September 2017

Stressed out about your synopsis?

You’re not alone. Everyone hates writing a synopsis. But, guess what? There’s help available. If you’re a member of the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA), they hold lessons (called OWLS) periodically to walk you through the process. You can find their website here. Join your local writer’s centre. I’m a member of the Queensland Writer’s Centre, and they have a great resource available titled Synopsis Advice From QWC. You can find their website here. You can read below for my expert (!) advice. Full disclosure: in a recent competition held by RWA, a synopsis of mine came 6th … which isn’t quite first (*gnashes teeth) but it means I can pull one together when I need to.   Strategies for building your synopsis. Imagine there’s a long sandy beach spread out in the distance before you. A couple are wandering along in the same direction, occasionally holding hands, so that where one goes, the other must go too. The tall one meanders about, changes directions a few times, laughs and cries and tears their hair a bit then calms down. The short one walks in a straight line, intent on reaching the end of the beach, patiently keeping tabs on the taller one’s progress. One of these people represents your book plan – you know, that thing you write before you start your book, full of hopes and dreams and half-thought through strategies to lure in your reader – and yes, it’s the tall person in our analogy. The short person represents your synopsis. And the purpose of this analogy? To show you what the synopsis needs to be when you have finished writing it: a short, taut, purposeful document that knows where your story is going, and says so. The synopsis doesn’t wander about – it gets to the…

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