When all else fails, return to pen and paper.
I sat down over the weekend with my favorite pad of paper — purple legal pad — and my favorite pen. I pulled up the Synopsis Lesson with Dr. Connagher. And I started over from the beginning. Oooh, I thought Conn was a taskmaster in his classroom, but geez, he’s really been a hardass about this synopsis. Even The Rock has been walking around on pins and needles, occasionally sneaking over to stare down at my messy pages to see if I’d written about his character yet. (I haven’t.)
Haven’t seen hide nor hair of Gregar, the smart-mouthed Shadowed Blood. Smart man. I’m sure he’s tucked away nearby, laughing his ass off each time Dr. Connagher loses patience with me and begins cursing in poetry.
After about 20 sheets of scribbles on purple paper, I finally have a somewhat decent beginning. I have the hook, my protagonist’s intro, background, and inciting incident. A decent start.
Where this synopsis is going to get tricky is the “suspense” or “thriller” angle. There’s a TON of plot happening in this story, and it’s crucial that I capture some of that in the synopsis. This isn’t just a Boy Meets Girl kind of story. Demons are running amok, some mad scientists are making things worse, the FBI is on the case, etc. I think what I’m going to do is treat each plot suspense thread sort of like a “love interest.” I’ll write up a paragraph to set up the thread, and then see if I can neatly (hahaha) summarize in between the inciting incident and the resolution.
The nice thing (groans) about writing a synopsis is that it forces me to see the story clearly. I have to define the events and characters very carefully, fine-tuning threads into as few words as possible. Often that makes a puzzle piece slide a little tighter into the big picture. I realized tonight that I’d missed a slight opportunity to up the suspense a bit more once Jaid arrives onsite at Lake Atitlan.
*dies* More revisions. This is becoming the project that never ends!
When Dr. Connagher finds this synopsis satisfactory, I’ll write up a post like I did for the original “Letters” synopsis. I’m sure it’ll be a hoot.