Thursday, April 10, 2008

Synopsis -- Done? Maybe

What I'm reading: Daphne #4

What I'm writing. Synopsis, blurbs and jacket copy.

I have the handouts Karen Kendall provided when I tackled my synopsis. My agent said send her a short one. How short is short, I asked. Three pages. That's a lot of compression of a 100,000+ word novel, especially a romance where the synopsis is supposed to cover two complete character arcs plus the story plot as well.

I looked at Karen's suggestions (which came via Stephanie Bond and Rita Herron) for the short romance synopsis. Points to include:

1. The set-up (external plot situation that will throw hero/heroine together)
2. The First Meet (first time h/h encounter each other)
3. Attraction but Denial of that Attraction
4. First Kiss (how, why, caused by what?)
5. Reaction to the Kiss
7. The First Love Scene and Emotional Reaction to it.
8. Further Complication of External Plot
9. Black Moment
10. Resolution and Happily Ever After.

A formula? Not really, but it covers what a reader expects when she picks up a romance. But that list was devised (I'm sure) for the short contemporary. In a single title romantic action-adventure, there's a lot more going on.

Things I tried to include were the character introductions posted earlier this week. Then there were the plot turning points. The romance turning points. Things like 'the kiss' and 'the sex' were mentioned almost in passing. I also (scary, scary) scrolled through many chapters of the manuscript without so much as a mention. Because it has to be SHORT, I told myself. Not because there was no reason for those chapters to be in the book. Three pages can't possibly cover all the plot threads, sub plots, or other brilliant scenes that reveal so much of the characters and their emotional growth. It seems the scenes that tugged on my heartstrings were the first relegated to the 'don't need that in the synopsis' pile.

I finished the draft Wednesday night. When I looked at it again this afternoon, I gritted my teeth and started the revisions. I'm sure I'll have more changes when I look at it again tomorrow. But that's my self-imposed deadline to get it to my agent.

Blurbs anyone? How about cover copy? The marketing side of this business never gets easier for me.

Tomorrow, I'll be over at Jenyfer Matthew's blog talking about sequels, spinoffs and spoilers. Please drop by and leave a comment.

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