A day in which you write something is a day well-spent

Okay, for those of you who are going the traditional publishing route, chances are that the publisher will want a synopsis of your book so that he doesn’t have to read the whole thing to know what it’s about.

Unfortunately, there is very little advice I can give regarding that sort of writing. I’ve tried to write one, and half way through it I realized that I was just rewriting my book without dialogue.

I’ve read about how to write one from multitudes of sources, online and print. So, what I learned is that you should write your synopsis as the events unfold around your main character. Subplots are to be left out, and side characters should only be mentioned if they come directly into contact with your main character.

I suppose I should give you an example, right? Since what I just wrote may sound like a load of “Huh?” However, I warn you that this is a poor attempt at a synopsis; you may succeed where I have failed.

SPOILER ALERT: This is an excerpt of the synopsis of Binding Power, so if you have any interest in reading my book in the future (which I hope you do), then please refrain from reading this example.

After a disturbing dream in which he is surrounded by naked, dancing people, Bart wakes to discover from his young orphan friend, Jacob Wallaby, that every person in the city has had the same dream, if slightly different than his own. No sooner than having one strange dream is he confronted with another after he falls asleep in his efforts of writing a portion of his current novel. In this he is drawn to five, glowing points of light that vanish as unseen presences pull him into darkness, where his mind is painfully probed for information. He is only able to escape when Jacob physically hurts him, providing a link back to his body.
Despite his efforts of staying awake the next evening, Bart succumbs to slumber, where he dreams of the five points of light once more. Again he encounters a presence, except this one only warns him away from the lights, which turn out to be strange wooden bowls. But Bart can’t pull away and is told by the presence—who he realizes is actually a man— that he has been chosen by the Answer and must not resist being drawn to it. However, before Bart can do anything, he is shot in the back by an arrow and then is thrown back into the same darkness as the previous dream, where he floats in agony. Somehow, on his way back into the darkness, he is able to take one of the bowls with him and holds on to it tightly.
After what seems a long while, he is contacted by the man from his dream, who gives his name as Hami, Druid of the forest. The Druid explains that the place he is in is called the Void, where dreams are created and death claims the weak-willed. He heals Bart’s wound to his psyche and begs him to give back the Bowl. When Bart refuses, Hami simply shows him how to return his mind to his body from the Void that he floats in.

Have fun guys! Show those publishers what you’re made of!


Comments on: "Simple Synopses Please" (2)

  1. I’ve done this a couple of times for myself, and edited others’. I think focusing on the big decisions your protagonist makes is one way to make it snappy. Making a decision map can help.

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