Question: How in the heck did George R.R. Martin ever write a 1-3 page synopsis for his gargantuan Game of Thrones? That sucker has about six different points of views (POV) each with various storylines.
I’ve written my synopsis for Lives of Ghosts. I originally wrote it a few months ago and re-tweaked it recently and sent it out to a few agents. I based it on my Writing Fiction for Dummies book. Which I realize was published in 2000. But all in all, I followed the rules and wrote, what I think, is a fundamentally concise one page synopsis of my very detailed fiction novel. I have two main characters but several POV’s and three to four different smaller storylines branching off and returning to the main story. So there’s a lot of stuff going on in my book.
And then I got to chattin’ with my writing buddies who are also working on their synopsis’s (or is it synopsi??? I’ll check on that later) and theirs are way different from mine. More fluffy and more catchy and lots of grabby hooks.
Pisht! Mine’s perfect and they don’t know what the heck they’re talking about (sorry ladies).
And then, being neurotic, I start Googling “How To Write A Fiction Synopsis” and realize there’s about 100 different ways to do this. Some agents want 1 page, some may ask for up to 5, some want the “voice” of the character to come through, and some want the facts ma’am, nothing but the facts. If mine were only one POV (such as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games), I could probably get more creative and show her “voice” in one page.
But what I find interesting is that every single blog or writing website I came across states right off the bat how much writers “hate” or “loath” or “are daunted by” or “cringe at” or “are terrible at” writing a synopsis. And almost none of these sites give a succinct example of what a good fiction synopsis should be…just the same bullet points. Are some synopsis’ different depending on genre? If its romance, does there have to be a sexy hook with every paragraph? If it’s horror, do you have to get graphic with every other line? So, to tell you the truth, my original 1 page boring synopsis looks fine to me. It gives the gist of the story.
But, again, I’m neurotic. So I started on my second synopsis (and I don’t “loath” it, it’s just a different way of writing) and I’m shooting for 2-3 pages focusing the voices from my two main characters as well as a sampling from one or two other lesser, but still vital, characters.
Ultimately, I’m just fumbling around. I figure I’ll just stick my big toe in the water and see what the agents say…if they respond that is. And if I don’t get any responses, then I will have to look further than Google and actually hit the library or bookstore for better examples.