Saturday, November 10, 2007

That Dreaded Synopsis Business...Again!

With my latest YA novel on the desk of my favorite editor, who is swamped for the time being, I've decided to throw my first YA back into the mix and submit it to the Blooming Tree Press open call. But there it is again--the synopsis question. I've revised the first chapter again and now I have to get that dreaded synopsis worked out before I can press the "send" button. I've read a number of suggestions (and I'll take more) but am still eluded by that "magic formula."

I've quoted a tidbit from the first chapter to introduce the primary question of the plot. But now what? I find myself wanting either to spill all the details or hold back too much. How do I find that happy medium? What does an editor really want to see?

I've marked today for answering that question. So off I go to tap my way to enlightenment on my laptop.

Here's hoping I find it.


  1. I tried writing a synopsis last month. My first attempt. It failed miserably. I'm dreading the idea of having to go back and face it.

    Good luck Mary Ann. I'm sure you'll do a fine job.

  2. I don't know. What I do know is that Patricia Gauch is a a great editor and worth waiting for. I think. Be patient. She was Patricia Polocco's editor (I'm not sure she is any longer) but if your manuscript is in her hands and she likes it, that's the best news. Patience, my dear. Your manuscript won't get the same attention from BTP, I'm afraid.

    The synopsis is another artform in itself and, not having written one, I'm not sure what the magic formula is. I worked on one for a little while, but then gave it up. I know I'll need to face the dreaded synopsis sometime soon, though.

    Good luck.


  3. Everyone dreads the synopsis. The brief attempt I did at a friend's was simple - straight forward - not embellished or overly thought out. Just think about what the chapters' main message is and writhe a short paragraph of them. I have found some really helpful websites I'll share with you - E :)

  4. Good luck with your synopsis - I hate the damn things myself. Cate :)


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