Getting Ready

Well, I’m supposed to be getting ready to send my manuscript(s) in to the agents who requested them.

But I’m not.

Because I’m a chicken (bock bock).

Actually, I amend the previous comment. While I am still a chicken, I am actually getting prepared to send in my manuscripts. The unfortunate problem: my synopsis sucks.

I mean, it sucks so bad I’ve actually named it J. Edgar (Hoover).

My writing can range from ho hum to really pretty awesome, but J. Edgar is so awful I’m ashamed of it. And it’s long: while other people are talking about their 900 word synopses, I’m looking at 2800 words (eight pages)… Eight pages of something clearly not my best work.

And I get that everyone hates her synopsis. After all, it must be a common enough problem since every time I go to one of my meetings (“Hi, my name is Meggan and I write romance novels”), the published authors complain about what one dubbed the “POSS” (piece of shit synopsis). I think those words are pretty adequate in summing up precisely how I feel about mine. It’s wretched. And boring. And not half so fascinating as the book I’ve actually written.

Because the book, in my humble opinion, is pretty good. It’s placed in a couple of contests, and since then, it’s only improved. I’m actually doing fairly well in my contest entries: I’ve finaled in 66% of the contests I’ve entered (though I think that number is actually 50%, but I haven’t heard official word about one, but it was one we had to include the synopsis for, and, as previously mentioned, my synopsis is horrid), and in the one I didn’t final in, I actually got pretty decent scores. High nineties, so it must have been close to finaling. Granted, I haven’t always finaled with the same story (shocking!), but I guess my finaling at least demonstrates I have some capacity to write… Someone seems to think I show some promise, anyway.

But back to J. Edgar. How does one go about summarizing a four hundred page novel in less than 10 pages, including the end? I built an entire world, and now you want me to sum it up–including plot points–in less than ten pages, and let you know how it ends? Impossible. Well, not impossible, but hard to do well. And all the advice I’ve gotten in regard to writing the synopsis (well, all the advice I’ve read) seems to indicate I should figure out a sentence that best describes every chapter, and then use that. But so much happens in my book that I’m finding that a very difficult thing to do.


The hard part isn’t writing the book (though that’s no easy task, either)… The hard part is everything that comes after: the query letter, the pitch, the synopsis, the endless edits. And then there’s the waiting.

I want this so much I can taste it, but I’m terrified, too. Afraid someone will take one look at J. Edgar and say: “Holy cow, this is the worst piece of crap I’ve ever read.” Because, really, it kind of is.

So I will revise, and edit, and edit some more, and hopefully, come back with a synopsis at least vaguely worthy of the book it represents…


3 thoughts on “Getting Ready”

  1. I sympathize, I do. Whenever I am selling someone (the court) something, I remember that my job is to make it as easy as possible for someone (the court) to agree with me. Somehow that piece of advice (from an old attorney) always helps me.

    Or – what about pretending you’re a reviewer writing the synopsis for a glowing book review?

    I dunno. Go figure that when I have a hard time doing something, I play pretend. 😉

  2. Yeah, me too. I can sell myself pretty well, but selling the book… Well, I don’t know about that. I like the idea of pretending to be a reviewer, though. I might try that. I tried melodramatic, but I’m not sure that’s working out so well for me…

    1. In fact, in my last contest, one of my critiquers said she had to “slog through” my synopsis. Liked the story concept, and the actual story she read, but the synopsis… Oi weh. Painful.

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