Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Queries and Synopses

Query: How do you condense a 200+ page book down to one page?

Query: How do you condense a 200+ page book down to three paragraphs?

Anyone? Anyone?

This is what I've been working on for the last week and a half. I've finally managed to condense Madison down to 1 page and 4 lines for the synopsis, and I just wrote my first query letter draft where I condensed it down even further to 3 mere paragraphs. Every day as I've worked on these two things I've been surprised at how quickly the time passes, which means I've at least been enjoying the process and into the moment. Of course, at the end of every day, I think how lovely it would be to be a famous author already and to send an outline of an idea to my editor, which she would approve and roll me out an enormous check. Then I could spend most of my time writing and editing what I write. Heavenly, right?

In the back of my head is always the nagging thought: if it was this troublesome to condense short little 68,000-word Madison down, how much harder is going to be to condense 400,000-word Areia down? Which makes me giggle . . . and want to get back to writing and editing!

1 comment:

Kate said...

No doubt, the synopses are really tough. Hooray for sticking with it and nailing down those bad boys!

For the Big Book, maybe you could start by writing as if you were explaining your plot to someone out loud--you probably wouldn't go on for 1,000 words straight in a conversation, and it might give you a general "outline" for your synopsis.

(Hmm, just realized that my two dinky books are each around 51,000 words...so maybe I'm not that helpful, LOL!)