One of the most difficult chores in the writing life is preparing the synopsis. I would rather have a tooth pulled. How do you distill the essence of a 258-page manuscript into fewer than four pages? Worse is the query, where you must grab an editor’s attention with the first sentence.
That said, I approached the problem and wrestled with it. My first synopsis dutifully outlined the mechanics of the plot.
I wasn’t satisfied. So I wrote it again, this time focusing on the emotional struggle between the characters.
It was better. Not a great deal better, but I don’t think further writing (and sighing and hair pulling) would have improved it. So I attached it to an email and hit send.
Now comes the even harder part — waiting for an answer.
I think if any of my grandchildren declared he or she wanted to be a writer, I would strongly urge them to consider some other field. Plumbing, maybe. People always need plumbers and if you show up with your tools in hand they don’t demand you tell them specifically what you are going to do and how. They just want you to get on with it. Then they pay you what you ask and you are done.
Writing is ongoing in that you are never “done” unless you have decided to quit and slink back to your day job. Even if the book is published, there’s the next book… and the next. And they all need synopses and blurbs. And the published books need publicity, so there you are trying to sell your product to an audience that is already inundated with new releases.
Do I sound like I’m complaining? I’m not. I love writing. I don’t love writing the synopsis so much, but the exercise does make me think more clearly about the book I’ve written and why I wrote it, which will help me publicize it if and when the time comes.
I’d rather say “when” because there is no thrill like having that acceptance letter drop in your email folder.
So maybe I was wrong. If one of my grandchildren wants to be a writer, I’ll tell them to go for it.
Why should I have all the fun?