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Snow and synopses

I have snow and synopses on the brain today. The DC area got about eight inches yesterday afternoon/evening. My kids got a snow day, and my husband had a five-hour commute home that culminated with his bus getting stuck at the offramp and him walking about two-and-a-half miles home because his car was socked in at the park-n-ride. (Holy run-on-sentence…)

Poor guy. All I did was shovel the driveway.

As far as synopses go, while my handy outline complete with turning points has made writing a synopsis easier, it’s still difficult to abbreviate the story into 675 words without losing some sparkle. I started with an 1800-word synopsis that I had written for another contest. It was perfectly serviceable.

I spent hours trimming and trimming in an iterative process that slowly weeded out more and more of my must-have events. It was downright painful, and the end result was a hack job.

I finally gave up and started over from scratch. Two hours later, I had something that got the gist of the story across, met the required word count, and didn’t suck too horribly. I hope.

One of the contests actually judges the synopsis, so I guess I’ll get some feedback eventually.

For now, I’m going to get my sparkle from the snow.

Abridged angst

I've been working on a contest entry all afternoon, taking into account my own edits, as well as the comments of my CP. That was the easy part. It was the @#%$! synopsis that got me hung up.

Boiling my living, breathing story down to a dry blow-by-blow of the high points is mind-numbing and BORING! I'll admit, it can bring some plot holes to light, and it will probably be easier when I start applying what I've learned about structure to my future MSs, but I'm not sure I'll ever love writing them.

To make things worse, the contest I'm entering requires a max synopsis word count of 675! That's just about two pages. Who knew I could be so economical with words? I managed to cut it from an already spare 950 down to 668 (just for good measure). With only two pages, it can be hard to shoehorn in the motivations clearly. I find myself leaving out whole chunks of stuff, but maybe that's better.

It misses some of the richness of the complete story, but it's far easier if I don't have to explain why the heroine is at odds with her father and later asks him for money. Is it important? Kind of. Is it pivotal? Guess not.

We'll see what my CP thinks.

How do you handle the synopsis? (Except you, Christine. I have the handout!) 😉