Monday, October 4, 2010

Synopsisizing, Summarizing and Other Forms of Literary Torture.

And when I say torture I mean it.

During the next month I have to create 2 synopsizes of novels. My novel. The same one. One synopsis is 2,000-3,000 words, has all sorts of special content requirements, and is part of my final project (and the decider of my final grade and therefore must be exceptional) for school. The other, slightly shorter/slightly different, is a modified version of the first, to be sent out in a submission package to a certain literary agency owned by a man named Barry Goldblatt (I could give more details, but all you really need to know is that I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to work with his agency in the publishing of my young adult fantasy novel. Too many reasons to even list right now. I'm really excited, and also quite scared. Obtaining an agent as a new author is a daunting and maybe even impossible task. But God is on my side and I am going to try it anyway. Therefore this synopsis must also be exceptional.). The big one is due November 11th. The smaller is being sent out shortly thereafter.

This week I, in preparation for writing said synopsizes, am creating a chapter by chapter summary of my book. A book which is roughly 320 pages. With a lot of chapters. I began on Friday and I hit the half way point just moments ago. So far that is 10 pages. Once that is all layed out I have to go through, decide what is crucial to the main character's identity and the plot and then form it into a (beautiful, wonderful, 'A' getting, agent-awing) synopsis, which must be accompanied by an equally as moving query letter. All in the next month.

Holy lots to do, Batman! *BIG, DEEP BREATH.*

Trying to create a summation of what I wrote is...really hard. I don't even have a metaphor for it, that is just how hard it is. I have a writer friend who compares writing a novel to "rowing a bathtub across the Atlantic" I think that then turning that novel/bathtub vessel into synopsis is like...rowing back across in a coffee filter with a Q-tip as an oar. Using only one arm. With a blindfold on. Kinda... Maybe I exaggerated a little and my metaphor got out of control, but basically I am trying to communicate to you that IT IS HARD! You thought writing the full-length novel was rough, and then they want you to dissect it down to the bare minimum, but still cover all the important stuff, all the while impressing them?! I went through all the trouble to put all those words on paper. 320 pages of paper. And now the publishing/educational world wants me to shrink it down to somewhere between 2 and 10 pages? Yup, like I said, very hard. Torturous even.

All that being said, blog posting will be minimal as I focus on finishing school/sending my novel out into the big, bad world.

In closing, let me leave you with this quote that has been running through my head for the past couple of days, from two of my all-time favorite characters from my most favorite movie:

"Let me 'splain. [pause] No, there is too much. Let me sum up........"-Inigo Montoya
"That doesn't leave much time for dilly-dallying."- Westley

Yes, that is QUITE how I feel right now. Summing up with out dilly-dallying is my new hobby. But not exactly by choice...

Pray for me. Please.


Shelley Ann said...

that sounds super challenging (i like your metaphor by the way)!

good luck to you!

Abbey said...

Good luck with those deadlines! Thanks for the comment :)

Sydney, The Rabbit-Hearted Girl said...

that sounds like a lot of work, but i'm sure you'll pull it all off perfectly! good luck, girl! :)


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