Day… #5? 6?: Synopses

I knew it wouldn’t be long before I broke my “one post a day” rule, and it definitely won’t be the last time either. In my defense, my anxiety decided that all that time I spent trying to sleep the last couple of days would be better spent having random adrenaline surges and feeling prickly itching across every inch of my skin. So I’ve been a bit zoned out. Also, sometimes my cat just needs lots of hugs.

Still, I have managed to get some work done. I finished my character sheet and then worked on my first rough synopsis. It is a monstrous 4,000 word behemoth that took ages to write because up until this point I really did have little more than the pitch so I had to come up with an entire actual story, event-for-event, in a day or so. So there was a lot of stopping and starting as my head felt increasingly more like a fried egg. But I just like to think of it as me getting all my writer’s block out of the way before the actual writing process. Quick, clean, and efficient.

My plan is still to begin the actual manuscript on the 8th, so I am more-or-less on schedule. Next on the itinerary is to take that unwieldy monster of a synopsis and streamline it down to a single page. There are a few good reasons for doing this:

  1. In the event that I end up querying some poor agent with this, a single page synopsis is all that most of them will accept.
  2. It further helps you get to grips with your own story if you can summarize the whole thing quickly and cleanly.
  3. If you can’t fit your story in a single page of writing, it’s probably too complicated and needs trimming down.

A lot of people might like at that third point and think “NOW HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE.” I know I certainly have in the past when I was getting through my 3rd year of my writing course. How can you condense an entire novel’s worth of story into a single page without making huge omissions? Turns out, it is indeed possible. It was possible for my first novel after the sixth rewrite or so (god, the first one was such a pain to do in hindsight) after which I finally cut down the characters and locations enough to make it work. My second novel (which I won’t talk about much because I don’t actually like it anymore) was easy enough to synopsize despite being almost twice the length of the first. And my third novel was the shortest one I’ve done so I suppose that’s just cheating.

With any luck, by tomorrow I will have a nice clean synopsis I can post here in its entirety to give you a taste of the utter nonsense I’m going to be working on for the next three weeks. Then if I have time left over before the 8th I’m going to do some drawings of my characters for funsies.

And that’s all I have to report for now. I’m going to go and try to get some proper sleep in the hopes that finishing that synopsis has banished some kind of monster from my head. And for my wife who will no doubt read this: Sorry the last couple of days have been so horrid for you. I almost feel a little silly talking about my daft, shitty anxiety while you’ve been going through something actually hellish. Once all of this is out of the way we’re going to live in a pillow fort and watch the Warcraft movie, like, eight times. I love you.

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