Friday, February 19, 2010

The 7 Stages of Synopsis Hell

I've decided over the past day that Synopsis Hell is way worse than Query Hell. Sure, getting a 75K book down to 250-300 words, not a problem! But um, expanding that to a bare minimum of 2 pages? HAHAHAHAHA

Oh, excuse me, didn't mean to scare you with that disturbing laugh. But I am serious. See, with the query writing, you have the luxury of being short, brief, sweet, and to the point. I give you my query (which, I have to admit, I'm feeling awesomely about after a certain Query Ninja's fabulous comments *hear the sound of horns tooting?*):

Jessa Whitley knows she’s got no business being the next Hercules. Sure, she’s obsessed with everything Greek, but she’s never thrown a punch, and her asthma turns even the shortest sprint into a wheezing marathon. However, when her superhuman strength kicks in on her class trip to Greece, and a couple of in-the-flesh Greek gods find her, she has no problem eating up such a reality. Until that reality starts trying to kill her.

Jessa's the last half-mortal around to set things straight with the Underworld. Not cool, especially when Hades is the one out to destroy her soul. To add to the creep factor, her new powers show her the plans of the Underworld through cryptic visions. An apocalypse is coming, and Jessa needs to stop it. But no matter how much Underworld daemon ass she has to kick, Hades doesn’t seem to take the hint.

Hades gets personal by threatening everyone she loves, mortals and immortals alike, including her trainer Apollo, the god she’s falling for. Embracing her inner badass, Jessa brings the fight to Hades. But putting Hades back in his place, literally, and stopping the destruction of mortals is, well, a Herculean task. And Jessa's still not sure she's cut out for the job.

All the fun bio stuff at the end, etc. etc....but now, taking that small blurb and turning it into two pages is the mother of all headaches (for me, anyway). Why? Because, I love my story so much, I have the curse of wanting to share EVERY BIT OF DETAIL and it's like pulling eyelashes out trying to figure out what I should keep out and what I should keep in. Really, it probably isn't as bad as I'm making it out to be. Really. I go through stages, I think. Like:

The 7 Stages of Synopsis Hell

  1. Shock: Holy crap! There's this awesome Rock Star Agent that requires a synopsis? Noooo! Life is over as I know it! Ah!
  2. Denial: I don't need to write a synopsis. No way. Not gonna do it. Besides, I stink at writing them anyway. Not gonna do it. Nope!
  3. Bargaining: Come on shiny, pretty, awesome MS, acquire the RSA without the synopsis, please, please, I'll do anything! I'll lock myself in my office (um, the kitchen) and hack away at the next WIP overnight if you can just do this for me!
  4. Guilt: But if I don't do it, poor MS won't have the best chance at acquiring Rock Star Agent. ZOMG- I HAVE to write one now. I think I may hurl. *begins The Synopsis*
  5. Anger: *after the first attempt* WHY ME? Why must the synopsis be so cruel? Synopses are evil, stupid, horrible creatures. WHY DO YOU EXIST, EVIL SYNOPSIS?
  6. Depression: *after the first twenty attempts* I suck at this. I will never write a good synopsis. Hand me my bag of dark chocolates so I can hide beneath my covers and wallow over my suckitude at not being able to write the synopsis-that-must-be-written-but-hasn't-yet-because-I-suck! How can I write a complete brilliant (toot the horns again) MS and not a synopsis? What kind of lame writer does that make me? Where's my Xanax?
  7. Acceptance/Hope: *reading over last several drafts and hearing encouragement from awesome crit partner(s)* You know, these aren't that heinous. I bet if I tweak this here, cut that over there, and add some stuff here, it might work. Alright, bring over the pot of coffee, let's get this baby written so it finally resembles the awesomeness that it should be.
And there you have it. I am currently, if um, you haven't noticed, at STAGE 5. Just wait until I reach stage 6. Anyone wanna lend me some Xanax?

With that thought, I leave you with this picture:

I do believe this is a sign mommy should stop talking on the phone so much?


  1. LOL! So very true. Then, Stage 8 - Delusions of Grandeur/I can eat all the Girl Scout Cookies now because this is such a great synopsis.

  2. Hilarious. There is something inherently evil about synopses, isn't there? Jo Volpe guested on our blog at one point with some good tips. You should check it out. She's the synopsis Jedi.

  3. Awww... what a cutie she is. And I feel for you, I really do. If I had Xanax I would give it all to you... right now!

    Good luck and you can do it!

  4. L&L, agreed, and I'll have to check that out! Any help I can get...

    Kim, thanks! I'm getting there.

  5. Awwww your little girl is absolutely precious!!!!!!!! I am not a writer but I enjoyed your stages....and I enjoyed the picture most of all.

  6. Dude, the query was fun times.

    The synopsis....UGH. ugH uGH UGH!!! Do Not Like!

  7. Veteran, thank you! And thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed your "stay". ;)

    JKB, I know, right? I'm nearly complete. Breaks a sweat, though.


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