Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Getting Ready for Genesis

Where does the time go? I take a break to get some work done and a month goes by. Most of the freelance copy editors I know experienced an uptick in work starting in early February, so maybe that’s good news for the economy.

But I’m not just copy editing. I’m working on my entry for the ACFW Genesis Contest—in particular, the one-page synopsis of my mystery novel. I already had an eight-page synopsis and a one-paragraph synopsis, but not this one-pager. It’s tough.

Synopsis writing isn’t fun, and for me, boiling down my plot to one page is especially difficult. Eight pages—okay. One paragraph—not too bad, because you’re so limited that it’s easy to focus on only the lead character and her three-sentence journey from problem to solution.

But one page? You’ve got to show the story arc, include much more of the plot. But how much? How many side (but important) characters do you mention? It’s a constant process of whittling down, going over what is now a one-and-a-half page synopsis time and again, striking out everything but the essentials.

Anyone else getting ready to submit an entry, or two, to Genesis? If you’re writing a synopsis, how’s it going?


Andrea said...

Hope you are doing well. Hugs,

Cynthia Bruner said...

It is tough! It has to be more informative than a back cover blurb, but there's not much more room than that. I tried to convey as much information as I could, and ended up with a page of 100-word sentences (slight exaggeration). No one wants to read that!

Karin Kaufman said...

Cynthia, I ran into the same problem. Lots of overly long sentences. Somehow you can pack more information into a 100-word sentence than you can three 33-word sentences. (Must be the condensing power of commas.) I had to work hard to vary the sentence length, and even then, most of my sentences were fairly long.

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