Friday, February 13, 2009

Synopsis writing!

My biggest block wall I've hit so far is called a synopsis! I started out writing a small paragraph summarizing each chapter in the most boring writing ever!! I recently took a workshop by romance writer Cathy McDavid about taglines, thumbnail sketches, and synopsis. The following definitions and explanations are what Cathy said (to the best of my memory, sorry if I mixed something up!).

Tagline is a high concept single line about your story. This line should contain the external conflict. We used Cinderella as our example: What if...a young peasant girl wants to attend the ball but she can't because she has nothing.

Thumbnail sketch builds from the tagline adding the heros general main conflict and black moment of the story. This is usually a paragraph.

Basic elements of writing a synopsis:
Set up/Overall premise
Main Characters goal
Black moment

One thing she talked about was using power words. These are words that convey lots of visual and emotional impact. Play around with your sentences looking for the best emotional reaction with the least amount of words. She also said to use the same tone in your synopsis that you use in your book. I'm really excited about trying out her method! To learn more about Cathy McDavid go to

Now for the exercise...write the most exciting tagline you can think of for your story. Play with the words, use power words, and have fun with it! Add your tagline to the comments. I will add mine later, the kids don't have school today and they are driving me crazy so we are leaving the house for a little while!! LOL! Can't wait to hear how exciting your stories are!!


  1. Here's my current tagline:

    Can an enchantress forgive those who killed her mother, in order to save herself?

  2. Pride & Popularity= Taylor Anderson is an annoying self-possessed guy, who is determined to make Chloe the president of his fan club!

    Persuaded= Weathly Gregory Wentworth is back, hotter than ever, and out to make Amanda pay for flinging him aside three years earlier--without falling for her this time.

    Emmalee= Emmalee Bradford is rich, beautiful and the most popular girl in her school, so why does the older Chase Anderson feel like he has to bring her down a peg or two every time he sees her?

    Mansfield Ranch= Lilly Price must choose between Sean Benally, the unavailable love of her life--or the wildly flirtatious Harrison Crawford, who promises to be available forever.

    The Northanger Affect= Thanks to her obsession with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series--if there is anyone who would know a vampire when she saw one, it's Claire; and she's positive totally hot Tony Russo is a vampire, she just has to prove it!

    BFF Notebook= Both Abigail and Riley are getting secret admirer notes, but who are they from? The two really cute guys they have crushes on, the two guys they despise most in the world, or is it all a mean prank set up by Ashley Silverman to ruin their eighth grade year?

    Prince Tennyson= When ten year old Chelsea's dad died in Iraq the year before, she thought her life was over, but now--thanks to her grandma--she's determined to prove once and for all, if God is real.

    LOL! Okay, so those are all my tags so far! At least I think I got them all.


  3. Wow Feywriter, that sounds like a very interesting book! Jenni...Holy Cow! I didn't expect you to write one for EVERY book you wrote this year!! LOL!! Ok here's mine:

    After the untimely death of her grandmother; Mikayla recieves a sword at a Renassaince Festival that transports to a Dream World every night where she learns that she is in grave danger from dark warriors that want to use her for their own dark purposes.

  4. This is really tough for me and something I definitely need to work on. Here's one attempt

    Radiant-- When Andi's only living realative dies suddenly, she makes a spur of the moment decision to run away from her bleak future at a group home and healong toward her unknow past. What she doesn't realize is that she's never alone, and hasn't been since the day she was born.

    Okay so that's two sentences and I need to cut it down, but it's a start, right?

  5. Oracle - When her world turns upside down, can Lexi accept the abilities she has been striving to conceal her entire life--in time to save what's left of her family from the enemy who murdered her parents?

    Sorry I'm late... life has been insane this weekend



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