Exciting news today: I finally got my synopsis trimmed down to size! It’s lean enough, in fact, that I can go back and add a little more detail, which is music to my ears after the painful, stripped down process of creating my synopsis. My most helpful source in looking up how to format a synopsis was AgentQuery.com. This is a fantastic website, not only because it includes a searchable database of literary agents who are currently accepting queries, but also because of its section containing specific guidelines on how to format those queries you will send off. From email queries to snail mail queries, AgentQuery has all the specific guidelines needed to make your submission most successful. Seriously, every little detail is discussed. When I wanted to know how to format my novel title in my synopsis, I went to the section on formatting a synopsis and quickly found my answer. I also discovered that a synopsis can be up to three pages long–which was the best news I have heard lately as my synopsis was stuck one paragraph long of two pages. Now I know that is actually an acceptable length–hooray! While I am still new to the whole process, AgentQuery has by far been the most valuable resource I have found. I have already spent a lot of time perusing the agents and reading the submission and query guidelines–the amount of instructions and knowledge on the site can be overwhelming, but I like to see this as a wealth of knowledge there for my benefit. I am glad to have these myriad resources at my fingertips whilst treading the unknown waters of gaining a literary agent. I know I will be using this resource daily, and I suggest anyone working on their own query or synopsis to check it out as well!
When I tell someone that I am writing a book, their inevitable response is to ask me what it is about; it is a question which is both delightful and dreadful to me–while I love nothing more than sharing my creation with other people (this is, after all, the main draw to getting published), the act of summarizing 86,000 words of painstakingly constructed texts is challenging to say the least. This problem has led me to fumblingly brief explanations that don’t do my work any semblance of justice, or a lengthy saga encompassing way too many details to be called a summary–the most notable of the latter explanatory events involved a one good friend, a couple glasses of wine and a “summary” which took me at least half an hour to explain. However, now, with writers’ conferences coming up, and query letters to be written, the time of the shoddy summary must come to an end. I will not lie and say I am not daunted, nervous and very tempted to procrastinate. However, throughout the process of writing my book, I have learned that just applying oneself to a task generally yields more results than not trying at all! Luckily, I have found some great sources to help with writing a good synopsis, such as this article: http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/how-to-write-a-synopsis.html# If anyone reading this has any other tips or sources on writing a synopsis or query letter which they would like to share, this newbie to the writing/publishing scene would love your recommendations!
As with all of the challenges that I have faced with my writing, I need to face the synopsis with the same confident attitude that I developed while writing Capacitance–no matter how daunting the task, the process becomes much easier once you believe in yourself and begin.