Synopses and Babies

I really hate synopses. They suck. I know most people hate them too but honestly, as a complete pantster who has only just starting doing the synopsis before writing the novel, I am useless at them. Am trying to do synopses for the Great Beginnings contest, for the two stories I’m going to be entering, and it’s hard going. I keep thinking that perhaps I’m over-complicating my conflicts…or something. Whatever, I spent a whole day on one yesterday and came out with nothing but irritation. Now, if I’m not happy with the conflict, and yet people who have read it can’t see a problem, is there in fact a problem? Or is it just me being too anal? Argh, now you see, right here is where I need an editor!

And speaking of which, no, no word. My best friend and very first ever CP is due with her first baby in a week or two, and I find it very weird that we’re both waiting for much dreamed about, longed for news, in more or less the same time-frame. I’m really hoping my baby-news will be as good as hers – if you know what I mean! It would certainly make my year. Oh well, I’m preparing myself if it’s not good news for me though. I have another full ms to fire off to them plus another two that are nearly there. One of them should get through and if they don’t, I shall take myself to my poor writer’s garret, dose myself up with laudanum and very bad red wine, and write copious amounts of bad poetry. That’ll teach them. πŸ™‚

11 thoughts on “Synopses and Babies”

  1. Laudanum…I am thinking not readily available over the counter.

    Jenny Hutton gave me a valuable tip after FTH contest and it was to write a synopsis based on the internal conflict alone. I found it incredibly hard and ended up working backwards and wrote a three page synopsis, then peeled it right back to just the emotional gaff. But it was a fantastic exercise because when I stripped the story down to just the conflict, it is much easier to see where the holes are.

    Cheap red wine…much more readily available but I dont think you will be needing it.

  2. Fingers crossed it will be champagne you’ll be needing πŸ™‚

    I won’t say anything about synopsis writing because it will only be annoying πŸ˜‰

    As a matter of interest Felicity, did Jenny say that the synopsis we send them should be internal conflict focused or was it just an exercise in sorting out the conflict?

  3. Mmmm red wine … I think I could drink it whether it was cheap or not. Apart from the fact I only need a sniff and I’m hammered!

    As for synopsis I don’t mind them. I did a course a while back that really helped to strip them down, like Felicity said. Although that doesn’t mean I am actually any good at them. πŸ™‚

  4. Am hopeless re. synopses.

    Cling to the thought that no news is good news. And also remember that they obviously like the way you write.

    I’m so impressed by how many projects you have lined up – kind of puts me and my one ms (that I still haven’t re-written but yet am pinning all my hopes on) to shame.


  5. I hate synopses too. I always just want to put ‘and then something exciting happens’ but that’s not very helpful.

    (Red wine, yum, off to have some now!)

  6. Felicity – such a shame about laudanum. Can’t help feeling I’m missing out somehow. Perhaps I should go the absinthe route? πŸ™‚
    That’s a good tip. Jenny knows what she’s talking about eh?

    Lorraine – why would it be annoying?? You like ’em I know! I’ve heard that for short category, the synopsis should focus on the emotional conflict only, external plot appearing only when necessary.

    Joanne – kids will do that to you. I used to be able to hold my liquor, now after two glasses that’s it for me.

    Thanks Romy!

    Suzanne – no new is definitely good news! Although the waiting sucks. And as to the number of projects, it helps that I don’t have another job. And I make sure I write every single day, even if it’s crap.

  7. Lucy – exactly! I think I got so wound up I put ‘They finally sort their sh*t out and stuff etc.’ Not exactly what the contest has in mind I’m thinking.
    I’d dearly love some red wine now but since it’s 8am, that would be wrong. And bad.

  8. My theory on synopses is that you could rewrite them forever. There’s so many different ways to write them and so much they’d like you to show in such a small amount of words that just thinking about it can give you a synopsis block.

    I’m sure it’s no where NEAR as bad as you think πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks Lacey! Actually, now that I said that I hate them, I’ve actually come to the conclusion that they’re not too bad. I’ve done an internal conflict one, like Felicity suggested, and it’s been hugely useful.

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