I am having trouble coming up for the synopsis for my book. Funny right? I am the author and even I don’t know what my book is about. It’s not that. It’s just I am having trouble with finding out where my synopsis begins.
My story is one of suppressed histories and nasty secrets that eventually come back to haunt the characters in my book. So, I thought, I should start with the secrets. No, I don’t want to give too much. Should I start with the discovery of the secrets? No, I want that to happen during my novel and not giving it away in its explanation.
I’ve written about twenty drafts of my synopsis. All of them are terrible. I was sitting down in despair because this is a huge part of the proposal. It has to be good enough to capture the agent or reader to spurn them on and create an appetite to continue reading.
My wife eventually said why not start with a quote from my book, something a character says? Or why not start with the beginning of this novel only? I know it seems simple, and it was. Thanks to her I have a great start on description and I will finish it and post it tomorrow.
How about you? Are you having trouble with any particular portion of your proposal? If you’ve written one, what was the most difficult part?
8 thoughts on “What Is Your Novel About?”
Writing the synopsis is probably my least favorite part of writing books. I started writing them before I finish the initial draft because the story is simpler to me then. Also, I’ve found that reading synopses for books similar to mine helps me get ideas also. good luck! : )
Thank you for the tips! I finished my book then went back and said, hmm…what was this about again? Reading the back of books that are similar is helpful. Great idea.
I started with a 1-2 sentence summary. I use it to help keep me focused. Mind, I haven’t finished the book yet, but still. It goes something like this:
When <event happens, will be able to in the face of ?
E.g. When Frodo inherits the Ring, will he be able to destroy it in the face of Sauron’s war machine bent on taking it, inter-species conflict, and with only the help of a small diverse band of sometimes-argumentative helpers?
That helps me anyway.
Right after I posted my comment, I found this in my “to read” list. This has another example of the same thing. Turns out it’s called the “story question” – who knew?
Thanks Shannon. I think this is a great idea. I will try to use it tonight! Thanks for the link too. I appreciate it.
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Knowing when to start a story (or a synopsis) has always been a problem for me. I feel your pain. Keep at it!
Will do my friend!