Romance By Catherine: Synopsis Writing

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Synopsis Writing

Quick, everyone who LOVES to write a synopsis raise your hand.



Ahh, I see I'm not alone in my desire to toss the process out the door.

My latest WIP is nearly complete but in my effort to become more of a plotter and less of a pantser I made myself write a synopsis before I finished the book. Is it working? Eh, kind of. As the story clicks along the synopsis changes and I tweak it to resemble my finished project, but I do have to say that referring to my original synopsis does help me consider where I want this story to end up. So that isn't a bad thing.

Not to mention that the big guns in publishing often contract work based on synopsis alone. And since I do have a desire to actually make some money with my stories, I have no choice but to learn and master this art.

But I'm not going quietly. My charecter driven stories suprise me on a daily basis. What I think will happen isn't completely what does happen.

So for today, boys and girls... or mainly girls... lol Tell me two things. First, are you a plotter or a pantser? Second, who is your dream agent and why? Third, have you ever written a synopsis before a story and did it work out the way you wanted it to?


jennifer said...

I'm not a writer at all but i find that these little notes about how it goes from a writer's pov very insightful :)

Emma Lai said...

I'm a panster...though with a series some plotting is required to maintain the overarching story. I haven't progressed far enough to have a dream agent and I've never written a synopsis, though I may attempt one this month for a contest, but the story is already 3/4s written.

Rachel E. Moniz said...

Hi Catherine!

Our last Rhode Island Romance Writers Meeting featured speaker Lisa Mondello and was all about learning your writing style.

Based on Lisa's notes, I found I was a mix of all of the four types she spoke about. That being said, I am different things for different stories! The current WIP, I am a Pantser/Puzzler...writing with no plot at all and writing scenes out of order and building bridge scenes to connect them all.

I haven't done much looking at agents, so I have no answer to Part 2 :-D

I am working on tweeking my synopsis skills but have yet to write a story based on synopsis.

Great blog!

Catherine Bybee said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer. A lot of writers dislike promotional work, but for me, it's the dreaded synopsis. Go figure! I can place 100,000 words in a novel, but 3-5 pages of an overview....UHG!

Emma: Really, never? I'm not sure how that's possible. Let me know what you think of them once you start writing them.

Catherine Bybee said...

Rachel: Pantser/puzzler? I've never heard of that. I'd love to hear more.

The agnet search is highly over rated. So many don't even send a 'no thanks' which leaves you hanging. You constantly think, Did they get it? Did it end up in spam? What didn't they like? I currently have 7 queries out in cyber-land... and received 2 rejections. But the month is young. lol

Rachel E. Moniz said...

Lisa Mondella has four writing types that she talks about:

Linear writers write a book from start to finish, re-reading and tweeking chapters as they go, so that when THE END is typed, there is very little that they revise before submission.

Puzzlers write random scenes then do bridge chapters to join all the parts of the story together.

And we know Pantsers and Plotters.

If I get home early enough tonight, I will scan my notes for you. The talk was highly informative and enlightening!

Catherine Bybee said...

Ahh well, that makes me a Linear - Pantser with a desire to plot. LOL

Lynne Roberts said...

Hi Catherine,

I was going to say I'm more of a pantser until I read Rachel's post. Maybe I'm a puzzler.

I usually have the beginning, turning point, and end in mind before I begin any story and then I let the scenes develop. I'll 'see' a scene and write it down; 'hear' a conversation and write that down and as I do that, I begin to get the full picture.

Then I write a rough draft from beginning to end. This is usually about half as long as the finished piece will be.

I let it sit for a while and go back and read it, daydream about the characters a bit, play a little what if in my head and then go back to write the first draft.

So, um, yeah. (?) : )

I have never written a synopsis before the story. I'd only have to change it. I use the rough draft as a guide.

My dream agent... that's tough. I actually haven't considered an agent for my romance. Lynne is my pen name. I have three full length fantasies, one of which is with an agent now. *cross fingers* She does also rep romance, but I'm not sure I'd use her for my romance unless I decided to go mainstream with it.

LOL Sorry, I didn't mean to write a tome on your blog. : )

Catherine Bybee said...

Most agents take all kids of books. You'll have to tell us all about your fantasies someday, Lynne.

Christina Phillips said...

I used to be a plotter but when I started writing paranormal romance my brain couldn't cope with outlining in advance, and now I'm a total panster! And that makes it hard having to nut out proposals for books as yet unwritten - I only have the very vaguest idea of what should happen.

As for synopsis, ugh!