great tips, along with some worksheets that will likely prove very helpful. Among them:
- One size synopsis does not fit all. Some publishers want a two-page one, others want a five-pager. To meet varying requirements, think of the synopsis as an accordion, expanding and contracting your description of the action.
- When describing the action, you don’t want a chapter-by-chapter play-by-play. Pick six to eight turning points (such as their first kiss, first time to make love) and focus on those.
- Mention more than once why they can’t be together and explain why they fall in love. Don’t forget to include how the hero and heroine have grown and/or changed.
- Make every word count. Use power words (like scarlet instead of red) to evoke a stronger vision. For every sentence, ask, “Can I make this better? Shorter?”
- Try to infuse your synopsis with the same tone as your book.
That last one I struggle with. (Oh, who am I kidding? I struggle with the synopsis from start to finish. If I could get by without ever writing one, I would.) My synopses aren’t even half as funny as the stories themselves.
Well, time to take another look at my synopsis for “Blind Date Bride.” One of the goals I set to finish before our July meeting is to submit at least two queries on “Blind Date Bride.”
The other is to write a query letter/synopsis for “Beauty and the Ballplayer.” I must be a glutton for punishment. 😉
I find that hard to believe.
Since it’s about time for me to write another one (or two or three) of these buggers, I found this post over at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood particularly useful.
I wish I were one of those people who writes synopsis first and novel later. But I always find myself, at the end of my novel, going back to write a synopsis that includes all the major turning points.
Perhaps with my next novel — the one I start after I finish revising, expanding and writing synopses/queries for my “Women of Willow’s Grove” stories — I’ll try doing the synopsis BEFORE I start to write.
It certainly can’t hurt, right? 😉
In an effort to get over the disappointment of not finaling in the Golden Heart, I’ve been a busy, busy writer. 😀
No giving up for me, no sir.
I spent the weekend working on a synopsis for “Blind Date Bride” and reworking the ending on my losing GH entry. (I’m getting rid of their silly argument for a meatier one. There’s probably still not enough conflict, but I think it’s getting closer.)
I also discovered I may be eligible for PRO status with RWA. I’m going to look into that.
Nothing like a little disappointment — or a lot — to make you realize you need to work harder.
Today, I spent some time before work trying to come up with a synopsis for next year’s GH entry, which I want to enter in a contest with an April 10 deadline.