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Synopsis Sorrows

Discussion for Platinum members about the current Page Turner Writing Contest

Moderator: Deb Porter

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KennAllan
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Synopsis Sorrows

Postby KennAllan » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:16 pm

Anyone else having trouble boiling their novel down to a 500-word synopsis?

Sheesh...!

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Pat
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Postby Pat » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:32 pm

Just glad to hear you're working on it Kenn! :D

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Writetrack
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Re: Synopsis Sorrows

Postby Writetrack » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:59 pm

KennAllan wrote:Anyone else having trouble boiling their novel down to a 500-word synopsis?

Sheesh...!


Nope...must be just you! :P :P :P :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Hey - why not write it in rhyme? That might come easier for you. :D

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KennAllan
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Postby KennAllan » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Actually, I did consider writing a children's story in rhyme once... until I discovered publishers had no more interest in that project than the rest of my poems. So I'm giving up my poetry for a bit... although one of the characters in my novel DOES speak in rhyme.

I've heard that most great novels can be reduced to a single sentence:

An obsessed scientist builds a creature from human body parts which wreaks havoc in his life...

or...

A young man takes a job on a whaling ship captained by an unbalanced man in search of a white whale.

Of course, this is easier to do with SOMEBODY ELSE'S story...

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Postby Cinnamon Bear » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:08 pm

Thanks for posting about the word limit, Kenn. I just checked my latest synopis draft and it is only about 280 words. What concerns me is that there may be some other information that I missed. I read the contest description and rules and I have been checking this message board.

"Worried" icon

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Postby Cinnamon Bear » Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:24 pm

Thanks Karen.

That's why I missed it. I hadn't opened up the entry form yet, until you suggested it. So perhaps I'm not missing other essential information after all.

Love your Tiger avatar. :)

Cinnamon Bear

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Postby Valora » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:30 pm

Okay, I got sidetracked from my novel a few months ago....Whew! I feel so much better for admitting that! The opening chapter is WOW! So, I kind of remember reading that we don't have to have our novel completed. I never sat down and considered how I wanted it to end though. With a synopsis, you must know how it ends. Correct? :oops: Looks like I better get back to that novel and fast! Can you tell that this is my very first one? :mrgreen:

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Postby Cinnamon Bear » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:41 pm

Dear Valora,

I know just how you feel!

I found this information posted by Writetrack on the "Synopsis" thread on this forum:

"When you submit a synopsis to an editor, they usually want a full-blown account of your story - all the major plot points, character quirks and traits (as long as they're important to the storyline), character development and growth, the climax of the story, and even the ending. Editors do not like surprises! They don't like teasers. They're on a need-to-know basis and they need to know everything!

For this contest, however, the synopsis can be condensed to about 1 page. Think more of a back cover blurb. Something that reveals the major storyline but doesn't necessarily give anything away. Whet the judges appetite as well as let them know that you, as the author, actually know where the story is going and aren't just submitting a random piece of writing that you have no intention of following through on."


Cinnamon Bear

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Postby Soren2007 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:43 pm

Kenn,

So glad you are entering and best of luck. I struggled a great deal. I wrote and edited it several times over, and now that I think about it, wish I had it back to do it better. Wait.....no I don't.

Good luck.
“Get to work. Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.” ~Dillard.

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Postby ashleydjr73 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:37 pm

Soren2007, I'm in complete agreement with you. I'm glad I'm done with it and didn't keep a copy of what I'd submitted. If I had I'd be toiling over it everyday thinking of what I 'should have said' or 'should have remembered.' I'm sooo glad I'm done with it.

I had no idea of the 500 word limit at first either. I was getting all ready to try and condense my already heavily condensed synopsis down when I decided to check out the entry form to see if there may have been a word limit.

I was relieved and, at the same time, tormented by such a small word limit. To condense a novel and try to pick n choose all the most important parts just isn't the easiest of tasks to begin with.

But...I'm entered and a huge relief has come over me like an ever-welcome Peace! Good "Blessings" to every one waiting until the very last minute to enter.

Ashley

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Postby KennAllan » Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:10 pm

Hiya, Soren.

I now realize I probably should have bypassed the Weekly Challenge last quarter. I'd planned on quitting at the end of the previous quarter, but the challenge of writing a poem in WHATEVER genre was thrown at me was too much to pass up. I'm glad I did it, though... much was gleaned from my attempts. However, the time consumed has placed my Page Turner entry in jeopardy...

Now I'm faced with a pile of notes, an incomplete chapter, and five days in which to complete my entry. I dunno...

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Postby Writetrack » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:19 pm

ashleydjr73 wrote:Soren2007, I'm in complete agreement with you. I'm glad I'm done with it and didn't keep a copy of what I'd submitted. If I had I'd be toiling over it everyday thinking of what I 'should have said' or 'should have remembered.' I'm sooo glad I'm done with it.

I had no idea of the 500 word limit at first either. I was getting all ready to try and condense my already heavily condensed synopsis down when I decided to check out the entry form to see if there may have been a word limit.

I was relieved and, at the same time, tormented by such a small word limit. To condense a novel and try to pick n choose all the most important parts just isn't the easiest of tasks to begin with.

But...I'm entered and a huge relief has come over me like an ever-welcome Peace! Good "Blessings" to every one waiting until the very last minute to enter.

Ashley


I hope this doesn't mean you didn't keep a copy of your first chapter. It's a good idea to keep a copy of EVERYTHING you submit. You never know...if something doesn't go through or there is a problem, or if you ever want to refer to it down the road, it's there.

I think I'd have a panic attack if I didn't have a copy of what I sent out. :mrgreen:

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Postby Soren2007 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:30 pm

KennAllan wrote:Hiya, Soren.

I now realize I probably should have bypassed the Weekly Challenge last quarter. I'd planned on quitting at the end of the previous quarter, but the challenge of writing a poem in WHATEVER genre was thrown at me was too much to pass up. I'm glad I did it, though... much was gleaned from my attempts. However, the time consumed has placed my Page Turner entry in jeopardy...

Now I'm faced with a pile of notes, an incomplete chapter, and five days in which to complete my entry. I dunno...


Kenn,

Hi. By the way, you were my lead into FW. I had an assignment to do author-modeling and to review writing websites. This site was on the list of websites and so I author-modeled you (a paltry imitation for sure). Then, I kept coming back here. So, thanks for your writing, it's led me here.

As for the PageTurner Contest, I was kinda lucky in that I had an underdeveloped screenplay that I'd left on the shelf for a long time, so my process for this competition was more about adaptation and how to make it more impressive. The synopsis was really the hardest part for me. I'm not expecting a win, but the rebirth of the project was well worth the effort.

So many here read your work dutifully, so your choice benefitted many others. Now, I'll start saying my prayers for you and hope my new signature line is motivating for you.
“Get to work. Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.” ~Dillard.

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Postby CrimsonMoon » Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:09 am

Ha! You guys are having problems with a 500 word synopsis - the publisher I hope to attain wants 40 words - which they call a snippet. 40 words and no more. Now THAT was hard.
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Deb Porter
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Postby Deb Porter » Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:50 am

A 40 word synopsis! OH MY!

Writing that would be harder than writing the whole book!

Love, Deb
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