Truly, I'm tearing out my hair - figuratively of course because literally that would be quite painful. Why, I sense you asking? Synopsis, that's why, and submission requirements for different publishers, and synopsis, and summary, and synopsis.
Yeesh, it's a relief to get here and just write for the main reason I've always written - the pleasure in the written word. Writing a synopsis is just plain hard grind. You do a chapter by chapter synopsis and then you cut it down and cut it down and cut it down. You agonise over which plot elements and which minor characters can be safely left out without making the storyline seem incomplete. You agonise over every single word in fact because compressing an entire manuscript down to three pages is not fun, not fun at all. But you have to make it seem like fun so the publisher or agent actually reads it and doesn't press the delete button.
Then there is the formatting of the manuscript which is different for each publisher, and the cover letter requirements. This necessitates writing an individual cover letter for each publisher with all the required information included in a single page.
And of course there are the niggly bits - the header, page numbering, title page, word count etc. It's all doing my head in. The synopsis is taking longer than it takes me to write three chapters. On the plus side, I've written the outline for the entire story and the next three books in the series. I'm really happy with that and a bit surprised that I knew the full story so completely - but the words fell off my fingers so I did :)
I'm at the final stages of the synopsis, it's written and cut and polished. Now I have to guess what each publisher likes to read - a straight forward synopsis or one with a bit of colour? Should I take the risk and make it a bit longer in the interests of keeping it interesting, or should I cut it even further in case the publisher is an impatient skim reader?
This - this synopsis - is I think one of the reasons people self publish on Amazon. It's so much easier to self publish. You write your book, you edit it, polish it, format for kindle, design the cover and then you upload it. No synopsis, no stress. Bigger royalty percentages but also none of the advantages to having a publisher.
Today I'm focusing on the title page for the manuscript, the synopsis and the full story outline (because it's a series I have to include that as well). I also need to go through the first three chapters again as most publishers want them. One, gulp, wants only the first chapter which is really stressful.
By the end of the week all of this faffing about will be done and my submissions will be out in cyberspace, hopefully to find a home. Then I can relax a bit and get started on all the things I said I was going to do in my last post. By that I'm sure you're realising that I have not yet started the author page on Facebook or the Sabrina page and you are correct in that realisation.
I've been so frustrated by this synopsis that it is consuming my mind. I dream of it, think of it in the shower (and when you understand that it is winter and the bathroom is very cold and the shower is nothing more than a trickle, you can get a feel for how much this synopsis has taken over my life) and approach my computer each day with extreme reluctance.
Last night I dreamt that I was in the ocean on a hot day and a big bubble of water threw me up in the air. I landed several feet below the surface and it was so peaceful and quiet there that I felt I could just breathe in the water and stay there. Now that is not a depressive dream so don't worry about my mental state! The water was a lovely shade of blue and turquoise and there were pretty fish swimming about it and lovely coral. I wanted to stay there in the peace instead of going out to face the chaos of the world above the water.
But of course I woke up and the synopsis was waiting for me. I'll go back to it once I finish this blog. I just needed a break and to tell you all about it and get my frustration off my chest. Thanks for listening!
I do still intend to start the author page and the Sabrina page, they are first on my list once this synopsis is done and I can think freely again. I will post the link to the pages here just as soon as they are active :)
So, time for me to go back and stop procrastinating. I'm so close to being finished I think. It really won't take much time, it's just the fiddly bits that do my head in every time. But it's nearly done which means I'm nearly free of it! Until the next book requires a synopsis of course...
I wish, come write it for me!!