I’m all signed up for SCBWI – Los Angeles in August and OMG I am so excited about it! Are you going?

I’ve not allowed myself to attend any more conferences or enter any writing contests with my current manuscript because I was procrastinating on the final edits. I’ve dangled this conference like a chocolate pastry in front of me to compel some much needed work.

Guess what? I fell for it! Seeing the light at the end here it feels pretty freaking awesome. That said, I’ll be pretty scarce in the next few weeks as I keep my head down in my pages and do the sprucing of the words to make it all shiny.

you can do eeet!

So, SCBWI LA:  I signed up for a manuscript consult while I’m there and when I read up on the submission guidelines I saw this:

Submit only the first TEN (10) pages, even if it cuts off mid-chapter, plus a ONE-page, double-spaced synopsis.

ONE-page, DOUBLE SPACED Synopsis. Can it be true?  How does one perform such feats? I’ve got a two pager that was tough to manage, and that is single spaced. I cried big fat baby tears when I worked on the single page that was single spaced. But a single page double spaced? That’s like five words.

Say it ain’t so.

A synopsis isn’t a teaser. It needs to reveal the whole shebang. This isn’t like the one paragraph and smaller theme-based summaries, this needs to have the beginning, middle, and the end. And it needs to be snazzy.

So I mulled. I complained out loud. I grumbled that it could not be done.

And then I googled.

Which brought me to this blog which mentioned this little series of goodness that made me go here and blew my mind open to micro-synopsis possibilities.

How much of the shebang do you really need?

Taking the advice of Molly via Holly, (thank you ladies, and google!) I read all of the blurbs summarizing all the Newbery winners and started taking a giant step back to zoom out a tad more on my novel. And you know what happened?  I got my main story arc down to one page.

I also realized that I like to add lots of details that are, in fact, ancillary. (Even if they are awesome.)  I felt like I was de-juicing my manuscript.

It’s been an interesting exercise to approach the synopsis from this angle, so I thought I’d share.  Molly’s 4-part blog series is especially helpful when looking at creating the much needed set of synopses for your arsenal. I especially like how she describes them as if they were food.  ;)

Do you struggle with your synopsis?

About the Author Corinne

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  1. I think the synopsis is harder to write than the story, to be honest. Very cool post and link. Oh, and the squirrel pic is priceless!

    1. Thanks Li! It is interesting to reduce the story down so far. Forces you to see if you’ve made it all come together! I’m working on the synopsis for each of my other lesser main characters to see how they pan out.

  2. How exciting that you’re going to the conference in LA!!! I am so thrilled for you, Corinne. I wish you all the best.
    As for the synopsis: I hate it! I am so proud of you for getting yours down in many different ways–especially into one, double-spaced page.

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