Writing is a lonely, difficult, thankless task. Your brain fills up with words (when you are lucky) and you spew them on to the page. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but they come.
And then, when you are finished, or the words stop coming, the self-doubt begins. I’ll save that horror for another time.
After all of that, and after you think you are ready to submit to an agent or an editor, you have to write a query letter and a synopsis.
Unlike writing, which most of us are taught how to do in school, the query letter and synopsis are strange, alien creatures, unfamiliar to the new writer. Nothing I’ve written before prepared me for writing them, and it’s difficult to track down resources that show exactly how to write the darn things.
You can hand a manuscript to a friend and get feedback on it from them (good or otherwise). But unless you hang with published authors, you probably can’t get much feedback on your ql or syn.
“What is your novel about?” is a question writers are often asked, typically by people who are looking for a pat, one sentence answer. But you’ve just bled and burned to crank out 350 pages… how do you distill that into one sentence? Synopses are not as bad, they are typically two pages, but they still require a level of condensation few are trained for and even fewer like.
Still, it is not all hopeless. I found some great links in Katie Bowden’s blog about writing a synopsis. For my own sanity, I’m going to list a few here so I can be sure to find them again later. Thanks Katie!