The Dreaded Synopsis


I need help.

My mind is failing me greatly as I attempt to pen a synopsis for a short story I am writing.

In my mind, the synopsis is soooooo important in avoiding the slush pile. I don’t know this for certain, as I am as yet unpublished although I’m working on the theory that a synopsis is equivalent to a personal statement in a CV.

The personal statement is always read first in an effort to find the applications that stand out. After all, if a company receives 100 applications for a single position then it can be safely assumed that they all meet the basic requirements for the job. Hopefully. Just trawling through them is not going to help in selecting the best candidate though is it? It would be soooooo boring trawling through 100 applications that all read the same.

Step forward the personal statement. This is the only piece of your application that allows you to show that you are a human being, and not just another drab looking application among many. If anything is going to help your application stand out then it’s the personal statement.

I think of the synopsis in the same way. I want so much to get it right and to stand out, but I’m drawing a major blank. The words just won’t flow. I sat at my keyboard for four hours yesterday and managed a mere 300 words, 200 of which I deleted. I went to bed with a splitting headache and feeling thoroughly defeated.

Today I am back at work and will be for most of the week. Hopefully this will give me the time I need to sort my head out and get back in the game.

Sit me down and ask me to write a personal statement and I’ll be fine. I have never, ever been refused an interview for a job in which I needed to submit a personal statement. Why then am I finding writing a teeny weeny synopsis so difficult?

Perhaps it’s because, unlike all the jobs I have applied for in the past, I didn’t really mind if I got the job or not. Now, all I can think about is getting this right.

I would genuinely appreciate any thoughts you may have on writing a synopsis. Do you have a particular method? Do you struggle too?

I am sure I’ll get it out sooner or later, but for the moment, consider this a cry for help.

M:-(

2 responses to “The Dreaded Synopsis

  1. OK, synopsis.

    A good way to approach it (for me, anyway) is to start with bullet points.

    * Story starts in Place X with Thing Y in progress. Character Z is doing something.
    * Bad guy W starts creating merry hell.
    * Big fight ensues.
    * Stuff happens afterwards.

    Once you have the flow of your story set up like this, you then go back and pad it out. You may find, as I do, that the bullet points grow as you’re writing them.

    Like

    • Cheers Sarah!

      That makes a lot of sense. I am now making excellent progress.

      I don’t really know what happened but I wasn’t getting anywhere. The more worried I became that I wasn’t achieving anything the harder it became to focus. I felt that if I didn’t get the idea down on paper fast, then it was going to disappear into that mythical idea black hole.

      I have it now though. Its all laid out before me, (In bullet form) and it makes much more sense.

      Thanks again.

      Like

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