The Synopsis from Hell by Carolyn J. Rose

As I work on the seventh or eighth draft of my synopsis and then try to get that down to an under-200-word blurb, I’m feeling Carolyn’s pain.

Dames of Dialogue

For some writers—and I’m one of them—writing a synopsis seems more difficult than writing a book.

Author Carolyn J. Rose Author Carolyn J. Rose

With a book, there’s plenty of “room to roam,” dozens of pages on which to flesh out characters and enlarge themes. There are opportunities to slow the action to provide sequels to follow tense scenes and add description to set the mood and foreshadow action to come.

But a synopsis must be pithy, a neat progression of plot points, thumbnail sketches, tight but evocative description. It must be a distillation of tone, theme, and character arc.

So when writing coach Elizabeth Lyon suggested I write two versions of the synopsis for An Uncertain Refuge, I came as close as I ever have to giving up on my writing dream and getting out that failed knitting project (Who knew a scarf would be so difficult?) from 1970.

To her credit, Elizabeth’s…

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Author: laurieboris

Writer, editor, proofreader, stand-up comedian in another life.

1 thought on “The Synopsis from Hell by Carolyn J. Rose”

  1. Still five pages? What about the blurb? The shorter the piece the greater the pain. I recently rewrote the short blurb for my first book. It also0 took me two weeks, going back and forth many times, getting feedback and writhing on frustration. I hope I finally got it right. It was much more difficult that losing 60 pounds, giving birth, or, well, just about anything I’ve ever done.

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