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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