Sunday, October 21, 2012

Add Emotion to Your Synopsis

This month we are discussing synopsis writing. Last week, I mentioned you should add the goal, motivation, and conflict of your characters. Along these lines, I want to add advice given by Agent Evan Marshall in his book, The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing, published by Writer's Digest Books.

Mr. Marshall says you need to add motivation and emotion. Some of the worst synopses he's seen are the ones that leave out these key elements. On page 198, he writes, "Tell us that when Brandon tells Carla he's accepted the job in Sydney, Carla sees her happy life collapsing around her, that she is devastated by this news. The next morning over coffee she pours her heart out to Tanya."

No matter how many years I write, I find it helpful to review what the experts have to say.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I would like to take a moment to introduce another Wild Rose Press author, Mariah Lynne, and her book The Love Gypsy.

Florida homicide detective Brianna Breeze can’t seem to catch a man unless she handcuffs him.
So her best friend decides to take matters into her own hands and tricks Brianna into seeing the
Love Gypsy, a time traveler’s friend noted for her extraordinary matchmaking skills.
When a tall, muscular man wearing jeans, a black leather jacket, and slicked-back 50s hair bursts
in on her first visit, Brianna is bewitched. Despite the gypsy’s warning not to get involved with
him, Brianna can’t get him out of her mind—even though she, more than anyone, knows the
pitfalls of romancing a stranger.

A present-day murder, a mysterious vintage car registered in the distant past, and a smoking gun
complicate the puzzle. Brianna doesn’t know if her lover from the past is a murderer, or a savior,
but she’s willing to risk time travel to find out.

To find out more about Mariah and her book visit

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Dreaded Synopsis

They don't call it the dreaded synopsis for nothing. Many writers find it difficult to narrow the many facets of their story down to five pages. First, let me say, you will need to do some research to determine the length of your synopsis. Check the websites of the agents and editors you are targeting. I find five pages double-spaced to be a safe bet.

You will want to include the goal, motivation, and conflict of your characters and each of the main turning points. I've heard repeatedly that your writing voice should show in your synopsis, but I find that difficult to accomplish.

I usually write the synopsis after writing the manuscript, but my agent requested I write one for the third book in a series I had written yet. I went to bed asking the heavens for an idea. Not only did I wake up with one, I wrote the synopsis and it turned out to be the best idea in the series. I hope to repeat that event many times to come.

Don't worry, a synopsis is not set in stone. You can adjust it, and I often do, as you alter your story.