Saturday, June 20, 2009

Synoptoid Conundrumroll



Ho hum, I suppose I should be grateful.

I have 80,000 words of novel under my belt, and although it makes sitting at my desk uncomfortable (I’ve split three pairs of trousers this week), it’s a lot more than I had at this stage last year.

But with great power comes great responsibility. It’s not an entirely apt phrase, I admit, but it beats the hell out of Washing Machines Live Longer With Calgon, which was my only other alternative.

Anyhow, yes — the responsibility of having to write a synopsis or query, to be waved in the direction of literary agents some time prior to winter. Ulp.

I’m guessing this must be like the moment on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here when the luxury of gadding about the jungle in a skin-tight bodysuit woven from your own sweat gives way to being invited, by a sniggering Ant n Dec, to strip to the buff and immerse yourself in a pool of whisked maggot innards fifty feet below the ground in a purpose-built tomb and wait for the inevitable onslaught of creepy evolutionary misfits. Or am I understating things a little?

I still have some work to do on the manuscript, of course, but the time is fast approaching when the plot will need reducing to a snappy 300-word synopsis and I know my prunoid wherewithal is bound to be tested to destruction. And heaven help me if anyone demands a bio.

Fortunately, I’ve developed a taste for turnips, and if all goes well over the summer, I’ll have consumed sufficient brain-enhancing vitamins to grant me a decent crack at any known writing challenge. Either that, or I’ll have the shits.

It’s all to play for...

21 comments:

sylvia said...

I'm at that point myself and dreading it. I tried to write a synopsis last week and one of my proof readers said "It sounds like all the bits that were happening while you were telling the story"

No idea how to fix that. *grumble*

fairyhedgehog said...

The terrors of querying.

Can't you get Geoff or Sock Monkey to write it for you?

Natalie said...

Ah yes, I won't pretend it doesn't suck. But you can do it, and there is so much out there to help.

Bevie said...

I commiserate with you. Just sent my query off. Should have sent it two months ago, but just wasn't able to get it done. I can write a 200,000-word book faster than I can a query letter.

And I'll feel better about it when I'm done.

It's needful. And you can do it.

Robin S. said...

Day dream anbout what you want to say, or rather, night dream about it, or take walks - and have a pad and pencil with you.

I say that because what worked for me was giving myself the task, and then (after sweating bullets over it) letting it rest inside. What happened was, a sentence or two would come and visit me, I'd write it down. Build from it. It's a very different kind of fiction - this synopsizing/querying thing. And I got pissed all the time, thinking about having to do it - even though I knew that was both stupid and counter-productive.

Whirlochre said...

Personally, I think the solution is going to involve a subtle blend of karate and champagne...

ril said...

Personally, I think the solution is going to involve a subtle blend of karate and champagne...

I know exactly what you mean...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbLM0piFIc8

(They just don't make 'em like this anymore.)

Whirlochre said...

*sigh*
Like Ford Capris and a world without Mrs Thatcher, Hai Karate was a dream that had evaporated by the time I reached adulthood...

ril said...

But it's the suggestive chess-piece fondling that really makes so of its time... And so not OK today.

Whirlochre said...

It's like a Flake ad without the chocolate...

Robin S. said...

Whirl and ril riffs. These are worth waiting for, but I wish I didn't have to wait.

Whirlochre said...

In an infinite universe, I'm sure, Ril and I are belting out our rock hits in a bar somewhere, drooling our combined throb into the open wizzobs (ok — no idea what they're called...) of a mutually frenzied harmonica...

Robin S. said...

Now there's a bar I'd frequent.

Whirlochre said...

I'm tempted to say 'high praise, Robin' — but given your recent wine-drenched blog posts, are there any you wouldn't?

Robin S. said...

Ha! No, - you should definitely consider that 'high praise', as normally, I'm a one-glass glass-of-wine wonder.

Whirlochre said...

"Your slogan on a T shirt...

Mr London Street said...

Say what you like about that Calgon jingle, but by the Lord Harry it's catchy.

Whirlochre said...

It's like the washing machine water softener advert jingle equivalent of the clap, that's for sure.

When I first heard it, I was overjoyed. I much prefer the easy cheesy jingle to gaze-off-camera regular-looking folk talking matter-of-factly about stain removal.

Anyhow, do drop by again. Occasionally, there are crap prizes.

Mary said...

I am in synopsis hell, again, right now.

Robin’s advice is good. I think synopses need to be written slowly. I managed two sentences yesterday, and was cross with myself. Until I realised this morning those sentences work and can stay. If I try to push it, I end up with rubbish.

Whirlochre said...

Glad we're wrestling the same unruly slug into feats of impossible speed by the very same sensible tentacles (if that's what they're called, on slugs)...

sylvia said...

Slugs are too good for 'em.

Yeah, still stuck.