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Synopsis Hell

If I can just get this blasted synopsis written, then The Bloodgate Codex is ready and waiting to go out and face the cold, cruel world once more.  I’ve never enjoyed the synopsis, but this one is proving harder than usual.

Maybe because I’m still iffy in my head about what genre this story actually is.  You would laugh, seriously.  I set out to write an Urban Fantasy. Nope, didn’t make it.  Since I’ve gotten rather tired of the kick-ass heroine, vamp, werewolf triangle–or some permutation there in with demons, witches, whatever–I tried to change it more for my personal reading taste–and ended up a long ways from UF.

So then I started calling this story a Paranormal Romance.  Nope, BGC ends on a cliffhanger, and although it’s a very romantic, heart-wrenching act, it is not “happily ever after.”  Plus, the book just isn’t as steamy as what I typically write.  Only one big O scene, if you know what I mean, and only after at least 250 pages.  [I think all will eventually end well, never fear; it just won’t happen in this book.  I’m too much of a sap not to give the good guys a happy ending.  Eventually.]

So then I thought, what the hell did I write?  Contemporary Fantasy? It’s strong  in fantasy, yes.  Tons of Maya mythology.  But it doesn’t exactly feel like a fantasy.  It sort of feels like Science Fiction (the original inspiration was Stargate), but it’s definitely MAGIC that powers the world, not SCIENCE.

May suggested Thriller.  *I always hear Michael Jackson’s Thriller when I type that*  I was like, huh?  Seriously?  Yeah, I balked, until she reminded me of some of the Preston/Childs books I’d read and enjoyed.  I could see some similarities there.  So I punted and agreed.  However, I didn’t think about “suspense” so much when I wrote the book, so that required another revision pass to try and make it as tense and thriller-like as possible.

It’s got a rather large cast, three major plot lines not counting the romantic thread, lots of bad guys, and even Melville references.  [I’m sure I’ll take a hit on that one but he’s not a professor this time!  No Shakespeare.] The plot stretches across Texas, Guatemala, and the Yucatan.  Ironically, it’s all in the same time zone.  (You laugh, but I had it in my silly little head that surely Guatemala was in a different time zone than Dallas, TX.  Nope.)

Because this really isn’t a romance, my normal synopsis methodology isn’t working for me.  I can’t describe one plot line without bringing in the other two threads, which means introducing those POV characters, which complicates everything exponentially.  It’s so much easier in a romance to introduce the heroine/hero and maybe the antagonist and that’s it!  I can’t even easily introduce the antagonist because there are so many LAYERS of bad guys.  Let me count:  1 cursed warrior with no heart, 2 betrayers, 3 demons loose,  more demons trapped in hell and dying to get out, one crazy cancer patient, and his wealthy powerful friend determined to save him at any cost.  Did I miss anybody?

Crazy, I know, complicated, messy and yet…..I found myself reading it eagerly last night, savoring the twists and complexities.  I haven’t written anything quite like it before.  Which I know is bad in a whole different way, but this book PUSHED me.  In a good way.  I have the spreadsheets and diagrams to prove it.  :shock:

So I’m trying a new synopsis method outlined here, only I think I’ll have to introduce the two other POV characters and highlight their plot threads too, or the final resolution makes no sense whatsoever.  Yes, this calls for index cards, colored pens, and maybe Post-It Notes.  Be very afraid.

4 thoughts on “Synopsis Hell

  1. “be very afraid” :mrgreen: that made me laugh, don’t know why… your count of bad guys also made me giggle because my brain started humming along to “a partridge in a pear tree” as i was reading it… it has been a rather strange day… 🙄

    anyway, good luck! i know you can do this. you might pull a lot of hair in the process, but you’ll get there!

  2. I hate synopses. Ugh. They don’t ever get any easier, in my opinion. *cries*

  3. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with visions of and a partridge in a pear tree during your list o’badguys. I’ll be afraid, but I’ll also read anything you need me to, when you’re ready. :mrgreen:

  4. 😆 Bethanie, you kill me.

    Sorry haven’t been around to cheer much Joely. Synopses hurt my head just thinking about them and I’ve never even tried one yet. Ugh. You’ll get it though! Just keep at it.

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