First, my story. For two years, my synopsis and I battled. After… how many?.. rewrites, I finally had something worthy of allowing others to critique. Friends and family looked at it, but they have all read the book. They’re in the same boat I am. Biased. Oblivious of the holes because our brains fill them with the knowledge we already have from reading the book.
So here’s what I did. I found someone – an excellent writer, a grammar tyrant, an honest, straightforward editor, a constructive critic – who knows nothing at all about my book. This is the key. Because she knows nothing about my book, she was able to see what’s missing from the synopsis. She saw all those holes.
Debra Argosy has this skill. She can take words, paragraphs, pages, and bundle them up and tie them with a bow. She turned my choppy, over-explaining yet under-explaining synopsis and wrapped it with shiny paper and a bright red ribbon. My synopsis is now a gift I can give to agents. I haven’t been more thrilled in my life. And the best part? What she changed? You’ll never know. She kept my meaning, my style, my voice. It’s still my writing. It’s just been smoothed. Edited just so slightly to perfection.
I know how to write a novel. Most writers do. We’re good at writing 100,000 words people want to read. Most of us aren’t good at writing a 3-5 page synopsis of those 100,000 words. It grates against what we do. And the query letter? Don’t get me started.
Editors are expensive. Debra is affordable. Editors are hard to find and sometimes hard to trust. Debra is right here on WordPress and completely trustworthy. And I swear she didn’t bribe me to write this. We were strangers. I took a risk, desperate for someone new to read my synopsis and tell me if the story made sense. It paid off, big time.
So. Write your synopsis. Write your query letter. Rewrite them a million times each. Then contact Debra at her blog Find An Outlet. After she works her magic on your synopsis and query letter, I’m sure you’ll be singing praise on your blog, too.