Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Searching for a synopsis. . .a short survey

Figuring out the synopsis is somewhat like Waiting for Godot, an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot. As Becket himself famously said about the meaning of the play, "It is a game; everything is a game."

Naturally, everyone in this game has an opinion on a synopsis. Don't believe me? Just fire up the Google, type synopsis, get out the popcorn, and start reading.

Some key questions:

  • What is it exactly?
  • How long should it be (1 line or 10 pages)? 
  • Is it the same as a pitch or a log line?
  • Do you need one or not? (A very important agent told one of my writer friends, "#$@&%*! the synopsis. Nobody wants to read that $h1t. Just send the manuscript." )

    Note: My friend was very happy, because nothing makes a writer melt down faster than writing a synopsis.

You can see where I'm getting the Waiting for Godot theme, right?

The one thing everyone agrees on (well, everyone but the very important agent) is that this thing is what entices people to want to read more of your book.

So with that in mind, I used a  couple of the standard templates for synopses and created a few of my own for Queen of Heka.

Which of these would make you want to read more?
  1. When a young woman rejects the son of the King of Gods, she must change the course of a civilization and remap the boundaries of heaven and earth to save herself and the man she loves.
  2. A woman overcomes her shortcomings learning magic, challenging death and the gods in the name of love, and remapping the boundaries of heaven and earth.
  3. After a young princess rejects the son of the King of Gods, she learns magic that changes the course of a civilization and remaps the boundaries of heaven and earth; in the process she brings her lover back from the dead, gives birth to a savior god, and becomes the goddess Isis.
  4. Can one woman challenge the gods and remap the boundaries of heaven and earth to reflect the goodness she discovers in her lover's face? Will her enduring passion for this man give birth to a savior-god and bring her lover back from the dead? Queen of Heka: The Autobiography of Isis is a saga of love and magic on the harrowing path to divinity. After 6000 years, the goddess Isis reveals the woman behind the myth.

  5. And finally, this from my website: