First, a big public thanks to Sän and Eva, who helped me wring the horrible parts out of my synopsis.
Second, I really need to pass forward this page of synopsis advice that I got from Sän. I recommend that you read it and study it. Then click on every single link and study the more in-depth advice given therein. They’re all worth it. Even the one with the horrible background music.
CS Inman (aka Sän) has a surprisingly good synopsis up to read. Basically everyone, everywhere, hates writing their novel synopsis, so I’m automatically impressed by anyone that manages to write a synopses that’s entertaining and informative.
This even applies to the
victims participants in Joshua Palmatier’s synopsis day. Now the synopses listed here were “successful” synopses, meaning that they were for novels that eventually sold. But even so, I found most of them dull, incomprehensible, or overly long. Probably the easiest one to read was Mike Brotherton’s synopsis of Star Dragon. That one suffered from the opposite problem: it was fast-paced and easy to follow, but the writing style itself felt amateurish. (I have no idea if that applies to the book itself, which I haven’t read.)
Reading all those pro synopses made me think that maybe the synopsis was free to be long and boring, which was good because my synopsis was long and boring. It was 2500 words of dull. It was a plodding, interminable death-march through a dozen names and a series of irrelevant places.
When I set out to pare it down this week, the first pass got it down to 1250 words and something of a respectable hook.Sän and Eva have both helped me further pare it down and spruce it up, so the final draft will be under 1,000 words, and hopefully will actually help sell the novel.