Mika Jolie

What! I need to write a synopsis –

I am all about research. As an analyst/project manager, I research, resolve and plan things for a living. So when I learned that most publishers won’t even consider reading your novel until they’ve read the synopsis, I did what every writer who wants to be published should do. I Googled samples of synopsis and try to understand a few things: 

  1. The correct format – Guess what, I don’t think such thing exist. 
  2. Length – Oh yeah, that varies based on publishers. Some only want 1-2 pages, others basically want a cliff notes
  3. A paragraph that introduces the main problem – I initially thought this would be easy to capture. You see, I have this summarize very well in my first chapter. The problem is, my first chapter is 2000+ words and I somehow have to summarize it in one paragraph. This is where I started to panic.
  4. Introduce the protagonist – This was surprisingly easy to do. She’s neurotic, in love with her sister’s fiance and sleeps with his best friend. Oh wait, that’s not enough. I need a paragraph. Argh!
  5. The turning point of the story
  6. Midpoint – This is that big scene in the middle of the novel. I sometime use the midpoint and turning point interchangeably. 
  7. Climax – Every story should have one. Thank God I actually have one in my novel.
  8. Resolution – Phew! My heartbeat has stabilized now. I have the resolution. That’s the HEA moment – the Happily Ever After. All I have to do is write, “I love you,” and “I love you,” right? Sigh. Nope, they want more, at least according to all the samples I’ve read. A full blown out resolution in about 3 sentences.

The problem is, some samples encourage actual quotes from your novel and some deter you from that. Which direction should I go? Now I’m reciting The Road Less Traveled by Robert Frost. I’m digressing. 

 I was smart enough to do a biography of the characters and I jotted a few things that SHOULD happen, MIGHT happen and CAN happen. Other than that, I found myself facing a blank screen on my laptop with the television in the background…watching me. 

‘I bet we’ve been together for a million years, and I bet we’ll be together for a million more…’ Oooh, that’s the theme song from Family Ties, one of my favorite shows blasting on the television. Well, that’s a classic. I better watch for 30 minutes. Besides, I’ve developed a migraine just thinking about how to summarize a 94,000+ words novel on 2 pages. Oh yes, I’ve decided, my synopsis will only be 2 pages. Okay, maybe 2.5. 

I’m happy to say, I did manage to put a rough draft together and sent it to my editor. I’m not proud of it yet. It’s not even at the point where I can share it. But I promise I will share the before, the version with my editor’s feedback and the revised version. Really, I will. I think it’s important for new and upcoming writers to find some sort of joy in this painful experience of mine. 

Happy Writing All! 





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