Last friday, on Twitter, Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency (@bradfordlit on twitter, follow her, she’s brilliant) posted at length regarding synopses, and it got me thinking about my own experiences with synopses and the writing thereof. Be forewarned. I WILL alternately use caps and italics for emphasis in this post. I can’t help it.
Say it like an expletive and that’s how it sort of feels. I mean, for fuck’s sake I finished the damn book now I have to tell people about it? Just quarantine me to whichever of Dante’s circles of hell is most painful while you’re at it.
STOP. Just stop. Stop whining and write the thing already, but know that I feel your pain.
No, there is nothing particularly fun about writing a synopsis, but you’ve got to get the hell over it, and I’ll tell you why.
I used to write a quick summary of what happened in each chapter, string them all together, and there was my synopsis. RAH. And it was boring. And I didn’t sell my books. I was earning my rejection stripes, all while thinking if only I could write a synopsis that was half as much fun to read…
And then it hit me… why couldn’t I?
I mean, it’s just writing, right? And it’s only a handful of pages, right?
So I sat down and I started thinking about my book. A synopsis tells what happens. It’s a large scale, 20,000 ft. overview of your plot. I WISH I could share a finished synopsis here, actually, but spoilers. 😉
I started out with the obvious:
Hero arrives on the scene for a super important reason. He’s got such and such agenda, which is why he was FLOORED when heroine walked in and turned his life upside down.
Drama ensues. And then drama dropped this bomb. AND THEN? Holy hell, you won’t believe what happened next… THIS.
See where I’m going? The synopsis is your chance to GOSSIP about your book. Tell the lurid tale that makes your book worth telling as though you were relating it to your very best friend in hushed tones while slightly drunk at 3am.
Then spell check it.
Congratulations, you may have just written a synopsis that makes someone want to read your book. 🙂