Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten things you must include in your synopsis:
Why can't I get my tongue out of my cheek?

10. Begin by copying your manuscript's opening paragraph verbatim

  9. Keep the synopsis in past tense

  8. Color of the protagonist's hair

  7. What the protagonist wore when she first encountered the antagonist

  6. Everything about the scene in the middle you decided at the last minute not to cut

  5. Plot events only - nothing about the protagonist's goals, motivation, or conflict

  4. Include at least one line of dialogue on each page

  3. Use several adjectives and adverbs to paint a full picture

  2. Ten pages at least

And the #1 thing you must include in your synopsis:

  1. A teaser question at the end - reveal NOTHING about the ending!

21 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

The teaser is the grabber. It makes you want to know more. It leaves you wondering until you can't stand it and have to read the book to find out. Great Top Ten.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Joanne said...

Oy, I hope you haven't written this from experience? Happy Friday to you!

Maryann Miller said...

LOL. Sometimes humor is the best way to get the message across. Great post.

Palindrome said...

I must be a horrible synopsis writer because I don't do any of there things. :P

Carol Kilgore said...

Mason - Thanks!

Joanne - No personal experience involved with this one. But I really hate synopsis writing.

Maryann - Humor works wonders in most situations, I've found. Most especially when we can laugh at ourselves.

Palindrome - Good for you! Welcome to the Tiki Hut.

Lydia Kang said...

Tongue firmly in cheek, for sure! This was so funny!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That will ensure a winner all right!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Oh, if only we could do this – the dreaded synopsis would be much easier to write!)

Elspeth Antonelli said...

These are brilliant. I'd also include lengthy descriptions of your protagonist's home and how she felt when she bought her favourite pair of shoes. Also pages of backstory are also useful as well as descriptions of characters not in the book, but which you could include since you're so creative.

Laura Eno said...

Hee hee! I hope your tongue isn't permanently stuck in your cheek!

arlee bird said...

I've copied these great tips so to be sure to do my synopsis correctly when I'm ready. Maybe you should see a doctor to see why you can't get your tongue out of your cheek-- I've never heard of such a thing and it could be serious.

Lee
Tossing It Out

VR Barkowski said...

Very encouraging post! So glad to hear my synopsis covered all the bases.

...jk

Carol Kilgore said...

Lydia - I'm glad you thought so.

Alex - Exactly - LOL

Jane - I dunno ... I might still have problems.

Elspeth - Oh, yes. Absolutely!

Laura - I hope not, too.

Arlee - Oh, no! What if it IS serious?

VR - It's a shoe-in for sure :)

notesfromnadir said...

Number 8 is of the utmost importance!

This is a good top 10 of things not to do so it's very valid!

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks! So happy you 'approve' of #8 :)

cassandrajade said...

Excellent top ten as always. I love number 7. I think we should also know what she was wearing when she first started out, how she decided on the outfit and where she had it cleaned after she was done.

Thanks for sharing this list with us and making us smile.

Carol Kilgore said...

Oh, no! How in the world could I have forgotten that :)

I love sharing.

Aubrie said...

Very funny! I love the "ten pages at least!"

Stephen Tremp said...

I had my editor edit my synopsis. What a difference. Looks much better now. And a teaser questions is a great idea. Thanks.

Stephen Tremp

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

As always, I love your top ten. The teaser ending...priceless.

Carol Kilgore said...

Aubrie - Thanks.

Stephen - Editors are wonderful.

Kathi - Smiling :)