Sunday, April 19, 2009

How to Get Unwordy

If anyone knows, would they tell me, please?

As I blogged earlier, I've been asked to send the complete ms of The Face on Miss Fanny's Wall to the acquisitions editor of a publisher (not the publisher who is bringing out WIPSS). She sent me careful, specific directions for formatting the ms and also asked for a one-page synopsis. How, I ask, can I condense 70K-worth of action into one double-spaced page?

Another writing friend suggested that a synopsis might be single-spaced, which makes sense. So, I made a brave attempt. The first two or three paragraphs are fine. The rest, in my favorite word, STINK! I am still struggling but must get the requested items off soon. I wasn't given a deadline, but I want to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. An acceptance might not be forthcoming, but I would like to feel that I gave the submission my best shot in a timely manner.

As I understand the process, a synopsis is supposed to tell the entire story. How do I tell a story that begins in 1865 and ends over 130 years later in one page? Yes, I'm whining, and yet, I'm also challenged to meet the requirement. The longer synopsis was read, apparently, as well as the three chapters, or else the full ms would not have been requested. They've given me an opportunity---now I need to conform to the parameters of it.

I know what I see as impossible is indeed possible, or someone experienced in editing would not have requested it. Therefore, I have to figure it out!

Of course, if anyone out there has any suggestions---or sympathy---I accept all!


nlindabrit said...

I am so pleased they have asked for the full manuscript! I can see how much of a challenge writing a cogent synopsis is going to be and I wonder if you might get away with a synopsis of the first part of the novel and perhaps an overview of the longer timeline? Best of luck with it and hearty congrats on getting this far!

K9friend said...

When in doubt about something like this I send out the question to writing friends (especially those who have done the deed before) and even look on line or for books that give tips.

Good luck!!