I Need to Write a What?
I have spent the past two months really polishing my novel. I gave it out to some first readers back in October, got the copies back, and I’ve been super busy trying to fix the numerous typos and glitches with whose hair is blonde and who is a brunette. That’s now done, and I feel that my book is as good as I can get it at this point.
I’ve been working on query letters, gathering information about agents I want to contact, and getting super excited about the next steps. That was until I read on many submission guidelines that the agents want a, brace yourself, book synposis. <swallow large lump in throat>
Flashbacks to High School
Okay, seriously it really does make sense. When I stopped to think about it, duh!, of course agents want a synopsis. They’re busy people, too! Maybe some don’t want to invest the time to read my manuscript, assuming my query letter piques their interest, unless they have a good feeling about my story. How am I going to give them that warm feeling? With my awesome book synopsis, of course!
With all of that being said, I still had major flashbacks to high school when I had to write book reports. Granted, the synopsis an agent wants isn’t exactly like a high school book report, but it sure felt that way at first. I should be more excited about it, though, since it is my story I’m writing about. But, no. Hearing the news about having to write this made me feel overwhelmed, and for a moment I considered avoiding the agents who asked for a synopsis.
Silly! I can’t do that. I had to face the music … I mean synopsis.
What’s This Synopsis Thing All About Anyway?
What exactly should be included in a synopsis? Beats me. So, I did what all inquiring minds do … I googled the topic. There are a lot of opinions out there. Some say keep it short and simple. No, included every major detail. Make it exciting. Stick to the facts. One page. One page for every 25 pages of text in your book. Single spaced. Double spaced. Last name and title on the right header. Last name and title on the left header. And on and on and on …
I finally had to just go with my gut, what seemed to make sense, and trust the few reputable websites I had researched.
I sat down the other day and actually wrote my synopsis. Condensing my story down to a few mere paragraphs did make me wonder if I even needed the other 300-something pages. It just seemed so bare bones. If I could tell the story in four pages then that’s probably what I should have done in the first place.
Since I wrote my rough draft (4 pages), I’ve been working to whittle it down further to really just focus on the major plot points and characters. This is hard. In fact, it’s very hard. It all seems so important to me.
Many fuzzy brain hours later …
Well, I reached my goal to have both a longer and a single paged synopsis on hand so I’m prepared for what could be requested of me. Hallelujah! There was much rejoicing after I managed the one paged synopsis. I feel like I can conquer anything now.