Author Topic: A question of timing in a synopsis  (Read 842 times)

Offline Andrewf

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A question of timing in a synopsis
« on: September 18, 2008, 03:57:21 PM »
Iíve searched the threads, but have not been able to find the answer to this particular question...  :-\


In my story, the backstory will be exposed as the story progresses. With the reader finding out as the protagonist does.

However, in the synopsis, should it be written in chronological order, explaining the backstory first and then on to the main story? Or lay it out in the same sequence as in the story itself?
 ???
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luvwriting

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Re: A question of timing in a synopsis
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2008, 05:51:09 PM »
Quote
However, in the synopsis, should it be written in chronological order, explaining the backstory first and then on to the main story? Or lay it out in the same sequence as in the story itself?

Difficult to say without seeing a sample of your synopsis, but, as a general rule of thumb I would suggest going with the former: the first paragraph of a synopsis is normally general scene setting (backstory) and to introduce the main character. The synopsis is there to show how the MC developes and changes through the course of the novel, and that you have a beginning, a middle, and an end to the plot. Whether the author has, for any reason, written a novel out of sequence is neither here nor there as far as the synopsis is concerned.


luvwriting

Offline Andrewf

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Re: A question of timing in a synopsis
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 04:00:51 AM »
Now that makes sense...  ;D :D


Thanks luvwriting.   :)
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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luvwriting

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Re: A question of timing in a synopsis
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2008, 04:11:57 AM »
As it's a fantasy novel it's worth taking note of this critique from Nathan Bransford.
http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2008/03/triple-query-critique-triple-fun.html
Although it's for a US Query, it still holds true for UK synopses, ie, don't get bogged down in naming all your characters and fantasy places. Only name your main characters, and use simple nouns for the rest, eg, the priest, the torturer, the ex-husband, and don't get bogged down with sub-plots (eg, details of a whole series of quests); just stick to the main plot and how the various trials and tribulations affect your main protagonist:

Quote
I am currently seeking representation for my young adult fantasy, Moonstone.

It begins in medias res with the death of Alitaís love, Brant. Alita is the Eciílam, a young woman who can tap into unlimited magical powers and destroy the whole world if she so wish. She is being chased by the High King, for he is afraid of this power and the havoc that it could wreak on his totalitarian rule. Brant comes into her life when she shows up at his door mortally wounded and being pursued by the High Kingís followers, the Myrmidon. Brant is a HaíNid, a magicmaker who is also being prosecuted by the High King. Through their adventures they both come to drop the guard that they had both wrapped themselves in and allow love into their heart. Now Alita has to fight the High King to regain what has been lost, including her lover.



...Particularly in fantasy, queriers tend to overexplain what things are called in their world. For instance, do we need to know that Alita is called an "Eci'lam" and Brant is called a "Ha'Nid"? Do we need to know the Kings' followers are called the Myrmidon? These descriptions tend to break up the flow, when in fact the more important descriptions involve who these people are and what's unique about this world -- not what they're called.


luvwriting