Sunday, July 18, 2010
I love writing synopses!
Okay, maybe I don't love writing synopses, but that's what I've been telling myself for the past few weeks as I've been trying to get through one. I'm happy to announce that I finally finished and submitted the synopsis for a possible sequel to Canyon Walls!
Synopses are tough for me. Here are some things I learned this go around.
1. There's no formula, article, example, etc. that will make writing a synopsis easy. Trust me; I looked. There are plenty of great things you can learn, but the toughest part is sitting down and doing it. It usually takes me more time than I think it should to write a synopsis, and that's okay.
2. Writing a synopsis is a great way to pinpoint plot problems in your story. When I couldn't figure out a simple way to explain something in my synopsis, it was probably because it didn't belong in the story or needed to be reworked.
3. It's all about motivation. Nothing matters if your character motivations don't add up and if they're not clearly laid out in the synopsis. We have to ask "why" about everything on the page. Which leads me to critique partners, who were a huge help with this.
4. It's important to have several people critique your synopsis for two reasons. First, you go over it so many times, it's difficult to see the small mistakes you've made. Secondly, as writers we're so engrossed in our stories that it's easy to forget the reader doesn't know everything we know about our story. A good critique partner can let you know what's missing. Thank you Sue, Terri and Lacy for your help! And thank you to my husband for doing a final read through and for reminding me that...
5. At some point you just have to gather your courage and hit the send button.
Now, I have to get busy on the synopsis for book three!