Wednesday, March 01, 2006

the dreaded synopsis



Today I wrote the story of what has happened so far, which is a story about my novel, or, if you must, a synopsis. I've avoided this all along--avoided first of all writing a real synopsis, because I don't like to think too hard about what's going to happen when I write; and avoided second because I'm not good at summarizing in this way; and avoided third because I was afraid to stop writing for even a day and take time to think in case the thought that came to me might be something like: are you crazy? And then I would have stopped writing and be forced to go to one of my alternate life plans, like learn to graft fruit trees or go to law school.
But, at 438 pages, I thought I might have passed this state of panic, so I decided to stop and consider--both what had happened so far, and what will happen in the remaining pages.
I also made a point of view chart, marking how many times and in what chapters the four main characters take the stage (or page). Then I gave them each a color so I could see the pattern they form in a spatial way. Carl is blue, Jason is teal, Isabel is red, and Nancy is copper.
Stay tuned to see if all this was a bad idea.

3 Comments:

Blogger K-Oh said...

You can always learn to graft fruit trees--preserve those old Johnny Appleseed varieties!--while you finish your novel.

I'm fascinated by the dreaded synopsis and must learn to do it as well, for my novel. I found this website--can't remember how--supposedly run by a literary agent who has people send in their synopsis and then she tears it apart. I thought it might help me understand how to write a better synopsis. Anyway, here it is:

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005_12_01_misssnark_archive.html

3/02/2006 8:14 AM  
Blogger erieblue said...

Why do the men have cool colors and the women warm colors? Also, do you think it would help if I wrote a synopses of my poems?

3/02/2006 12:13 PM  
Blogger lucette said...

I don't know--they just seemed like the right colors to me.
On poem synopses--I'm not sure how helpful, but might be fun?

3/02/2006 7:35 PM  

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