1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Changing [her life, the world, society ...] forever.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GingerCoffee, Mar 15, 2013.

    I'm wondering how others feel about the typical synopsis ending of changing the world forever.

    Here's an example of the last line of my synopsis:

    ...; that leads to an encounter with the Founders where she discovers the dreadful fate of the rest of her people, and sets off a cascade of events that changes her and the two societies forever.

    The more I read synopses, the more cliche 'forever changed' sounds. OTOH, it seems to be the standard, and as a new writer, I don't know of a better way to write a hook in a synopsis.

    What do you folks think?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Leave it out. If it's not apparent from the rest of the synopsis that the story has fundamentally changed the world, such a statement comes across as hyperbole. If it is apparent from the rest of the synopsis, it's tedious and redundant.
     
  3. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    I think its unnecessary for two reasons - 1) readers expect change to occur in a story, and 2) all change is forever. What sort of change does it bring about? Does it cause war or peace? Help build intercultural/species cooperation , or lead to the enslavement of one race? For example, rather than saying she changes her societies, consider saying something like...hm... "Now, with war imminent, [name] has one chance to save her people from extinction." Still a bit cheesy, but...just an idea to go with. Vague is fine, since you don't want to spoil the twists, but too vague and its meaningless, you know?
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    These are great ideas, thanks. I really do want to get away from cliche but it seems, "change the world forever", is in so many of these short synopses.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that...

    that said, what is the purpose of your synopsis?... if it's for agents/publishers who request one, you need to give them the actual ending, not leave it open as a tease... they can't decide if the book is marketable enough to take on, if they don't know how it ends... and most are too busy to appreciate being forced to request the full ms and have to read it, to find out...

    if it's to attract buyers/readers to a self-published book, then a cliffhanger tease does make sense...
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This particular synopsis is what you'd read on the back of the book. It's to draw the reader in.

    I really like murasaki's idea and I now plan to replace the word 'forever' and the word 'change'.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Then it's premature, and quite possibly not yours to deal with at all. That's marketing, and certainly unnecessary until after you have a contract. The publisher may or may not request your input for a back cover/dust jacket blurb. As I mentioned, the blurb is part of the marketing, so the publisher might not solicit your input at all.

    Chances are, the synopsis you place in your query will be a starting point, but that's all. And teh query synopsis, as Maia pointed out, should include the ending. A query synopsis is a sales pitch, but to an audience that will be evaluating the story as a whole, so the ending IS part of your pitch it that market. You won't entice THIS market by withholding the ending. You'll entice them by showing you can concisely sum up the entire package you are offering and still be interesting. Sending a tease instead is showing that you don't understand what your target audience wants to see in order to decide whether to invest time on your manuscript.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    At this point I'm not concentrating on finding an agent or a publisher. I don't recall what prompted me to write the synopsis because I've perused a dozen 'how to write' books and websites over the last year. But I've been using the synopsis in our writer's critique group. While there are consistent members, people come and go. They need a really short synopsis for a 1,500 word random excerpt to make more sense.
     

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