The Golden Heart deadline is coming up and, as usual, I’m scrambling to write my synopsis. The good news is that I have polished manuscript to an extra gleaming sheen while I procrastinated the summary part.
As you can tell, I’m not a fan of summarizing my masterpiece in 5 pages or less. I’m getting better at it though. This is largely because of some awesome tools that generous writers share on their websites. In the spirit of prolonging the inevitable a bit longer, I decided to share the most useful ones I’ve found here, with you, as an early Christmas present.
-Vivian Beck’s 5 Steps to Writing a Synopsis, is a great place to start if the idea of how to write this damned thing is just too overwhelming. She summarizes the steps of writing in the most succinct way possible, much like what you’re supposed to do while writing the synopsis. The best part is the sample sentence diagrams.
-Deborah Hale’s What to Pack in Your Short Synopsis is one of the first resources I found on the topic and it remains my favorite. I didn’t understand how to punch up the internal conflict in a synopsis until I read this article. I know use it to outline my story after the initial free writing phase. Deborah also supplies the best analogy for how to approach the process:
“Synopsis writing is like packing a suitcase. Your story is a large wardrobe, and when you write a synopsis, you ‘pack’ only items you’re likely to need.”
-Anne R. Allen’s blog is a recent discovery for me. I immediately liked it when she introduced Kathryn Carmichael’s “Pitch Generator” as a tool for building your log line. The entire blog post The Secret to Writing the Dreaded Synopsis…and its Little Friends: the Hook, Logline, and Pitch is worth reading. It breaks down each of the parts necessary and makes them sound easy and manageable.
-If you really want to master the art of writing synopses, and/or divide the tasks of creating the most awesome synopsis ever into more in-depth lessons, then Lisa Gardner’s Conquering the Dreaded Synopsis: A Series of Ten Lectures is the class for you. If you haven’t already visited Lisa’s Writers’ Toolbox, you are missing out. This multi-New York Times Bestseller of romantic suspense has made a plethora of helpful articles available on her website—for free!
I hope you find some or all of these as useful as I do. I better get back to my own synopsis and send my stuff in to RWA before the deadline on Friday.