Synopses: The New Hell

Before attending Viable Paradise, I would finish a novel, realize it was bad, and trunk it.  I did that four or five times.  Most of them have long since been lost to the vicissitudes of changing formats and the modern lack of floppy drives, and that is more than likely a good thing.

Now, I’ve finished The Widening Gyre, and rather than trunk it, I’m actually going to send it out.  I’m sure I could dither about with one or two more beta cycles, but the truth is, I don’t see a whole lot changing at this point.  I had six people take a look at it, and I utilized the vast majority of their feedback–I think there was one thing from a couple of readers where I said “Meh, that’s not something I agree with,” but most of the feedback I got was incredibly helpful and made me sit up and say “Oh, wow, she’s right.  I better deal with that.”  I’m sure that if an agent bites, I’ll need to do more, and if an editor bites down the road, still more–but for now, it’s done.

Which means I have to write the synopsis for agent queries.  And I’ve never actually had to do this before.  All the agents in my first round want 1 to 2 pages of synopsis, then a variable number of pages.  I did not like my first attempt at a synopsis, so I did it again and I like that one a little better, but now I’m paralyzed with fear that all the agents in the world will read the synopsis, roll their eyes, and reject it out of hand.  Which is probably silly, but what can I do?  Self doubt is my busiest demon.

Anyway, I’m currently on a ten-minute break from cleaning my office, and my time is about up.  So I’m going to go finish that job, and then come back to getting this thing ready for submission.  The sooner I do it, the sooner the rejections will come, right?


Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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