The evils of synopses

Posted: March 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

You wrote a book, what is it about?
This is the beginning of how you form your synopsis.
You tell people about your book. You watch their reactions to see what grabs them or bores them. (This is somewhat difficult for me as most of the people I tell are naked face down. Upside, they are stuck listening to me) You realize who is genuinely interested in your book. The market you will be selling to.
There is a lot of advice on how to write a synopsis. It seems that writing the “how to write a synopsis” is actually easier than writing a synopsis.
What will grab your readers?
What words do you string together in order for someone to give your book a try?
One person says to write it as if you are on an elevator with a potential reader, and you have only the short ride to sell it.
Normally when I am in an elevator I am staring as the numbers ascend or descend hoping the doors will open when I get to my destination. Seriously when the doors do not open immediately I am near panic.
I can’t imagine getting on an elevator and saying “Hi I’m Joy. I wrote a book, and this is what it is about.”
Well I just told a lie because for the sake of this post I will imagine myself doing just that.
Hi I’m Joy I wrote a book called Breaking Faith. It is a rock’n’roll romance. It’s about a girl named Faith (haha see what I did there?) It starts with her escaping an abusive relationship. She walks into a bar called Rays where she is going to confess to her friends what she has been living with.
All thoughts of her turbulent past scatter when she sets eyes on Killian (Kill) the lead singer of the bar band the JackholeS. Her brain refuses to acknowledge her attraction not trusting her instincts with the opposite sex, while her vagina is throwing out the welcome mat and baking cookies.
Kill does not do relationships. Been there done that and it didn’t end well. Now, he will screw you silly just as long as you realize he doesn’t do reruns.
They both can’t deny the magnetism pulling them together. It doesn’t help that a twist of fate has them living under the same roof, but they will both fight the attraction.
With the two of them refusing to acknowledge the emotions they evoke in each other.
With their pasts helping them resist the electric pull.
Is there any hope in finding redemption in each other?

Did my potential reader get off the elevator floors before their destination?
Ugh..fucking synopses.

What if it were a movie trailer? (This has to be read in the action narrators voice)
One woman escaping the shackles of pain
One man haunted by his past.
Fate has flung them together
They fight their attraction
Do they give in and find salvation, or does their past rip them apart?
Only time will tell how this epic battle of wills ends.

Even more cheesy than the first?
Can’t I just write. Please buy this book for the synopsis?

How about a vague one?

After leaving something horrible behind can a person ever move on?
Does the past circulate through them guiding their decisions?
Keeping them away from a situation that could be remotely similar.
Are bad experiences thicker than good?
Like sludge in their veins weighing them down never letting them forget.
Can two people beaten down by so called love ever trust again?

No that one sounds like a hungover college student trying to write a report an hour before class.

Ugh…synopses are evil. When I finished Breaking Faith it was 400k words long. It has now been broken into two books and I am currently editing that down. How am I supposed to write something so small.

Oh well back to editing. Maybe a synopsis will fly into my head in the middle of the night. What do you suppose I should put under my pillow in order to attract the synopsis fairy?

  1. realpeal says:

    I understand the dilemma..I don’t think I’ve ever written a synopsis with which I was totally pleased… :-/


  2. evelynralph says:

    I am still editin my full novel, due to circumstances I could not change. The synopsis? Bad time.


  3. mblaylock4 says:

    They are so evil, aren’t they? But I have faith in you – heh, heh, like how I just did that – and yours will be perfectly kickass.


  4. jenlanebooks says:

    Blurbs are so hard! I try to throw something together and my editor makes it purty.

    “Her brain refuses to acknowledge her attraction not trusting her instincts with the opposite sex, while her vagina is throwing out the welcome mat and baking cookies.”

    This made me LOL! Keep that, I say.


  5. Maggie Thom says:

    Hi. The book blurb can be a difficult thing to write. I know I used to stare at a blank screen and have no idea how to tell people what my book was about. That has changed. I love doing the book blurb now. I am in the process of creating a program to help authors with writing the book blurb. I have a survey – anonymous – that I am getting feedback from authors as to how they see doing the book blurb. I’d love if you’d complete it:

    Thank you.


  6. And Satan said: “Let them write synopses…”


  7. Synopses give me a nervous breakdown!
    Great post – made me laugh – tweeted it.


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