Ode to I hate synopsis

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Ode to I hate synopsis

Post by ebyss on Sat May 16, 2009 1:01 pm

For those of you who have written a synopsis, how did you stop it from sounding like a book report? Everytime I start writing it, I end up deleting everything. I can't seem to find my voice as I try to write a condensed version within one to two pages.

I have too many characters of different races, seperating into two groups, traveling around a make-believe world, killing seven types of beasts, collecting the hearts of said beasts, coming together, saying a spell, peace happens, betrayal happens, murder happens, hero conquers, hero dies. (<--an example of a long run on sentence. LOL!!)

What do you include? What don't you include? ( I know not sub plots) What is important when everything ties into everything else (example above)?

It is rather a pain in my bottom.

Ode to I hate synopsis

Oh synopsis
How I hate thee
I rather get amputated
at the knee
Then write another word
That fills a page with
the aroma of turds
Which a prospective agent
Will surely think
That this synopsis
Truly stinks!!!!

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Re: Ode to I hate synopsis

Post by NaClmine on Sat May 16, 2009 3:21 pm

LOL! I told you the synopsis is more difficult to write than the whole damn story.

Focus your synopsis entirely on the MC. Something like this:

In a world of competing races, the young wizard, MC, sets out to collect the hearts of seven special beasts, magical hearts needed to bring peace to the world. Overcoming numerous obstacles during his journey, he succeeds in bringing together the hearts with his fellow wizards and they cast the spell of peace. Unfortunately, he is betrayed by one of their own, wizard X, who succumbs to the intoxication of ultimate power.

Murder, pursuit of the renegade, magic against magic . . . in the end, the hero dies but his quest becomes fulfilled through his death.

This ever so brief summary mentions that there are numerous races, the basic plot, introduces the hero character, the antagonist and the conclusion. Just fill in a few juicy tidbits here and there and this summary should end up about three to four paragraphs long. Remember, the literary agent is looking for 1) quality of writing in your summary, 2) an overview of the main plot, 3) a brief hint about subplots and 4) the actual ending. The purpose is not to understand the whole story. It is so the literary agent can decide if this story fits in his/her pool of writers and publishers. If it DOES fit, then he/she will request the first three or four chapters for more detailed study. That's when your story gets evaluated in earnest.

There's nothing more difficult for a writer than to summarize an entire story into two hundred words. Ironically, a writer's inability to achieve that requirement is grounds for a rejection letter.
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Re: Ode to I hate synopsis

Post by Lady Goodman on Fri May 29, 2009 4:18 pm

Ha! Wow. Especially having read the story, his synopsis is actually pretty spot on :).

See ebyss. You are fantastic at writing synopsis's. Laughing
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