Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And We're Back There Again


Back where we always must go.

To the dreaded synopsis.

That horrifying place where good writing goes bad. Really, really bad.

Sadly, writing the dreaded synopsis is part of every author's journey. Whether your pre-published, just published or multi-published, you've got to be able to write a thorough summary of your story. This summary must encompass all major plot points, the faith element (if you're writing Christian fiction), the character development, the romantic themes.....

I could go on, but that would be about as boring as writing the synopsis actually is.

Boring. Painful.

But so useful (and there is not even a hint of sarcasm in those words).

Writing a synopsis allows the author and editor to see whether or not the story will actually work. As painful as the process is, it always leaves me understanding my characters and my plot in a way I would not have if I had simply jumped into the story.

To begin writing a synopsis, I first write character sketches for my heroine and my hero. This includes everything about their past, their current situation and the catalyst that will bring them together.

If you're delving into synopsis writing, I'd suggest beginning there, with your characters.

So, on my agenda for the night - character sketches for the hero and heroine in my third Heroes for Hire book.

I may pull out character sketches from previous books and post them here next.


Sabrina L. Fox said...

Oh, I would love to see an old character sketch.

I also have a question, did you have an agent before you submitted to Steeple Hill the first time?

If the LI line doesn't require an agent, do you think they're necessary?

Shirlee McCoy said...

I did not have an agent when I sold my first book. I got an agent after my second sale, but realized I was selling myself and representing myself. Something happened that proved this to me, and I decided I didn't need an agent after all.

If I ever decide to sell to a different publishing house, I'll try to get an agent again. For right now, I really don't need one. Harlequin has standard contracts and they are happy to look at unsolicited proposals and queries, so I don't think an unpublished author needs an agent to target them.

Hope that answers your question.

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Thanks, Shirlee. That does help. I get conflicting answers to this, but I've NEVER felt like I needed an agent. At least not for the goals I have right now.

Thank you for your thoughts on the matter. :)

Leslie said...

that was a great question Sabrina as I have been going back and forth on it also. Thanks Shirlee for the info :) I have read all of Harlequin's guidelines and have read about some of the authors not using an author. Shirlee...your pic that has the "Rattlesnakes" sign....is that a hint about the book on the Texas Rangers ? I got an email yesterday with a huge pic of a rattlesnake found in Oklahoma....goodness its huge...yikes! I live in Arkansas and we have to watch out for them here....eek!