Thursday, January 30, 2014

Synopsis Critique Seminars

Over the last few months I've seen a lot of writers freaking out over synopsis writing. Synopsis feel so unnatural to us as writers, even more unnatural than queries. Writers complain about everything from them feeling flat, to not being able to boil their story down to one page, to them being their own personal circle of hell.

I get it. Synopsis suck! They're hard. I have a love/hate relationship with them myself. And while not every agent asks for them, many do, and I know it makes writers cringe.

So here's what I'm proposing. If you send me your synopsis, I will consider critiquing. I'll help you whittle it down to the necessary components and help you draw out what is missing and confusing. I'll give my honest feedback on it.

But I also want this to be a learning experience for other writers. There's a lot of advice out there about queries and even blogged critiques for them but not much in terms of posted synopsis critiques. So I'd like to post about half of people's critiqued synopsis on my blog semi periodically so others can learn from them and have examples. I wont post the whole thing because *SPOILERS*, but I'd like to use a portion.

I can't promise I will get to everyone's, but if I do critique yours, you will get a full critique emailed back to you. In addition, I will post a portion of your synopsis critique on my blog so others can have examples. If you specify a cutoff point I will adhere to that. I don't want your most important twists spoiled, but I'd ideally like to post a few paragraphs as a learning experience.

Do's and Dont's
  • Do send your most polished version of your synopsis.
  • Do have it critiqued by others both before and after this if possible.
  • Do have it critiqued by people who have and have not read your story.
  • Don't send me a five plus pages of a synopsis and expect me to help you get it down to one page. I have a magical editing axe, but I am not a magician. I will put my best foot forward.
  • Don't send it to me if you don't want any portion of your work posted. This is a give and take. I give you a critique, in return, you allow me to post some of the critique so it can help others.
  • Do include a cutoff point if you are worried about spoilers being revealed to the world (otherwise I will arbitrarily pick a halfway point or cut it off after a few paragraphs).
  • Do be polite. I am doing this in my free time, for free. I don't have to do this, so please respect me and my time.
  • Do be patient. This is a process and it will take me a while.
  • Do realize that I probably wont get to everyone. I'm sorry but that is the reality of the situation. I'm only one person.
  • Do realize I'm not perfect, I make mistakes. And as much as I hate to admit I don't know everything.
  • Do not send more than one synopsis. This is a one per person thing. If I have time I might accept from people I've critiqued before, but I'm not making any guarantees.
  • Do realize this is one person's opinion. Critiques are highly subjective. Feel free to use what works for you and ditch the rest.
This is a synopsis critique NOT a query critique. There is a difference. For tips and tricks to help with synopsis writing check out my post here.

I will accept synopsis in any genre/age group except erotic, I'd like to keep things relatively PG on my blog. That said, my specialties are YA and MG particularly in the genres of Sci Fi, Fantasy, paranormal, and adventure.

Are you still with me?

If you are interested in a possible critique, AND you wouldn't mind having about half your synopsis posted on my blog for critique then please paste your synopsis into the BODY of an email and send it to: synopsiscritique [at] hotmail [dot] com. (remember to actually put the @ and dot in, I posted this way to avoid spam) I will not open unknown attachments.

Questions? Sound off below.

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