February 15th, 2007
A Crafty Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Elements of Synopsis Writing

1. Be a sexy hooker. Find a line that’s intriguing, or humorous, something that immediately grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on.

2. One paragraph describing the internal conflict for the heroine or hero — usually the protagonist comes first. In romance the story is about two main characters, but you still have a protagonist. In my books, that’s generally the heroine. It’s mostly her journey.

3. One paragraph describing the internal conflict for the other main character. Ideally, the internal conflicts of both the h/h should dovetail and grate against each other. (For example, in Blood of an Angel the heroine has a special grievance against vampires and, as luck would have it, the hero is a vampire.) In these two paragraphs explain why this is the worst possible match for both characters.

4. A paragraph describing the external conflict. This is whatever external circumstances are bringing and keeping the h/h together long enough for them to fall in love. The external conflict, ideally, should magnify the internal conflicts.

5. The inciting incident. This is whatever happens that pulls the protagonist and/or main character from his/her ordinary circumstances into the external conflict.

6. Alliance. The characters decide to overlook their differences and work together to resolve a situation, the external conflict.

7. “Holy crap, I’m attracted to you.” First intimacy occurs. The heroine and hero discover they’re attracted to each other on whatever level — sexual, emotional, both.

8. “What the hell was I thinking?” When the brief interlude ends and the h/h remember all their fears and internal conflicts

9. The external conflict draws the h/h back together. They must work together to resolve the situation, no matter how they might feel about each other. Of course, they’re still attracted to each other. They’re falling in love despite the odds.

10. The black moment. Just when you think everything might turn all right, disaster strikes. This could be a result of the external conflict coming to a head, the internal conflict coming to a head, or both.

11. Resolution. When all conflicts are resolved and the h/h find their Happily Ever After (this is must in the romance genre).

12. Make sure you: Show the first meeting between the h/h, show their first kiss, include the loves scenes (esp impt for erotic romance).

13. Make sure you don’t: Write a synopsis that reads likes a textbook, leave out the ending or try to hook the editor at the end, or overcomplicate things.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Shiloh Walker

2. Rhian

3. Vixenwriter – Lauren Dane

4. Annie

5. Joely

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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6 comments to “A Crafty Thursday Thirteen”

  1. I’m gonna hire you to write my synopsis for me. ;o)

  2. This is great. You had me at opening line “Be a Sexy Hooker” though. Heh!
    I also love the “Holy crap – I’m attracted to you.”

  3. Shi — I hate writing synopses with the fire of a thousand suns. *g*

    Rhian — Glad you liked it! πŸ™‚

  4. I’m not a writer, but an avid reader. Though you also had me at “Be a Sexy Hooker”. πŸ™‚ From all the writer blogs I read, I understand a synopsis can be difficult to write. Sounds like you have a great formula!

    Happy TT and thanks for stopping by mine!

  5. I’ll be bookmarking this one–I need all the help with a synopsis that I can get! Happy TT.

  6. Awesome TT–I’m totally gonna C&P this into my notes and have it handy when I write another synopsis. Thanks!!!

    And thanks for stopping by my blog too!