Sunday, August 14, 2011

The synopsis

I haven't blogged in nearly a week.  It's been a long one; at my day job, it's been the end of one module and the start of another, which is my absolute busiest.  We also had someone in the family down for a couple of days due to dental extractions, and so we were busy with that too.  I've been keeping up, mostly, with writing/revising, but that's all I've been able to accomplish. 

Anyway, I just a few minutes ago reached a major milestone.  A couple of them, in fact.  First, I made it to The End of the red-lined manuscript.  Literally.  The last thing I did was delete the words "The End" that I had so smartly written those months ago.  They came back with a big red line through them, so they're gone now.  That's OK; they felt good to write at the time, but I don't need them any more. 

I'd been trying to revise everything needed as I plowed through the red-lined manuscript, but that proved impossible.  I was slow starting because of how long I took writing the Prologue, a bit of text that wasn't even part of the red-lined MS.  I then added three pages to the beginning of the first scene.  They needed adding; I'm really loving the story as a result.  I also added quite a bit of text where the editor called for expansion of various things throughout.  I didn't add it all, though.  There are a couple of scenes the editor and I decided to add that I sailed right past as I began realizing how much it bogged me down to wholesale re-write stuff.  Thus, I'm not done revising.  I'm just really close.  And, engineer at heart that I am, I'm tickled pink to know exactly how close I am finally. 

The other milestone is the drafting of a novel synopsis and query letter.  No, I don't know whom I'm querying yet.  Well--okay, I do, but I'm not telling.  Just as I didn't want to put the editor's name out there in case I hated her work, so too I don't want to give this any potential of becoming a "rag-on-agents" blog.  Those do exist, and some are scary.  In any event, I wrote a generic query letter, since most agents expect a fairly standard format: a) business heading, b) "hook", c) brief synopsis, d) writer bio, and e) closing.  I left the agent stuff general and wrote the rest, and sent it to Debra for a lookie. 

The synopsis was hard.  I did what I thought was a good job, and then I lifted it right into my query letter, and then I realized it was too short and non-story-based for a synopsis.  The revision took a while.  It's unbelievably challenging, it turns out, to take a 300-page novel (almost literally, will be literally by the time I'm done) and shrink it into a couple of pages of text that make any sense whatsoever.  Book Two will be much easier to create a synopsis for, I think, since it's a fairly linear plot, but this book is rambling and epic and grand and--tough to shrink. 

I did it, though, and now they're both on their way to Debra for comment.  Hopefully by the time we get this worked out I'll be done with the revision, and I may even be querying agents next week.  Wouldn't that be grand?

Word count:  87,949
Page count: 295

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