For my editing class, our instructor offered to critique our novel synopsis for us. That’s cool but how do I write a synopsis? Previous advice books and blog posts made it sound like your synopsis should read like the copy from the back of a paperback. I’m here to tell you…that doesn’t seem to be right. At least not according to the Fairwood Writer’s workshop I attended last year. (Not that anyone knows anything*) Previous attempts to sum up the plot of the novels have consistently ballooned up past the three page maximum, even for outlined novels like Angel Odyssey. Some guidelines suggest putting in passages from the book in the synopsis, to give the reader a taste of your writing voice. It’s enough to make me pull out my hair, if I had any hair.
But I’m going to try something new. I’m going to get in character**and see if he can tell me the story. The Mageborn Mechanic might be uniquely suited to this attempt, since it is a thriller and a heck of a lot shorter than my first two novels.
I’m hoping that letting my character narrate the story of the novel will help fix some of the problems I’m having figuring out what to put into a synopsis. I’ll let you know how it goes.
*It seems like there is very little consensus on anything in the writing community as to the ‘right way’ to do anything, except to follow submission guidelines to the letter.
**Simon, to be precise, my protagonist from The Mageborn Mechanic