Jenny Brigalow's War Of The Words and Giveaway!


Jenny Brigalow's War Of The Words




Synopsis. A word to strike terror into my cowardly soul. I love to write. But the joy of finishing that book is soon dampened by the prospect of doing battle with the synopsis.  Armed with coffee and chocolate I go forth to the killing fields. Where to start? Mmm. With Chad and Seraphim of course. Let's tell the reader all about them. Collate the facts. Who are they? What do they do? Where do they live? And what brings them together. E.g. "When successful rider and race trainer, Chad Cherub steps off the plane at Heathrow, love is the last thing on his mind. He's travelled from Australia to do a business deal with wealthy entrepreneur and race horse fanatic, Walter Driscoll."  Then I do the same for Seraphim. So now the reader has a portrait of the main players.

From there I decide which elements of the story are  vital. Firstly, why they are attracted to each other. "The arrival of cool, confident Chad forces Seraphim to re-examine her life."  Then what frustrates their desires. "Initially Seraphim is  overwhelmed by the ravaged, drought stricken landscape."  And lastly, how these obstacles are overcome.  " ... a budding sense of self, gives her the strength and determination to persevere."  Once I have worked out what's essential, I write them into a skeletal plot. "On the long journey home Chad is ... "

After a mighty struggle, when the words have been pummelled  onto one  page, I sit back, exhausted but victorious.  All I need now is someone to send it to. But then the worst happens. The publisher only wants three hundred words. Oh, woe is me. Happily, on review I discover things aren't as bad as I'd anticipated. I've only got to lose a hundred and sixty six words. So I go back, I sweat and strain and curse (haven't wept - yet) and force myself to think. Ouch. Slowly but surely I pick the chaff from the wheat and wheedle down the words.  Still three words over. Will it matter? Surely not. But ... then again. So, out they go. And thus the war is won. 

How do you all deal with Synopsis? Do you struggle?

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32 comments:

  1. Check out the new shiny blog! Yay NAS!
    Great post on synopses, Jenny. They are pretty scary, but you made them seem manageable. Thanks! :-)

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    1. Hi Lexa!

      Thanks for coming by!

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    2. Hi Lexa, Thanks for dropping by.Glad to hear the post helps a little. Maybe there is an easier way, if so I'd love to know it!

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  2. I'll never like synopsis, no matter what. :P

    Great post, Jenny!

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    1. Hey Stina, good t hear from you. And I hear you. Don't think I'll ever learn to love them either.

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  3. I loathe them too. I summarise each chapter into a sentence first, then whittle away at that.

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  4. Thanks for the invite Nas. Hi Lexa, glad that helps a little. I always feel there must be an easier way! Hey Stina, I'm with you, I'll never learn to love them either. Thanks Rachel, great tip. Maybe that's the easier way I've been looking for!

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  5. Jenny, who doesn't struggle with they synopsis. I think all that superfluous stuff is harder than writing the novel. I recently got asked for just 100 words, yet they still wanted main plot points and how the story ended. A big ask in 100 words. Thanks for your story.

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    1. Wow Denise, 100 words, quite a challenge. Hope I never have to tackle that one. I'm guessing you managed it though. If so, well done!

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  6. I used to hate synopses but have grown to accept them and was surprised recently to find I'd finished a whole book and kept largely to the original synopsis. Mostly I go well off piste! Good luck with your book. Cara Cooper

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    1. Hi Cara, thanks for sharing. Hope I learn to accept them and to stick to them like you do. You give me renewed hope.

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  7. Hi, visiting from the IWSG. I hate writing the synopsis, I struggle with it. Even after the struggle I never managed to get it right.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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    1. Hello Rachna, lovely to hear from you. I hope you find some helpful tips today to make it a little easier next time. I share your struggle!

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  8. Great pointers on how to write a synopsis! I will admit that I usually completely avoid them at all possible costs!

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    1. Hey Meradeth, had to have a giggle. Well said.

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  9. I have my editor help me with the synopsis. Only costs a small amount and it is so much more professional than what I can do on my own.

    Best wishes to Jenny and good luck with your books!

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    1. Hi Stephen, that is a great solution. I wouldn't have thought of it to be honest. Thank you.

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  10. Synopsis can strike fear into a person's soul (mien too), but I find like all writing the sooner you put something on paper the sooner you can edit it and make it into something better:)

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    1. Hi Mark, thanks for dropping in. You're so right, the thought is often worse than the deed! Which is probably as well in this instance.

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  11. Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the time to chat, Charmaine. I must agree, it's a yummy cover. Makes you want to dive right into that red dust.

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  12. Ha! Yes, it's always nice to eventually win the war. But I DREAD with a capital D them too. :)

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    1. Hi Jennifer, great to meet you. And I share your pain.

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  13. Loretta Laird3 May 2013 at 15:19

    Just working on my first novel and have been amazed at the short synopsis that I have needed to send off. Not sure I've really captured my book as I want to yet but soooo want to make it sound good. Great advice above. Thanks. :0)

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  14. Hi Loretta, congratulations on finishing your first novel. Isn't it a fabulous feeling? Good luck on your publishing journey. So pleased to have helped a little.

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  15. I adore the cover Jenny, it's devine :)

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  16. Hey TashNz, thanks for that. I know I'm biased, but I must agree, it's a smokin' cover.

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  17. What a great post, Jenny! I agree that writing a synopsis is so hard! It involves a lot of chopping and thinking for sure!
    ~Jess

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    1. Hi Jess, great to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  18. I love that exhausted feeling after a writing session has been done.

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  19. I'd rather write the whole novel than the synopsis. I usually just have to leave it open for a while and chop here and there until it's right. I can't do it in a rush. I ponder on what to keep.

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    ReplyDelete

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