Monday, April 4, 2011

Writing Synopses: How hard can it be?

Hi, folks!

I've been working on polishing and editing and writing synopses lately. For weeks... Actually, when I think back, it's been months! My publisher has decided to try to catch up with me, and we're going to put out 3-4 books per year for the next few until we get all of the books out of the queue and I can write fresh for every release. That means lots of synopses. And not just one per book.

We do 3-4 versions of the synopsis for each book. Often they range from loglines (a one or two sentence short blurb), 50 words, 150 words, to 250 words. We also produce slightly longer treatments for the Hollywood crowd, but these include what folks call the "plot spoilers," or the secrets that will be revealed at the end of the mysteries.

I always found writing a one page synopsis tough. But the loglines are brutal!

This week I happily gave my Sunday slot up to Sonya Bateman, our dear former member of MB4. Next Sunday I'll write an article to share how I came up with a few of them, and show you what I cut out of the long ones, and how I choose which themes on which to focus, etc. It really is a learning experience!

Today I thought I'd share a nice synopsis provided by Marci Baun for one of her authors. Marci runs Wild Child Publishing and has a great crop of authors out there. See what you think?


Deputy Karen O'Neil is a California girl, shedding the abusive husband who'd ripped her from a sun-drenched, stimulating life as a San Diego cop to isolation in rural Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Talented, attractive, and cut off from everything she wants, her rock-bottom self-esteem lunges at the mysterious airplane crash as though a life line, a chance to escape the doldrums of perceived failure in every other aspect of her life.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Adam Phlatt has his own issues. His career is going nowhere. His love life smolders in ruin after he horribly misplayed his heart, something he swears he'll avoid forever. The accident investigation is a no brainer, a simple case of too much airplane and not enough pilot. The easy inquiry over, he plans his return to Chicago and the safety of his own loneliness, yet he somehow entangles himself with Deputy O'Neil's complex personality.

Karen refuses to let go of the case, or of Adam. When she discovers the pilot's life is a lie, it's a whole new ball game. Thrust from one perplexing clue to the next, they tumble headlong onto a group of criminals, intent on protecting a lucrative shadow business with violence, if necessary.

Karen and Adam face an impossible confrontation, even as hope triumphs over experience, and they fall in love. Their first intimate encounter as lovers is interrupted by the disappearance of a friend under sinister circumstances.

A killer targets Karen, and Adam must regain what he once was--a man tough enough to save the woman he loves.

Her attention focused on a smoking hole containing the remains of a wrecked airplane and its equally wrecked pilot, will Karen O'Neil notice salvation walking up behind her?

I think this was very well done and quite intriguing. What do you think?

Have a wonderful week, and remember to take pleasure in the little things, and if you love to write....write like the wind!!!

                                                                                                                     -  Aaron Paul Lazar

P.S. Here's the link if you're interested in taking a further look at the book described above,  OUT OF IDEAS by James Greer, released by Wild Child Publishing in February 2011.


Charmaine Clancy said...

Very intriguing! I look forward to reading your post on how you came up with your synopsis'. :)

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks for stopping by, Charmaine! See you Sunday. ;o)

Marci Baun said...

Thanks, Aaron. The book is as good (or even better than) the blurb. James has a short story titled A Parasol in a Hurricane with the same heroine. It's fabulous! Not that I am biased. ;)

Marta Stephens said...

I'm not sure which I dislike writing more, the synopsis or the query letter. I rely on my chapter outlines as the backbone of the synopsis, so I guess writing the query is worse.

Bikecopblog said...

Thanks to Aaron and to Marci for choosing my blurb. Thanks, too, for the kind comments.

Marci Baun said...

I'm so glad I don't have to write them, Marta. (g)

Well, Jim, it seems appropriate for a blog titled "Murder by 4." (g)