Thursday, May 2, 2013

I've Just Stumbled Out of Synopsis Hell by Vonnie Davis

My agent called last night. "The editor at ___ publishing loved your Christmas story, but they've already contracted their Christmas titles for this year. She did ask if you had anything else. I told her you were working on a parnormal romance and she requiested the first three chapters as well as the synopsis. How soon can you get them to me?"

Panic hit. My heart rate tripled. "But...but I'm only halfway through writing it."

"I told her you weren't finished. She'd okay with that. By the way, how soon CAN you finish it?"

My dinner did a slow roll in my stomach. "Ah..."

"Can you get the chapters to me tonight so I can start reading and editing it? I'll want the synopsis tomorrow. Okay?"

Spots floated in front of my eyes. I willed myself to breath. It seemed I'd just been crushed by a steamroller. "Sure."

Now writing a synopsis is not my favorite thing. I know few authors who enjoy the process. I liken reducing an 80,000 word manuscript to 2 pages to squeezing a size 20 behind into a size 10 girdle...while you're still wet from the shower. Such tugging and pulling and cussing.

I had the first page roughly pulled together by the time my agent sent back the three chapters with her tract changes. An hour later, I sent the chapters back with all her requested corrections made. She told me to update my bio and marketing plan. I beat my head on the keyboard.

Then started blankly at the synopsis on my monitor and sighed.

Did I mention I dislike writing these darn things?

Not only do I have trouble keeping the verbs correct--present tense only. I feel as if I'm merely writing this happened and then this...oh...and then that...

Can we spell boring?

And let's not forget this certified pantser was only halfway into writing the book. As a pantser, I had a vague idea where the story was going, but not the specifics. Now, I had to lay it all out. But what was "it"? How does one summarize something that's yet to be written? I kept telling myself some writers write their synopsis first. Surely if they could, so could I. Right?

My stomach wasn't having any of it...neither was my mind.

I laid out what I wanted to have happen in the last half of my story in bullet point format. Then transformed them into sentences that basically said this happened and then this...oh...and then that. I had it e-mailed to my agent by seven tonight. By eight, she'd sent it back with her track changes. So by nine, the whole mess was done. She'll email the submission package tomorrow.

Now that the rush is over, the doubt demons are knocking at the door. Why do we always feel we're not good enough?
~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~

What should be a wonderful trip to Paris turns menacing when Gwen Morningstar's daughter is kidnapped by The Red Hand terrorist group. Fortunately, Jean-Luc LeFevre of France's Counterterrorism Unit is there to rescue her little girl. Gwen is grateful, but her need to apprehend the abductors must override any desire she feels for the handsome agent with his own brand of justice...and danger.

Jean-Luc is not pleased when Gwen, a crime scene photographer with just enough training to get them killed, is assigned to work with him. Not only does she take too many risks, she drives him to distraction.

As Gwen and Jean-Luc track the terrorists, their feelings for each other grow as fast as the danger. Jean-Luc is determined to protect Gwen and her daughter, but the sinister grasp of The Red Hand is strong and far-reaching. It will take more than love to keep them all safe.


Ana Morgan said...

Gotta eat your spinach before you get dessert, Vonnie.
(actually I love spinach. Not so sure about synopses.)

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I love spinach, too, Ana. It's the writing of the synopsis I detest. Thanks for commenting.

Mona Risk said...

Very nice bookcover and interesting blurb. Why are whining dear Vonnie?! You're doing great.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Nerves make me whine, Mona. I've been blessed with so many milestones, fearful each one will be the last. What can I say?

Rolynn Anderson said...

I'm with you, Vonnie! Synopsis writing sucks. I laughed out loud at a writer who counseled me to write the synopsis, the blurb and the tag line before I wrote the whole book. PANTSERS CAN'T DO THAT! Still, we're good at making up I made up what happened in the last 20,000 words and passed along the damn thing. (Later, I ended the book a whole different way!) We do what we have to do! Mush on, dear friend! Rolynn