Monday, 16 January 2012

The Dreaded Synopsis-There's Hope For Me Yet...

If you've been following the tale of my Dorset novel, you may know that among the comments I received back from the judge of the competition (at my writers' club) the synopsis was mentioned.

I've always known that you had to include what actually happens at the end of the story- no, will Jean triumph in her battle of wills with Albert? You have to say if Jean does succeed or not. (No, Jean and Albert do not feature in my synopsis. :-) )

Then there's the issue of which type of synopsis- basic or detailed?

I'd gone for the more detailed type, when a basic version would have been fine. (Though even my detailed version I submitted, I'd edited down a bit.)

So looking at my synopsis I'd included the right things, but added in a lot more I didn't really need- but it did show me my plot hung together, so it wasn't wasted and I can refer back when needed.

 The main reminder for the new synopsis- 'broader brushstrokes'.

And this happily leads me to a new e-book coming out at the end of the week, 'Write a Great Synopsis' by Nicola Morgan. You may have read her Help! I Need a Publisher! blog- if you haven't, you're missing out on interesting posts.

I was very fortunate to get an early copy of Nicola's latest e-book to read, and I did, straight through. At the end my response was, 'so that's how you do it'. It really was like blinkers being removed and realising the synopsis is not scary at all.

It takes you from the basics- what is a synopsis? Through to how to write one, and even includes a section on synopsis for non-fiction. But the part I found really useful were the examples of a couple of synopsis from before and after.

I rarely recommend books to other people unless I'm really enthusiastic about them myself, as I am about this one. For any writer who has ever worried about writing a synopsis, stop worrying and buy this book as soon as it's available- you won't regret it. :-)

Now I need to get back to Dorset...


shaun Adams said...

Thanks for recommending this book. I recently had the devil of a job trying to write a synopsis. Really quite daunting.

Carolb said...

I'm sure you'll find Nicola's book useful,S.K.A.
Once you know what you need to do, it's much easier.
Good luck with the synopsis.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Good to know how useful you found Nicola's book, Carol - must tell my daughter too (writing a synopsis is the bit she doesn't like).

Carolb said...

Thank you Rosemary. I'm also recommending it to friends who I know would find it useful.