1. Arikostinaal

    Arikostinaal New Member

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    Need Help with Synopsis

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Arikostinaal, Nov 5, 2007.

    I've been negotiating with a publisher for 3 years (yep, three) and today they turn around and say my Synopsis lets down the story.

    While I have a bunch of issues here, my question is: are there examples of good synopses out there?

    Because I've written three novels and this is proving almost impossible.

    Basically, I could really use some help. My synopsis was a list of 35 chapters, with each specific action bullet pointed. For example:

    Chapter One
    * Basil drives to work and sees Sue.
    * John finds out there's a bomb in his toilet. He's really not happy about this.
    * Daniel's head spins off and the gaming club uses it as a bowling ball.

    Comments?

    Regards

    Stuart
     
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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  3. Arikostinaal

    Arikostinaal New Member

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    Thanks. Super useful.

    Well, actually not really. Because this is exactly what I've done. So I've NO idea what the publisher wants.

    Thanks :)
     
  4. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, i can't believe you've been 'negotiating' with a publisher for 3 years and they haven't even read the ms yet!... so, what's been going on all this time?...

    next, what you describe is NOT a synopsis... it's a chapter outline... a synopsis is a narrative in present tense, introducing the important characters and laying out [concisely] all the plot elements of the beginning, middle, and end of the book... definitely not done in bullet points, the writing should be compelling and demonstrate your talents/skills as a writer and ability to hold the readers' interest...

    a synopsis can be as short as a single page or as long as 10 or more... you need to ask how long a one they want... but i doubt this is a legit publisher, or they wouldn't be bothering with you for such a long time without even having requested your ms... what's the name of this infinitely patient press?

    love and hugs, maia
     
  5. Arikostinaal

    Arikostinaal New Member

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    Hey. Thanks for the comments. I totally hear what you're saying. This is one of the world's largest publishers of mainstream fiction - BUT they have a reputation of taking an incredibly long time to respond. It can take two months just to hear back from an email. I submitted this last draft to them in July...

    Also, what you're saying is really useful and makes things very clear. I've actually not done that at all, so I should do that tomorrow. I've done quite the opposite to a synopsis and submitted an outline, which is pretty much what I do for other publishers.

    So thanks!

    Amazingly useful stuff.
     
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    submitted an outline, which is pretty much what I do for other publishers.

    ...unless those are for non-fiction, an outline is not what they want... you really need to study up more on the business end of being a writer, so you won't be wasting time and energy heading in the wrong direction...
     
  7. Arikostinaal

    Arikostinaal New Member

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    A chapter-by-chapter outline is what they asked for.

    Now they want a synopsis. Which I think when you've already ascertained the story in the most minute detail, is a bit pointless.

    But what do I know?
     
  8. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sadly, they're in the catbird seat, so if you want to do business with them, you'll have to kowtow to the idjits and act like you like it...
     

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