Thursday, 9 February 2012

HOW TO WRITE A (GREAT) SYNOPSIS


I don't think I'm alone in my dread of synopsis writing. Give me a novel to write any day; just don't ask me to do it justice on one or two pages. (Unless you take pleasure in seeing someone squirm and writhe and whine.) And so before I began submitting my book last year, I asked friend and author Nicola Morgan for some help. Coincidence or not, I was soon signed by this lovely agency

Anyway, Nicola, author of the acclaimed Write to be Published, as well as around ninety books of fiction and non-fiction, has published (as an ebook, published on Jan 20th) a snappy and definitive guide to this bugbear of every writer.

Near the end of Write a Great Synopsis, after explaining and demonstrating all aspects of the subject, Nicola Morgan makes a champagne-related challenge on the subject of verbal profligacy:

“I have never seen a piece of writing I couldn’t reduce significantly without changing the meaning at all. In fact, give your draft synopsis (in an acceptable state) to me with a) the word loss you require (anything up to 60%) and b) a bottle of half-decent (or, if you prefer, whole-decent) champagne or payment of £50 (which says nothing about the type of champagne I appreciate but a lot about how highly I value it), and I will do it for you.”

Who’s going to take her up on it?

For details about the book, including buying options, go here.  The link direct to Amazon UK is here. And hurry because until the end of January (that’s SOON) it’s a crazy cheap price of under £1! Remember: you do not need an e-reader to read an ebook; you can read it on any laptop, ipad or many other devices.

All commenters below (by Feb 15th) will be entered into the Big WAGS Competition, with chances to win a critique of your synopsis by the Crabbit Old Bat herself. One comment per person on each blog – though you can add to your chances by commenting on the other posts on the tour. Details of all stops on the tour are on Nicola’s blog (Help! I Need a Publisher!) and will be added as each one goes out. 

Writers need never fear the synopsis again.


3 comments:

Cameron Writes said...

Riga and I have been following this series of talks by the Wise One and gently steering our creator towards them. With enough encouragment we may stop her hitting her head on the desktop long enough to actually take in the excellent advice and write a good synopsis of our adventures. She really does need some help, Esteemed Lady.

Iamo, Priest of the Great Mother and lead character (please, Riga) in Witch, Nun, Shaman's Drum. http://amzn.to/w3Kj2x

Kirsty said...

I've said it before but I'll say it again the book has made me feel far less frightened about synopsis writing - in fact I'm looking forward to writing mine when I've finished the book. Glad Nicola's advice worked for you too.

Nicola Morgan said...

Tom, thanks huuuugely for hosting this post. I hope it's helped someone somewhere. And good luck Cameron and Kirsty!

Tom, best of luck with your own writing!