Synopses are like Marmite, you love them or hate them. I hate Synopses.

16 Jun

I’m not sure about other authors but I write a little back to front…..

I have the characters first and I build a story around them and getting them together. Because my stories are so character driven I know absolutely everything about the characters in my books. I should do, they’ve lived in my head for months and pop up at the most inappropriate moments. I can’t walk to work, eat a meal or read a book without thinking about them. When the book is nearing its end my writing slows down to a snail’s pace, probably because I don’t want to say goodbye to those characters. I want them to live on forever so while starting a book is easy, completing it is like me undertaking a mission to Mars!!

But my nightmare doesn’t end there….No because after I’ve slogged away for months and gotten the book finished I have to write a synopsis!! I hate writing synopses. I hate writing them with the same intensity that someone with arachnophobia hates spiders! How can I condense all of the months of knowledge into a few short sentences? It’s almost impossible for me….

It’s a nightmare that never seems to end and I guess it won’t because it isn’t as though I’m going to give up writing at any point in the nearby future….

If anyone out there knows of anyone or anything that can help me please let me know!! I’ve fallen in love with another set of characters in Gwen and Nicholas and yet I’m dreading bringing their story to a happy conclusion because then I’ll have to write that abominable synopsis.

Help anyone?


Posted by on 16/06/2011 in Writing


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7 responses to “Synopses are like Marmite, you love them or hate them. I hate Synopses.

  1. Rachel

    16/06/2011 at 2:41 pm

    Maybe instead of a synopsis you should think about writing a few teaser sentences? Would that be easier? That way you get people interested, but you don’t have to try to sum everything up…

    • jennyt82

      16/06/2011 at 4:12 pm

      That’s a great idea. I’m unfortunately stuck with a template for my current series but for the next one I might do that instead. Tearing your hair out is murder on the scalp =)

      • Rachel

        16/06/2011 at 4:19 pm

        Oh, I can imagine! Hopefully, you’ll be able to find something that works for you. (I have a sneaking suspicion that published authors don’t always write the summaries for their books. Am I the only one who thinks that?) So maybe in the end you can just get published and make someone else do that part…. Right? 😉 That would make it even easier. But, to tell you the truth, I think you do a great job with the ones you write. 🙂

  2. jennyt82

    16/06/2011 at 8:37 pm

    You have no idea how much I’d love for someone to alleviate the strain of writing those damnable synopses!! Is there a forum or something where I can meet these people and convince them to save me?
    Well I guess I’ll just keep toiling away by myself. I suppose if you think they’re good enough then that’s all that really matters!

  3. Kassandra Duric

    17/06/2011 at 2:53 pm

    Well, I have to agree with you with they synopses, I hate doing them myself. Though I thought you’ve been doing an awesome job with the one’s you’ve written for the books you have out now, especially on the hardcover copy of A Wolf’s Duty, that was awesome. While my boyfriend was reading the book, everywhere he went people read the back and was like “Where can I get that book? It sounds awesome.” and we had to explain that he’d have to order it on line. lol

  4. 秋月 キサキ

    22/06/2011 at 8:19 am

    Well. How about… come up with a format all your own? I was working on making my own kind of rhyme-and-meter poetry a few years back (I still am, actually), and I found that it really helps to have a sort of pattern when writing, especially if there’s nothing on the page to begin with.

    Why not start the synopses with a sentence-long summary of Character A’s personality, follow it up with Character A’s relationship/intentions with/feelings for Character B, and end with either a teaser of what Character B is like with Character A, or the conflict of the story?

    If that doesn’t work, or I’m not making sense, do please tell me. ^.^”

  5. unsocialliving

    27/06/2011 at 6:13 am

    The easiest way for me to write synopses is slightly easier on the scalp:
    1) What is your story about, essentially? Boil down your plot and story. For example, A Wolf’s Duty could be described as: a werewolf prince finds his mate, they overcome obstacles, and remain together. Turn your story into a one sentence (boring, if you can manage) description that reaches the essence of your plot.
    2) Write out the entire plotline. Every detail, every name, every person. As many paragraphs as you want. Full of spoilers and dirt.
    2) Go through the summary, and cross out (or delete) the sentences containing characters that are minor and have no MAJOR effect on the plot/main characters.
    3) Go through again, and cross out (or delete) the sentences containing aspects of the plot that could be considered spoilers.
    4) Get rid of the remaining fluff: minute details, flowery adjectives, extremely long sentences, etc.
    5) Re-organize the remaining material into a cohesive summary. Is it still longer than a couple sentences? Then continue to widdle away until you have a few sentences.
    6) When you can’t widdle away anything more, compare the summary to the boiled down sentence description. Do they match? If so, is the summary more exciting? If yes to both of these, you have your synopsis!

    Sorry if this is confusing. My brain tends to work in overly complicated ways. Hope you find a way that works!


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