The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

What is it about a synopsis?

So... In order to submit book length manuscripts to agents and publishers more often than not you need to supply a synopsis of the story.  The synopsis needs to run through all of the major threads of the story so that whoever ends up reviewing your submission will quickly know the gist of the tale and know whether it is the sort of thing they will want to develop or represent.

A synopsis shouldn't be that daunting.  For Gerry - my children's story about an orphaned giant - a synopsis is a straightforward affair because all of the action follows Gerry.  From the mountain top beginning to the reunion at the end, Gerry is the character we follow around.  With The Edgeling (formerly titled Loremaster) things are a little more complex.

You would think that having written the damn book, the synopsis would be easy.  Not so.

In The Edgeling there are eight major characters and the flow of the story goes from one character to the next as they all scramble off in varying directions.  Layer onto that a politically complex world and a smattering of racial bigotry, a Cain and Able sub-story, a resurrection and a gypsy-like band of travelling folk and a synopsis begins to get daunting.

At 502 revised pages and just over 163,000 words, The Edgeling is a long story.  Attempting to give a fair synopsis in the standard 5-10 page treatment is asking a lot.  Because of the novel's length and complexity, I'm afraid the synopsis may run as long as 15 pages which may in itself be a reason for an agent or publisher to reject the manuscript without reading a single word of the actual text. I am therefore trying to be brief, but it is difficult.

To compound the problem - the weather has been terrific.  Sunny days with mild temperatures have me wanting to be anywhere BUT the basement writing the synopsis.  The last few days I've brought the laptop into the front porch to take advantage of the sunshine and still work on the synopsis.  That's the plan, anyway.

Because I don't really want to write the synopsis, I am find a thousand little things to do other that get the damn thing typed and polished.  Things like dishes, laundry, yard clean up, winterizing the carport and ...well...updating this blog...

Okay - enough  - back to it.