And then there’s the synopsis…groan


Little did I know what I was getting into when I started writing my novel. All the stuff you have to do besides actually write: study the craft, get critiqued, critique others, read blogs, learn about the publishing business, agents, editors, writing conferences, pitch slams (huh?), etc., etc., etc.

Then there’s querying. Ugh! Hours and hours to write a 250-word sales pitch that will have agents and editors drooling to read your ms. And I thought writing the proverbial 6th grade 250-word theme was hard. There’s a lot more pressure when a book contract might be on the line.

But I mastered the query enough to have two versions to send off to agents. I’m not saying they’re guaranteed hits, but for my first try, they’re acceptable. (Thank you Janet Reid, the Query Shark)

Then I see that many agents want a synopsis as well as a query letter. What?? Why wasn’t I told this in all the ‘How to write a great query letter’ blogs?

Not only do they want synopses, but some want one-pagers, some want two, some want five, some want ten, some want a ‘detailed synopsis’, some want a ‘full synopsis’, some want a ‘complete synopsis’.

So I have to write maybe five synopses of varying lengths just so I can send that particular one  to an agent and get rejected. Swell.  As if it’s not hard enough just getting someone to respond and ask to see the manuscript. I can get rejected, let’s see… (2 queries X 5 synopses=) TEN different ways. Oh joy.

I think this whole author thing is designed to weed out the wimps, just like medical school, law school, and pro sports, only the reward for sticking it out is lousy money and no benefits–from what I understand–unless you happen to crank out a bestseller and get a multi-book contract. If I ever get that contract, I only hope they don’t ask me to write a synopsis for each book.

How do you feel about synopses? Am I making an iceberg out of an ice cube? This inquiring mind wants to know.

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2 responses to “And then there’s the synopsis…groan

  1. Hate them hate them hate them! – But they are so necessary, and a great way for you to see flaws in your plot.

    Before you actually start your next project, it is a good idea to write the synopsis. You can then edit it as you go. One less thing to worry about, and it stops you putting in the details that aren’t the bare bones of your work.

    I hope this makes sense. I do sympathise. As I say, I hate them, i hate them, i hate them!

    Like

    • Good idea, Ellie, writing the synopsis first. I’ll try that next time. I’m thinking do the query letter even before the synopsis. Work my way up to the novel. 😉

      Like

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