Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Things that suck...

So, I’m trying to polish a first chapter and synopsis for a contest. The chapter was coming along just fine, but it was time to work on the synopsis.

I hate synopses. First of all, I can’t write a synopsis for a book I haven’t written—I’m a pantser. I know the beginning and the end, but the middle is still a question mark. A journey of possibilities, if you will. But since only the first four chapters of this book exist, writing that synopsis would be a real challenge.

But, hey! Look! I have a synopsis for this book. Neatly labeled as such in the computer file. Excellent. I have no idea why or when I wrote that synopsis, but let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. I click on it, knowing it probably sucked, but figuring I could work with it.

It’s NINE freaking pages long.


Now, let’s ignore for a moment that the contest only allows a two-page synopsis. I want to know what possessed me to ever write a nine-page synopsis in the first place. Especially considering how I have NO idea how the middle of the book will unfold, how in hell did I come up with nine pages worth?

Of course the upside to a two-page synopsis is that you only have to hit the highlights—surely I can cull highlights from those nine pages and pull something together. As I read through the nine pages, though, I realized why it ended up at nine pages.

Have you ever been told that you can spot a lie because the liar doesn’t know when to stop talking? Because the lie doesn’t sound credible to them, they think more details are the way to make it sound credible to you. So they ramble on and on, piling on the extraneous details.

A nine-page synopsis for an unwritten book is kinda like that. At least in my case.

I’m a terrible liar, too, just for the record.

But I worked and worked and managed to pull together a two-page synopsis. I’m so proud. Then I went back Monday morning to double-check the rules. It’s supposed to be two-page, double-spaced. ACK!! More hacking required.

But I buckled down and got that puppy down to 2 double-spaced pages. And I only had to mess with the margins a little bit in the end. (Come on, one measly sentence ran onto page three. So I decreased the margins just enough to pull it onto the previous page. Shoot me.)

Of course, after all of this, I find out the book may be ineligible for the contest anyway.

Now I want to go cry. All that work, and I might not have an entry to show for it.

But I think everyone has been in a similar type of situation. You work so hard, only to have it fall apart just as the end is finally in sight. (A good friend is going through something much like this today as well. I think we’ll go get drunk tonight.)

Feel free to vent about something that recently went all to hell for you. Or simply marvel at the insanity of a NINE PAGE synopsis.

~heading to the bar~


Jen said...

PC, you were telling some whoppers to come up with 9 pages. LOL!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Yikes! Love the analogy of the liar. You are SO right, that's exactly what writing a synopsis when you haven't written the book is like for a pantser. Hugs. I may have to join you at that bar. Working on revisions and realizing that a good chunk of the middle isn't relevant anymore. ARGH!

Playground Monitor said...

My body has gone to hell. Both feet hurt, my elbow hurts, my allergies are all screwed up because of the weather, I'm still having some of the problem the endoscopy was supposed to deal with and it's cold as a brass commode seat (which is why my feet hurt, my elbow hurts and my allergies are screwed up).

But the sun is shining today!


Kathy said...

At least you have 9 pages to work with later on. :-) I hate to write a synopsis. I'm a plotter. Possibly with a taste of panster thrown in to thwart my progress. Lately, I'm realizing a synopsis is very helpful because the middles of my books always take a nose dive.

I'm impressed though. The fact that you've written a long synopsis gives you extra Brownie points. Even if you charmed your way through it.

Hugs, PM! I got a shot in my knee yesterday. I've still got a knot on it and feel nauseous. Blech!

Rhonda Nelson said...

Everything I've touched recently seems to have gone to hell. I'm joining you at the bar. :-)

Angel said...

Can I come? The playfriends have heard all about my car escapade from hell today. Suffice it to say the $400 in repairs I paid for a week and a half ago didn't last very long. Now I'm without a car and furious.

My new schedule isn't working out that great either. I went back to work for the hubby part-time, during lunch rush (he owns a restaurant), and am finding it hard on the feet and taking some getting used to. I'm not getting as much accomplished as I'd like, even though I'm helping with the family finances.

Hugs on the synopsis! I hate them too.