1. TableTop.Paper
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    TableTop.Paper Member

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    The Synopsis

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TableTop.Paper, Mar 6, 2009.

    I have recently finished writing (not yet edited) first three chapters of my book and decided to write out the outline so I can submit this proposal to the publishers as they do take 3-6 months to ask for more or to tell you it's crap.

    I wrote out the outline just as they said, in regular manuscript format and no more than 10 pages (I found that to be just enough, kinda wierd how much I wrote).

    However, I decided to research this (after I written it, mind you) and found out so many different answers. The only common thing is that it had to grab the reader (some say it is read before or after the sample chapters...) and gave me hints on how to do so. However, they were inconsistent and some of them tended to be rather questionable.

    So, does anyone have a more precise idea of what to do and not to do? Because I understand that the synopsis must be of the same quality as the novel as it will determine whether they ask for more.
     
  2. Gamecat
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    Gamecat Member

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    k, not useful then.
     
  3. TableTop.Paper
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    TableTop.Paper Member

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    I know to follow it to the letter, what else would anyone do?

    When I meant tricks I meant more as in tips to grab the attention, no manupulating or tricking involved. It's just that if I did it properly, the synopsis is all bones with very little intrigue as all it does is show the main events of each part of the story. Therefor, it can be a rather dull read. I am more curious if anyone has any experiences with this or have they heard anything from a professional what is to be expected and on how to make a proper synopsis as all I've got is what I learned from school and internet advice.
     
  4. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    I would say to finish writing the whole book first, before creating the synopsis, for a couple of reasons...

    1) Most people attempting to write their first novels never finish, and publishers know this. It's meant to be well-nigh impossible for a first-timer to be accepted without a completed manuscript.

    2) Most writers (there are exceptions) will find that their story changes in the telling. If you create a synopsis before the story it could either harm your spontaneity in creating the story (if you stick to it) or mislead the publisher about the finished article (if you don't).
     
  5. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    If you are writing fiction thrn I think iloair is right on the money here. Finish the manuscript. However, if you are writing non-fiction and you have the professional credentials related to the subject matter to back it up then submitting the first few chapters may be the way to go.
     
  6. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    Do yourself a favour and 'finish' your novel before sending off any query, synopsis or sample. I don't mean just completing the first draft, either. Nowadays, unpolished works are liable to end up in the bin just under the slush pile. As for tips on creating a synopsis - hit Google and do your homework - you should find everything you need there.
     
  7. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Good Lord, you haven't even finished the first draft and you're about to query? Sure it may take 3-6 months to hear back, but what if it takes you a year to revise your book? Kind of a silly move then, isn't it?

    You're putting the cart WAY before the horse. I know I'm just echoing what others have said but you really need to finish the story--and finish the REVISING--before even thinking of querying/submitting to anybody.
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    And your story may change along the way, and therefore your synopsis would change. It doesn't make sense to get them interested in one story and three months later send them another one.
     
  9. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Finish your novel before sending out the first three chapters and synopsis. If you've never written a novel before, I doubt it will go 100% the way your stated outline anticipates...possibly enough to veer quite a way from your synopsis, or even the contents of your first three chapters.

    I feel fairly certain in saying that by the time you complete the novel, your writing skill will have improved and you will be wanting to fix up those first chapters a bit.

    Do you really believe you will definitely have your novel polished and ready to submit in 3 to 6 months from today? Are you willing to burn the bridge with your top choice of a publisher if they ask you for the full manuscript long before you're ready to send it...and possibly in the end, it isn't what they bargained for?

    If you can finish the novel in three months, then waiting the three months before sending in the submission package won't amount to much in the big scheme of things, will it?

    As far as a synopsis, make it as short as possible. Some want a one page synopsis. It is best written after the novel is completed. It is best reviewed by one or two quality readers who can give you insight on the first draft, as a writer may be too close to the project and not be objective enough about what is important and what isn't when it comes to cutting. Or at least the author will need to wait a few months before tackling the synopsis.

    What makes a synopsis boring and weak is trying to fit in every plot twist and event. What's important? What truly makes the novel/action move--what propels it?

    Terry
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all of that!... dump those ten pages and get busy writing a complete novel, before you even think of writing a synopsis...

    now, that doesn't mean you can't do up an outline of how you see your plot going, to use as a guide and to keep your time frame and subplots straight [which you really should do]... but no publisher is going to bother looking at a proposal for a work of fiction from a new unknown writer...

    and you should work on getting an agent to do the submitting for you, anyway, after you complete the work and polish it to a faretheewell...
     
  11. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    Well I just want to say that you have all the advice you need. Finish the book submit the query. Good luck.
     
  12. TableTop.Paper
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    TableTop.Paper Member

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    I suppose you are all right, I just thought since it takes so long for them to reply you might as well send them what they request but you have valid points on why not to.

    And btw, I did my homework and did research it, I just noticed a lot of differences whereever I looked and wanted YOUR opinions.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    then i'm wondering where you found the advice to write a 10-page synopsis and submit that to agents or publishers before even writing the novel...
     

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