Synopsis Sent

After two weeks of fiddling and rewriting, synopsis version 6 is on its way. Thanks to the wonderful Michelle Styles, I now have a story with potential, rather than severe flaws. Of course the editors at Mills and Boon may not agree but even if they don’t, I have learned SO much about conflict and action/reaction in the course of the past two weeks that the next sub will be even better. And I like my story a whole lot more than the last one which is a good sign I hope.

So what have I learned?

1. The conflict and thus the story plays out in the action and reaction of the characters.
2. The conflict happens in the present.
3. Internal conflict need not be based on tragedy.
4. Internal conflict can be simple.
5. That action is not talking. Talking is talking.
6. That rewriting one’s synopsis completely six times can be a good thing.
7. That one can have too many dinners in one’s synopsis.
8. That chocolate is a vital ingredient to synopsis writing.
9. That banging one’s head on the table after version 4 hurts.
10. That you still feel sick when you press send no matter how many times you have subbed.

Right, so now all I need to do is write the thing! And thanks to Janette, I have a title: The Art of Attraction. Not a millionaire or a defiant mistress in sight.

Now, on with the NTAI.

26 thoughts on “Synopsis Sent”

  1. LOL, Jackie. More food for thought.
    Ten very good points (I’m reciting them like mantras), including – proportionally – the head banging and chocolate. Once again thank you for sharing your insights and all the best with your latest sub.

  2. Becca – yeah, I’m hoping too but who knows?

    Rach – nice little piccie. No worries re the sharing and yeah, good on Janette. I’m hopeless with titles.

    Veronica – thanks! πŸ™‚ I forgot to add also copious amounts of wine. But then, that can also be detrimental – synopsis number 4 was dire. πŸ˜‰

  3. Good luck, Jackie!

    Holy moley – 6 versions of the synopsis?!!! You must have it nailed. I haven’t yet written a synopsis, but it sounds painful. I wonder if the headbanging and chocolate eased the pain somewhat?

    Thanks for the tips πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you Jackie.

    Please, please could you expand on this.

    “The conflict happens in the present.”

    I’m not quite sure what this means when we’re planning a story
    Does it mean don’t use previous relationships as the root of the conflict?

  5. Good luck Jackie! Fingers crossed and all that! Thanks for sharing all the information you have learned. I could have done with it all a few months ago! (Got a big “R” letter this week! Hey ho – onward and upward….) Take care. Caroline x

  6. Angie – yes, 6 versions. Technically more if you didn’t count the ones I did before it actually got to version 1 (ie when I sent it to Michelle). Chocolate did help, yes!

    Lorraine – I will try and dispense with number 9 in future synopses.

    Romy – thanks for that! I hope so too!

    Janet – Previous relationships etc all contribute to the conflict as they all make the character who they are in the present. But the conflict doesn’t happen UNTIL the h and h meet (which is the present). For example, my hero’s need to protect hasn’t been a problem for him until he meets a woman who doesn’t want to be protected, thus conflict. Does that make sense?

    Caroline – yuck on the R! Big hugs to you.

  7. Fingers & toes crossed! Really hope that this is IT for you.

    Thanks for sharing your learnings -as always very generous of you.

    And thaks for the mention re title – Now if I could only name my OWN ms…

  8. Thanks Kerrin!

    Yeah, I do too, Janette but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. This publishing stuff is a fickle business. As for your title, I’d love to be able to reciprocate but – as you know – I am hopeless with titles! πŸ™‚

  9. What’s wrong with Pregnant Virgins?

    Kudos on hitting send, Jackie. Hopefully you’ll be able to relax (ahahahahaha) while you’re waiting to hear back.

    I’ve been waiting on my new full for over 16wks and everytime the phone rings at night (Richmond work day is 1AM-9AM my time) which it does, and it’s always a fax, I have a heart attack. Then with shaking hands I check my inbox when I get up.

    So, that’s what NOT to do. You relax and bask in a job well done. πŸ™‚ Here’s hoping this is the one for you! I really, really hope so!

  10. Thanks Veronica! You should. I quite like a blog. πŸ˜‰

    Maisey, thanks. Yep, I know what you mean about the phone! London mornings are our nighttime and when I had my full there… Sadly not to be. But I know what you mean with the inbox. Mornings are tough. πŸ™‚ I think it was a good synop – at least, it’s the best I could do at the time. But as far as the editors are concerned, who knows? Ah well, trying to forget about it now. Ha!

  11. I’m pretzeling and crossing everything (huge truck loads of luck on this one Jackie!) I’m sure it’ll be fab. Michelle is wonderful jx
    P.S. time to splurge on more shoes?

  12. Jackie, you are both inspiring and funny! I love to pop over here and see what you’re up to.

    How long do they typically take to respond to a synopsis? I have never thought of subbing that way; with just a synopsis done BUT I guess it’s a good way to get feedback on the premise before committing all that time to completing the project. I always thought editors preferred to know the work was completed. Is it because they know you that this works for you? I’m not sure I could plan it out in advance so well so kudos to you on that! Best wishes!!

  13. Kaily-

    I know I’m not Jackie…but I’m chipping in my two cents. Typically, the M&B eds ask that you not query on unfinished MSs…however, they also make provision for the fact that it might be unfinished when they do full requests, they just give you a deadline.

    As for synopsis only, again, I think they generally want the synop and first three chapters, but as Jackie is working closely with a specific ed she probably has permission to do the synop (just guessing…)that way they can get an idea of your voice, which is very important to them. They really are lenient if your MS isn’t finished though, but I would send the partial to give them a chance to see what’s unique about your writing.

    Of course, publishers other than M&B are a different beast entirely, and my only experience is with M&B.

    Hope that helps some!


  14. Thanks Judy! Only time will tell. And yes, Michelle is great. As for the shoes, um, Great Uncle Visa is most displeased with me and won’t let me buy any more.

    Kailey, cheers for your lovely comments. πŸ™‚ As to the synop, well, after the last R I asked if I could forward just a synop to get their opinion. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on a story that wasn’t going to work. I think I was able to do this because, as Maisey says, I have been working with an editor. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I hadn’t.
    Anyway, not sure how long it will take for them to get back to me. This is actually a story that I have written – but will require substantial rewriting.

    Maisey, yep, you got it. I did ask the ed if I could do this and she was happy to, which is good. I’m hoping a synop won’t take as long to consider but who knows?

  15. Well, they already know they love your voice, so you’re secure there! And really, that’s huge. Refining the construction of a story is probably easier than changing the whole tone and way you write.

  16. That’s true, Maisey! Shall hold on to that hope. But then, how long can they love your voice before they consign you to the ‘never lived up to her potential’ bin? πŸ™‚

    Ahhh, as you can see, am having a crow day.

  17. Ooo congrats! Loving the title too! There’s an art to banging your head on the desk, you have to avoid the edges for starters… πŸ˜‰ This one could be the one I’m so excited for you!

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