I have recently been writing about the woes of editing my manuscript. Now I need to throw in my grumbling on synopsis writing. Anyone who has ever tried to sell their manuscripts has had to (at one time or other) write a synopsis.
What is a synopsis you may ask? The ‘angel’ in me will define it as a 3-5 page summary of your manuscript. The ‘devil’ in me defines it as torture!
Why are they torture? I have never met a writer who says that they LOVE to write a synopsis. It is incredibly hard to summarize your several hundred page manuscript into a few pages. Writing the initial draft usually results in too many pages about the plot. In the next revision you tighten the pages and start to concentrate on the conflict in the story. By version three, I’m normally pretty close to where I need to be. Right now, I am on version two of my synopsis for the manuscript I just completed.
Why write them? Well, an agent or publisher will often request the first 3 chapters of your book to see if they like the way you write. But they also may ask for a synopsis so that they can read it to understand the crux of your book without reading.
It is a necessary evil. But it can also help you as well. Once you have written your synopsis, it can help you with writing the dreaded cover letter. It can also help you prepare for pitching your book as well, since your synopsis (if written correctly) should have the important points that you can use when you try to sell your book.
So tonight I am on to version three…..