Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Query Done - Synopsis... Um

Hopefully not too many of you are suffering from election hangover. I must admit that even though I'm from Canada I found the election really interesting. Thank goodness I didn't have to decide.

Anyway, I need a bit of advice (if you have any). My query is done, but now I'm working on a synopsis. I did a bit of research yesterday and all I really gleaned is that there are no hard rules when it comes to writing one, which was really helpful (they really need a sarcastic emoticon). 

So I did the best I could with my first draft. I tried to get most of the main characters in there even if it was just a quick mention of their name and how they relate to the main character. I talked about setting, goals, hidden goals, turning points, climax, but the end has me a little stump. Short of writing, "And they lived happily ever after," I'm not sure what to put after everything has been resolved.

Any ideas or advice on writing on synopsis? How do you wrap it all up without sounding like a cliche?


Connie Keller said...

Oh,wow, I feel your pain. I always think that the synopsis is harder than the query--they don't call it "the dreaded synopsis" without reason. I found that my synopses worked best when I limited the synopsis to less than two pages single spaced and only mentioned the names of three main characters. As for the ending, that's tough. I always tried to end the synopsis with only a sentence or two after the climax, so it doesn't feel labored and drawn out. I usually ended the synopsis with some kind of symbolic gesture that the character makes at the end of the novel, which implies "And they all lived happily ever after--sort of."

I hope this helps.

Janet said...

Hate, hate, hate synopsis! A necessary evil, though. I'm with Connie, I only include the hero/heroine and the antagonist, limit it to 2 pages (single spaced) and try to tell the story Reader's Digest-like. I also have problems wrapping it up, so I now use the actual last line in the manuscript - I figure that's how I wrapped up the book, should be good for the synopsis.

Since I haven't really rocked my synopsis (read: unpublished), I'm looking forward to the advice you get, Patti!

And good luck :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Just tell the end of the story. :-) Synopses don't have to be interesting just thorough and streamlined.
I hate them.
Good luck!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

You have to tell what happens in the climax and how the goal and inner conflict is resolved.

But I suck at writing them, so what do I know? :)

Angela Ackerman said...

Run a search at query tracker blog for synopsis...I remember there were a few really good articles there when I last had o write one. :)

Carol Riggs said...

You might do a Google search and read some other synopses that are good examples. See how yours compares. Some agents don't even need or like to see a synopses (altho it helped me get my agent, since I met her at a writer's retreat and I gave her the first chapter and synopsis). Just be sure to mention all the main plot twists, and definitely tell how it ends for the main character. is tricky not sounding cliche and ta-dah! at the end. ;o) Good luck!

Martin Willoughby said...

Writing a synopsis is a pain in the butt. However, Falling For Fiction did a blog on it back in April that might be useful.

Angela Ackerman said...

I found a whole series on Synopis writing for you:

Happy synopsising!

....Petty Witter said...

Sorry, no advice from me this time, I'm simply stopping by to say hello.