Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Progress on synopsis

with 2 comments

I have been left to my own devices for two whole days, read through my manuscript and the fourth draft of Pippa is complete. My initial thoughts on starting to re-read were, ‘Why did I think I could write?’ followed by, ‘This is going to take forever,” as I re-ordered four chapters. However, it is done and today was the day to write the synopsis.

When asked, ‘What’s it about?’ I have been able to sum up my story in a couple of lines – it’s about a woman dying of ovarian cancer; her plans, her fears and resolve; the reactions of her friends and family; and how they live the last year of her life together. On reading about how to write a synopsis, many sources suggest summarising each chapter and cutting and cutting until the story can be summarised on one side of A4. I tried that approach but, with 19 chapters alternated with at least one email from my main character, that’s 38-bits of action to record without introducing who everyone is, where they live and so on. After an hour and a half my head was hurting.

Thankfully I had made two previous attempts at writing a synopsis. In August I covered one side of A4 and had only reached the end of chapter two. In October, I scribbled a couple of summary paragraphs. These each contained a sentence or two of insight that I have been able to copy into my final version. Three and a half hours after starting I had one and a half sides of A4.

As a synopsis is supposed to mirror the language and style of the book, I have clumped chapters roughly into seasons and alternated the events described in each of these chunks with the period Pippa covers in her emails. The first draft of the synopsis is complete. Now I leave it to rest for a while. At the moment it is very much ‘tell’ and I don’t feel it ‘shows’ my story in its best light. I’ll work on that later because now it’s time to move on to the covering letter…


Written by Sarah Ann

December 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Oh hun it’s exciting but scary isn’t it? I remember going through this packaging the first 5 chapters, cover letter, synopsis, what market would be interested, what else is out there that is similar. All daunting I wish you luck, you are covering your bases. ..I am sure that this will be accepted and you will be on your way. Just keep a spare seat in your Lear jet for me will ‘ya xxx


    December 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    • There’s a row with your name on it! Thanks for all the support. I am feeling positive. I am going to succeed… and when I don’t I’ll just brush myself down and carry on. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      December 16, 2013 at 11:13 am

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