I’ve been spending the better part of the last couple of days boiling my 65,000 word novel into a coherent synopsis of under 500 words. That’s much more difficult than I ever imagined, but it’s also a great exercise in precision. At this length, every word is important; every prepositional phrase subject to review and deletion. Every sentence must be precise, necessary, and precisely crafted with nothing out of place. And maintain feel for character and plot, and do it in an entertaining way. You are looking for the synopsis to hook the reader.
I’m pretty convinced if I had to write a book like this it would never get written.
So much of the context of the story is taken out at this length, so you have to pick and choose what goes in and what doesn’t.
You might be asking yourself… Why are you crafting a synopsis with a word count of less than 500 words?
The answer is quite simple. An agent I want to query has on online form for a synopsis that has a word count limit of 500. If he wanted 200, he’d get 200, although I don’t know how useful it would be. The point here is that you are at the mercy of the agents demands, and they vary so much from agent to agent. Which is probably a good thing. It forces me to be wary of what I am sending to whom. It forces me to be personal and to be diligent. Until someone comes up with a better process, I am doing it their way.
Besides… My way hasn’t always been a cake walk in the bakery.
A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor. ~ Ring Lardner
pa⋅tience – (pā’shəns)
||the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
||an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
||quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence:to work with patience.
||something a professional writer must have an abundance of, because nobody in the business will get in a hurry to meet the writer’s timetable…. NOBODY! It’s hurry up and wait…. and wait… and wait some more.
I’m a couple of weeks into this query process and have received a few rejections already, but several queries are still outstanding. It appears some of the prospective agents have a philosophy that they will only contact you if they have an interest in your work. I understand the workload and how giving status to the writer is not a priority. In many cases you are waiting for a response that will never come. I don’t have to like it… it is what it is.
So, you just keep querying and hope someone will see your work for the masterpiece it is.
As a past salesman I understand that you have to go through a lot of “NO” before you get that elusive “YES!”
I’ve done my part… I’ve written an exciting piece of fiction. I’ve researched the marketplace and come up with a lot of prospects.
Now it’s….. Hurry up and wait!
All final edits are done and this week is the beginning of query season. I have a list of twenty agents for my first round.
Surely one of them will see the work for the genius it is.
I have finished my debut novel, “Haunting Injustice.”
Phoenix Worthy, ghost hunter and forensic psychologist, leads his team to a haunting in Tallahassee. Geoff Davis, a talented medium from London, and Echo Ramirez, the sassy Latina technician, join Dr. Worthy as they investigate Chance McKenzie, wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife, and stabbed to death in a Florida prison. His spirit has returned and displays one singular motive – redemption.
With Geoff’s tenuous connection to the dead and Echo’s irritation at the arrival of Doctor Worthy’s attractive former associate, the ghost hunters spiral towards a final confrontation. The life of a team member hangs in the balance and the question is – who is more deadly, the killer or his victims?