Manic Monday: 10 Secrets to a Perfect Synopsis

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Most of you know I've been hard at work on the synopsis for Light and Dark. I've learned some things over the past week, and I wanted to share them with you. After all, social media is about making friends and spreading the love. I wouldn't want to deny anyone these secrets of the synopsis.

1) Liquor is required to write a good synopsis. Rum and Diet Coke works well.

2) When writing your synopsis, don't have anything valuable within grabbing distance. The last thing you want to do is to break something.

3) Make sure you've said a few prayers to the writing Gods. Consider an offering as well. They like chocolate cake.

4) Do a writer's version of the rain dance. Put on your best dress (or suit) and perform a jig around your computer. Make sure your motions are jerky and lack all coordination. This ensures you'll either pass out or think of something better to do.

5) Get an aroma therapy candle. Just like a dog, you can train yourself to be inspired when the scent hits you. And your writing area doesn't stink from all the stress sweat pouring off you.

6) Remember, writing a synopsis is much like doing a dirty deed for the devil. Watch some good horror movies to get in the right frame of mind.

7) Spend as much time on Twitter lamenting your sad state of life as possible. Your Twitter friends will commiserate with you and then thank God they're not the ones writing a synopsis.

8) Make sure you use every swear word in your vernacular and then make up some new ones. This is another great trick to keep your creative juices flowing.

9) When all else fails, a good crying jag helps to clear the clogged writing ducts.

10) B*tch and moan to your critique partner so they feel extra sorry for you. Then ask them to fix the piece of junk.

It took a lot of trial and error to learn the secrets of synopsis success, but I think I've got the program down now. If you follow these ten pearls of wisdom, you'll be sure to have a rough draft that needs a lot of work.

Happy Monday! Do you have any tricks to add?


Anonymous said...

As you may have seen, I drew a picture of a cyclops, names it "Synops" and then stabbed it in the eye. Repeatedly.

Then I got to work. :)

Glad you are surviving the process!

Stacy said...

That's a good one, Amber. We could make a dart board out of that.

Thanks for commenting!

Kelly Hashway said...

Aren't synopses the worst? I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

This made me laugh. Look at it this way. At least you have a first draft now. Hey! Don't throw gasoline on me! What's that match for?

Anonymous said...

M&Ms and Cheetos are brain food. It's a fact. I made it up but it works for me! Awesome post...

Anonymous said...

Stacy - Great Monday read! This made me laugh so hard - thank you! I'm about to finish up my synopsis for a contest entry and I'm going to exercise every single one of your tips. :)

Angela Wallace said...

Lol! My favorite is number 10. I've so done that! *whinegrumblecrunch* Fix it please. *puppy eyes*

Julie Glover said...

I have no tips for synopsis writing, but I can't wait to read your 10 Tips to Perfect Agent Research! That's what I need. Laughed out loud at this post, Stacy.

Stacy said...

They are the worst. I'm just glad I've had so much help. Thanks!

Very true. M&M is the food of the Gods. Thanks!

Stacy said...

Tiffany, thanks so much. Humor isn't my strong suit, so I wasn't sure how this would go over. Good luck on your contest entry. Let me know how it goes.

LOL, Angela. If it weren't for Catie, I'd be in so much trouble. Thanks!

Stacy said...

Sorry, Catie! I couldn't resist. You know how much I appreciate your help.

Julie, oh Lord. Those tips should be fun. Can't wait for that. Thanks!

Annie Boreson said...

Great list! I feel your pain. Wish I could do something to help, but I'm sending good thoughts!

Stacy said...

Thanks, Annie. Any and all good vibes are appreciated:)

Debra said...

Liquor is required to write a good synopsis? And rum and diet Coke?
What about a good Merlot? Would that suffice? Because I have some of that handy already. Don’t want to waste a trip to ABC store if wine will work just fine :) Whatever makes you frisky, right?

Stacy said...

A good Merlot would work just fine. The smoother the better. Thanks for commenting!

Tyke Writer said...

I've read a lot of advice on writing a synopsis. All of it has proved contradictory and even less use than a chocolate tea cosy (at least you can eat that) -- so I rather enjoyed this refreshing take on the matter. Much appreciated!

Sue Ann Bowling said...

Oh, so true! I'm thinking of writing a review (bias admitted) of my recently-published novel just so I can say on my blog what I didn't have room to say in the synopsis.

Stacy said...

Yes, reading too much advice can make things worse. I've learned to find one or two sources I trust and go from there. Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it!

Sue Ann
LOL, that's a good idea. What's the name of your book? Thanks for commenting!

Jessica R. Patch said...

Too funny! I tend to whine and carry on and have my CP fix the piece of crap!

Also, Xanax.

Julie True Kingsle said...

I broke my finger and wrote the synopsis the night before surgery with one hand on pain killers. I still use that thing! Though, I wouldn't recommend the writing method.

Stacy said...

Oh, my goodness. That would be so tough. I'll stop complaining now. Thanks for stopping by.

LOL, Jessica. Xanaz is a good one. I'm adding that to my list. Thanks!

Sue Ann Bowling said...

My book's Tourist Trap, and I did indeed post that review/extended synopsis today at

Stacy said...

Sue Ann

Thanks so much for the link. Will check it out:)

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