My Synopsis Fantasy

Looking back on my week of writing:

  • Idea: Don’t worry about all the books I want to write, focus on the one I’m writing. (paraphrased from Norman Mailer)
  • Word Count: Growing.
  • Social Media: Hooked. Isn’t admitting it the first step?
  • Research: This week, I learned, that Centrale Bibliotheek, the public library near Centraal Station in Amsterdam is the largest library in Europe.
  • Gripe: The limits of my creative energy.

My Fantasy

Fear comes  in the wee hours of the night, haunts your dreams and  eats away in the corners of your mind. It stalks you through your day like an unwanted shadow. It knows your weaknesses, for you are its prey.  Make no mistake, if you are not careful fear will rule your life.

So what do you fear? Creepy bugs, monsters under the bed, random terrorists, …running out of chocolate…?  Fear. We all fear. Some of its big and some of it’s little, but it’s all paralyzing.

My greatest fear, at the moment, is writing a synopsis.  Compressing my sixty thousand word baby into two thousand words takes more than a well structured girdle. I don’t want to leave out characters I’ve been living with for months, or amputate pieces of plot that have swirled in my head so long that they have melded with my internal circuitry. So what can I do?

I have a fantasy. I will hypertext the lot.  Wouldn’t that be nice? Imagine my whole synopsis neatly typed on one page. Every second word would link to other pages, but I would have managed to stay in the proper ‘word count’ and said what I wanted to say.

My fantasy goes farther… Imagine a computer that could take my hyprertexted synopsis analyze it, with some random algorithm a fifteen year old savant who doesn’t need to shave yet has  devised, and instantly know whether it’s sell-able. Who knows what the future will bring.

Yeah, I know… I need to get my head out of my digital fantasy and write the wicked thing.

Do you have any advice on synopsis writing? Any favorite drinks to help me through it? Maybe a preferred chocolate treat? How do you do it?

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

10 thoughts on “My Synopsis Fantasy”

  1. Jo-Ann, just write something out then give it to someone who doesn’t know the story as well as you do. Get them to actually whip it into shape. The PRO loop in my chapter has been working on Blurbs and we’ve found the person who doesn’t know the story inside out like the author does, can pull it together more easily. And another chapter member just gave kudos to her CP for pulling together a synopsis for the member. Sometimes, we’re too close to the trees to see the forest. (Yes, I know that’s backwards, but seems to fit better. 🙂 ) Good luck.


  2. I agree with Marsha. I do my best and then give it to my critique partner, who has read the book and can see the forest through the trees. We actually just exchanged 4 page synopses that we had to whittle down to about 700 words. We were great at cutting each other’s, just not our own!
    (I used to give it my husband, but b/c I want peace in the marriage, I don’t do that anymore.)

    Also, I use Lisa Gardner’s synopsis lecture. It helped me a lot:


    1. Larissa
      Many, many thanks.
      Lisa Gardner’s synopsis lecture is wonderful. I downloaded it, and will definitely use it. Thanks for sharing it.
      The Critique Partner exchanged sounds good, and I love your comment about preserving peace at home. (Always a wise thing to do:)
      I hope someone comes along and give you such good advice when you need it.
      Best Wishes


  3. Hi Jo-Ann

    So far no one’s looked at my snyopsis and said send the manuscript so I might not be your best choice. Lisa Gardner’s synopsis lecture sounds invaluable. Along the same vein I’d check out written from an agents point of view. Right now she’s doing a critique on a query and saying what does/doesn’t work for her.

    Part of what she points out is that in the first 19 days of this year she’s received over 300 queries so
    she doesn’t want to hear every detail, what she wants is enough detail to interest her and get her to ask you for more of your work.

    Lots of luck



    1. Pat
      Thanks for the link. I wish the query piles weren’t so darn high. I’m enjoying your book, Better than Chocolate.
      Keep writing



  4. When I saw One for the Money, I had a similar experience. The men in the audience roared with laughter. You could tell the women knew the story, but it was all new to their husbands and boyfriends, and they definitely appreciated that it wasn’t your usual chick flic or two-hankie super soggy soap, etc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s