Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Synopsis Sucks

There, I said it. My synopsis sucks. It bites. It's more useless than George Bush's brain.

I'm content with my novel, though filled with self-doubt, as any decent writer ought to be. I'm happy with my query letter, too, though whether the book idea it explicates is attractive to agents is another matter.

But my synopsis... After cutting and cutting and tweaking and tweaking it still comes in at more than 2 1/2 double-spaced pages. If I cut more, there goes more of the critical aspects of the protagonist's backstory, there goes more of critical aspects of the plot, there goes the twist ending....

I'm going to take another whack at it today, starting fresh with a blank sheet of paper, and see how it goes. I'm not too thrilled at the prospect and not too hopeful that the result will be worth it. But it's either that or go out and take the chain-saw to those old tree stumps, so...

UPDATE: Well, I chopped half a page off. From the comments, and some reading I did on the internets, there doesn't seem to be any great consensus on how long the synopsis ought to be, or what it's worth. The agents interviewed in this Poets and Writers piece mostly disdained synopses, saying they never read 'em. So, fuck it. Mine stays as it is.


  1. For what it's worth, you don't have to double-space your synopsis. It should be single spaced, double space between paragraphs, and usually around 1-2 pages.

  2. I've heard the same thing as Abby. Single space the synopsis, but double space the manuscript. I read somewhere that the synopsis could be up to 3 single spaced pages but I can't remember where I saw that...probably moonrat or Nathan Bransford....

  3. I heard 5 pages. I also heard the best way to do it is to have the ms open as you are writing it. No voice. No frill. No plot threads. Just how the story gets from A to B. Period.

  4. I hope you really do mean George Bush, and not George Bush Jr. Keep at it. You'll get there. If half-brains can become president, you can master the synopsis.