Synopsis Writing. Otherwise known as, Please Kill Me Now!



If you've never had to write one, you do not know the pure hell it is to try and distill your 60+k baby into a 100 to 200 word synopsis, taking into account the fact that you don’t want to give too much or too little detail.

You don’t want to spoil the plot, but you want to make sure your readers know who the important people are and what struggles they face.

You need to make sure that there is a great tag/log line that readers can latch onto. Something catchy and instantly engaging.

It sounds easy.  I mean, it’s only 200 words, right? Wrong. Those 200 words have to be so carefully chosen. You will write and re-write. Think you have perfection, then re-read it and instantly hate it. 

You’ll ask your writer friends and they will rip your 200 words to shreds and send you back to the drawing board. If they are good friends, at least. They want you to be your best, so they will be hard on you. That’s a good thing.

And that is the hell I am in right now. So, I’m going to let you decide. Here’s an example of how different a synopsis for the same book can look. You tell me which one is better and I’ll use that one.

#1
The great cataclysm wiped almost all life from the face of planet Earth, but tiny pockets of survivors crawled from the ashes, with only one thought: survival, at any cost.
But not all survivors were human.

In the dark, militant society that has risen in the aftermath, vampires, once thought to be mythical, have been assimilated and enslaved. Used for blood sport their lives are allowed to continue only for the entertainment of the masses. Reviled as savages, they are destined to serve out their immortal lives in the arena, as gladiators.

And there is no greater gladiator than Mira: undefeated, uncompromising...and seemingly unbreakable. When an escape attempt leads Mira into the path of Lucian Stavros, the city’s Regent, her destiny is changed forever.

Lucian, raised in a culture which both reviles and celebrates the savagery and inhumanity of vampires, finds Mira as intriguing as she is brash. An impulsive decision - to become Mira’s patron – changes more than just Lucian’s perception about vampire kind. The course of his life is altered in ways he could never have predicted – a life that is suddenly as expendable as hers.

Can Mira prove to Lucian that all is not as it seems? Can Lucian escape centuries of lies, bloodshed, and propaganda to see the truth? Or will the supreme power of the human overlords destroy them both?

 #2
When the world as we know it ends, the real monsters are revealed. In this new world weaknesses will end you, playing fair could kill you, and trusting anyone is simply not an option.


Mira is survivor, at all costs. A vampire imprisoned by humans and forced to fight gladiator style in arena for her masters, she struggles daily with the dream of one day escaping and finding her freedom. But, after thirty years of servitude behind the Iron Gate, She never thought a human just might be her saving grace.

Comments

Katie Salidas said…
#3

When the world as we know it ends, the real monsters are revealed. In this new world weaknesses will end you, playing fair could kill you, and trusting anyone is simply not an option.
Mira is a survivor. At any cost. A vampire imprisoned by a brutal human regime and forced by her capricious masters to battle her own kind in the gladiatorial arena. Every life she ends takes her further from her dream. Escape. Freedom.
Peace.
But after thirty years of servitude behind the Iron Gate, finally she has a chance to break free. And it comes from the source she least expected.
A human.