One thing I loathe writing, to the point of psychopathy, is the book synopsis. Theoretically, this is the most powerful weapon in a writer’s arsenal, a core part of the pitch. It tells the story of the plot, in sufficient detail from start to finish that the publisher knows what the book’s about, including key twists and the finale. Usually, it’s a page or two long, but if it excites the editor reading it, you’re halfway to a sale (the other half, of course, is having a decent novel to start with).
And bloody hell, they’re hard. Distilling the novel to such trivial brevity is a nightmare. What do you keep? What do you throw away? How do you describe it in such a way that there’s still some weight to it, some power? I’m rubbish at them, although I’ve just done another one, and tossed it at an unsuspecting publisher.
At the moment, I have too many novels at home, and not enough trying to batter through slush piles. I realised the other day, starting my fourth novel, that I need to go back and address books two and three first. Thy Fearful Symmetry still needs a good home, hence today’s synopsis. Craven Place needs a thorough redraft, which is my next task. I think it’s nearly to the point where a publisher could reasonably consider it, and I have to hold myself back from the new novel long enough to get things in motion.
Yet the new novel calls, and I hate leaving it cooling when I should be embracing the heat of the moment. All the more reason to get Symmetry and Craven on the move quick smart.