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Writing a Synopsis is Fun!

July 9, 2010

I have finished sending out all the queries that didn’t require a synopsis. I had already written a synopsis, but I didn’t think it was good enough. I spent yesterday afternoon writing a very detailed 2,400 worded synopsis — which is way too much (should be around 1,000 for a two-page synopsis, and 500 for a one page synopsis). One agent requested detailed synopsis and I’ll send this one to her. Then I’ll print it out again and hack and slice until I have 1,000 and then 500 words for the others. There are 14 agents on the synopsis list and I’ll query them next week.

I still haven’t made a list of the snail-mail ones. The reason is that I live in Iceland and I haven’t been to the post office yet to see about SASE’s or IRC’s (Internation Reply Coupon). Most snail-mail agents request SASE, but some mention that if you live outside the USA, you might need an IRC. There are two agents in particular that I want to query via snail-mail, so I have to get going on this.

I also haven’t made a list of the one-agent agencies (excluding a couple whose blogs I’m following). My three-year-old twins are taking their kindergarten vacation next Monday and will won’t be back there until a month from now. That means that I’ll have less time to query and write. It also means that I’ve been pressed for time this week to try to do as much as I can before next Monday, and making the one-agent list was one of the things I haven’t had time for. Again, this doesn’t mean that I don’t want to work with them, it just means that I haven’t had the time (I have them bookmarked). Apart from two snail-mail agents, I’ll probably do the one-agent agencies first.

I know that many writers bite their nails when it comes to synopsis writing, but I enjoy it. It is all thanks to Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy, who wrote Writing Fiction for Dummies. How new a writer must I have been to have bought a Dummies book to write? I had actually written the manuscript before I bought it (along with other books), but this one was my best-buy. Their very simple advice on how to write a synopsis has helped me a great deal and makes writing it fun. I also feel that now that I have written the synopsis twice, I know my book better and I didn’t have to look at the manuscript once to write the very detailed synopsis yesterday.

Randy and Peter’s synopsis is made from the three-act structure one does when following the book. I seriously recommend this book if you’re having trouble writing a synopsis.

I think that one other reason I think writing a synopsis is fun is because I’m a rule-girl. By that, I mean that I’m good at writing instructions and have a good eye for details. This is one of the things I have to do at my job, writing rules, guidelines and such. I also used to run a Harry Potteresque website and wrote all the rules and instructions there + I used to lead a guild in World of Warcraft (hey, I’m a geek and proud of it!) and wrote the rules and instructions on our website. So I have experience in writing sort of guide-like texts.

In other news:

I got one more rejection yesterday and one “we don’t represent fantasy anymore”. Still no tears. These rejection are mostly from big agencies and I sort of expected them. There are still a few big agencies who haven’t answered, but I know that not all of them will answer. Might I mention that I think it’s rude when agencies don’t send form rejection letters to all they’re not interested in? Writers spend months waiting and hoping and here the agent has deleted the query weeks ago without a word. How hard is it to reply with a standard text? I’m sure it’s no harder than getting follow-up emails and re-queries, having to read through those and delete-again.

I highly respect those who reply to their emails (even if they’re form rejections). I sort of think that the ones who don’t reply to all queries sound kind of way up there and we are way down there.

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From → Finding an Agent

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