If Elevator Pitch and Query don’t get me, Synopsis will!

My manuscript is now in a friend’s hands with instructions to be brutal with her comments.   I can’t rest though, because I still have to tackle the synopsis.  To me, the synopsis is even worse than the elevator pitch and query (unfortunately none of them are easy for me).  My first drafts all read like play by plays (this happened, and then this happened next); soooo boring to read.  Not all agents ask for a synopsis initially, but I still want to have it done before I query in case it’s requested…because I want someone to be interested enough to ask for it 😉

Just for fun, I thought I’d share the first paragraph of my first mystery novel.  It doesn’t give anything away (because I’m paranoid, you know).  What are your thoughts:  boring? entertaining? dumb?  Be honest; I can take it!

  “It’s another scorcher!”  That’s how the local meteorologists described the day, and most other June days, in Phoenix, Arizona.  On the evening news, three days on the 7-day forecast even included a graphic of flames.  Marissa Jenkins knew one other place associated with flames and wondered if it implied that Phoenix was Hell on Earth; it made for an interesting tourism slogan.  If next week’s weather forecast featured a pitchfork, she’d know for sure.

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6 thoughts on “If Elevator Pitch and Query don’t get me, Synopsis will!

  1. milkfever May 30, 2010 / 5:51 PM

    Oh, the dreaded synopsis. What a challenge. I like what you’ve done with the one above though. Keep re-working it over and over. I think mine took a few goes to get it right.
    If it’s any help I can email you mine, if you like. It’s short and sweet but seemed to work for me. 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2010 / 8:24 PM

      How long was your synopsis? I’ve read they can be up to 3-5 pages, but some agents like shorter (1-2 pages). I planned on shooting for under 2 pages…

      If you don’t mind sharing, I’d love to take you up on that offer. Thanks for visiting my blog and offering you’re support…I appreciate any help I can get 🙂

  2. chlost May 30, 2010 / 8:36 PM

    The first paragraph sounds intriguing. I am assuming it is set in Phoenix! With the Phoenix rising from the flames? Best wishes on your next steps.

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2010 / 9:24 PM

      Chlost- thanks for commenting and the well wishes! It is set in Phoenix, AZ during June and July – two of the best months to visit Arizona. NOT!!!

  3. Lua May 31, 2010 / 12:23 AM

    Congratulations on finishing your book, that’s a huge step!! And I know what you mean by writing the synopsis- it really does feel harder than writing the whole first draft, doesn’t it? 🙂
    I really liked the first paragraph; I like how you used the flames and hell as a metaphor for Phoenix. It’s witty and I like the voice… I’d definitely want to read more! Good luck 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 31, 2010 / 9:04 AM

      Lua- thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It sounds like I’m in good company with the synopsis. I’m glad you liked the first paragraph; I wasn’t sure how it would strike others, but you’re response is encouraging. Thanks!

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