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A monster named synopsis


#1

I’ve been working on my synopsis for the Creators for Creators grant and I still don’t know if I’m on the right track. I know what I have to write, but I’ve reached a point where I don’t know if it makes sense only to me or if I’m even being coherent.
I’m just curious, if you ever read a synopsis, or if you write them, how can you tell if it’s good or bad- besides the obvious things like spelling and grammar and the like? Do you like them better if they’re witty, more sincere or just down to the point action action action?


#2

A synopsis should reflect the tone of your work.

For most editors, the synopsis is the port of call for how they’ll think about the work. They’ll read a witty synopsis expecting a similar voice, and if it’s a horror story, they’ll be put off.


#3

They are very hateful things, especially when you have an entire world in your head and you desperately want to allow someone to see and feel it.

My suggestion to add to Tim’s is to sit down and record yourself telling someone in person, then try and inject the excitement, time management and clarity that comes from a conversational pitch into the synopsis when written down.


#4

That’s awesome advice. Thank you!


#5

No problem. Nice Unicorn!


#6

Thanks! It’s a bookplate a friend of mine did for me. I never got to print it out though.
http://www.samarayaart.com/ - That’s his art page. He’s awesome.


#7

Now I’m having another conflict.
My story is not linear. It’s kind of in media res, meaning it starts in the middle and then goes backwards and then forwards. Is it better to do the synopsis in the order the whole story goes or in the order that it appears in the comic?


#8

Ive seen people do both, but personally I think it depends on the story - ie if you want to start by describing your opening scene, even if its not the real beginning of the tale, that’s fine, but just make sure you are very clear in putting across the plot. By the same token you can tell the story start to finish and then explain the flashback narrative. It’s really what suits the story in question I think, in termspace of clarity when putting it across.

Again, try a vocal conversational pitch and see how you describe it off the cuff, that will probably be the right way to go.


#9

I also submitted a pitch to the Creators Grant. I know how hard it is getting good feedback and sometimes scary letting others see something you care so much about. I’ve been a lot more active the last couple years trying to build relationships with pro’s whose work I respect. Most are very busy but you’d be surprised how approachable they can be. Detailed notes on writing can be difficult but most writers, artists and editors are willing to look at 5-10 pages, whether at a convention or online. Be polite and don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back. Cast a wide net, including other fans of books you like. It’s a struggle, most people aren’t trained to read and critique beyond an instinctual like or dislike reaction, but every nugget of insight is precious and while make your story richer.


#10

We should share our pitches with each other. Just saying :wink: