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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Writing a Synopsis


Hello Fellow Writers!

Yesterday I worked on my synopsis, getting it down to two single spaced pages, as Harlequin requires. Unfortunately, I don't think it's quite right. Or maybe it is. I don't know and I'm going crazy thinking about it.

I'm currently reading NY Times bestselling author Nina Bangs' book "My Wicked Vampire". I love vampires, so I'm having fun reading it.

Here is what former literary agent Vivian Beck has to say about writing a synopsis. The Vivian Beck Agency, while it no longer exists, has a lot of good writing tips on the website here.

Step 1: Start With A Hook. This should be a paragraph or two similar to the blurb on the back of a book. Mood and tone is important here, use special adjectives.
Step 2: Introduction of Characters. Introduce the main characters in your book. Tell their MOTIVATION, CONFLICT, and GOALS. Stay away from detailed physical descriptions unless this information is pertinent to your story.
Step 3: Construct the Body of Your Synopsis. Here, using paragraphs, write the high points of your story in chronological order. Keep these paragraphs tight, don't give every little detail. Remember, each scene should include, ACTION, REACTION, and a DECISION.
Example: Sam kisses Mary goodnight. (ACTION) He makes her forget she does not want to get involved in a relationship. (REACTION) He's dangerous to her hard-earned peace of mind. (DECISION)
Step 4: Use Three or Four Paragraphs to Write the CRISIS and RESOLUTION of Your Story. Keep this simple, but make sure you show your main characters' reactions. Don't keep the editor/agent guessing. Your synopsis must include the resolution to your story.
Step 5: Rewrite your synopsis until each sentence is polished to the point of perfection. Use strong adjectives and verbs, and always write in the present tense. Make every word count.

Today I have my last writing class. I'll be sad the class is ending but I think I got a lot out of it. I know my novel "The Movie Star's Very Personal Assistant" is better for it. The other women in the class and I are going to keep in touch about our writing and hopefully meet up as well. Since I had some dental work done today, I'm thinking about taking a day off from writing to veg out in front of a DVD on my laptop. We'll see. I usually end up tinkering with something, it's just how I roll.

G-d knows I won't have the luxury of a day off when November 1st rolls around (on Sunday!) and NaNoWriMo begins!

Wish me luck and good luck to you too!
Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers

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