Friday, December 14, 2007

Stuff I like to do, but goes so damn slowly

Synopsis. Yeah, I kinda like doing them. But this one is being difficult. I think it might be that I don't have the main character really set in my mind. But, actually, it feels like the whole story is there. Just churning around in the recesses of my mind. Possibly it's just not done yet.
If you're a writer, I know you're probably still sitting there wondering how I could actually LIKE writing a synopsis. There's a trick to it.
Write it before you write the book.
Seriously. It's so damn hard to write a synopsis after you've written 400 pages of story. You're too close to it, too invested in the individual stories that make up the whole book. My typical method of writing a book is this:
Get an idea. Sometimes it's a particular character, but usually it's just a premise.
Get a character. I figure out what kind of character would be involved with this premise.
Get all excited and pound out a chapter or a couple of scenes. Sometimes, this ends up being three chapters, but not more than that.
Realize that I love the premise, I love the character. And I have no idea where I'm going with it.
Then I write the synopsis.
I'm not so far along in the story that I'm married to any one idea. So, I just let my imagination go. It's not like I'm actually writing the book, so I can be as outrageous as I want to be. It's just a couple of pages. I can change it as often as I want.
Erica Orloff blogged about writing a synopsis on November 24. She mentioned that her agent always puts the tag line on the first page. I've never done a tag line but I liked the idea. So, I worked on one. Here's what I came up with:

Prophecy. Power. Corruption.
Everything hangs int he balance.

Probably doesn't make any sense to anyone but me. But it really encapsulates the book for me. As to whether it makes it into the final synopsis, we'll have to see.

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