Shannon Stacey

An Den-difying DG3

So I finished DG3 yesterday. :boogie:

Now I get to write the synopsis so I can ship it off to my editor. They’re at this place an den people shoot at them an den there’s a snowmobile an den the helicopter crashes an den…

Besides paring the story down to what’s most important, the hardest thing about synopses is that they’re written in the present tense. Why? This is not a tense 95% of us or so write in and some of us trip over it constantly while crafting the synopsis, making the entire process seem more torturous than it is. Maybe it’s supposed to take us out of creative mode and into summarization mode, but I find it just puts me in an I’d rather stick myself in the leg with a fork mode.

But I shall persevere. I didn’t work this hard on the book to let it languish on my hard drive awaiting a couple pages of present tense an dens.

5 comments to “An Den-difying DG3”

  1. Kwana
      · April 3rd, 2009 at 10:30 am · Link

    I don’t know why it like this with the synopsis bit it just is. It can put the best of us off for weeks. Bust torture. Good luck.

  2. Charlene
      · April 3rd, 2009 at 10:48 am · Link

    Just had to go read my most recent synopsis to see if it was, in fact, in present tense. (Yes) I don’t think about tense when boiling down the story to basics; I think about journalism. Summary paragraph (in case the rest of column gets axed due to space constraints) followed by more detail on who, what, when, where, how, and why. I swear journalism taught me more than creative writing classes.

  3. Michelle (MG)
      · April 3rd, 2009 at 7:31 pm · Link

    Maybe tell your “editor” that there are people waiting to buy DG3, like yesterday, and she will see reason and not make you write a synopsis. But then, :angie: so maybe not. And I’m truly sorry about that (is there an author among us who likes them? If so, don’t tell me.) But still I’m waiting to buy it. Really. My mouse is just a click away. :thumb:

  4. Jewell
      · April 4th, 2009 at 11:18 am · Link

    Way to go on finishing up, Shannon, and good luck on the syn. I swear those dastardly things were created by the devil. They are soooooooooo necessary for pubs and editors to do their jobs, but dang, cramping a story of 60k-100k down into two pages is pure torture. YIKES!

  5. Karen Templeton
      · April 4th, 2009 at 12:48 pm · Link

    Not sure which is worse — cramming already written story into a few pages (or worse, ONE page :gaah: ), or writing a synopsis for a story as yet untold. For those of us who are NOT pre-plotters to any great (or not-so-great) degree, we’re talking pure hell. :(

    But present tense seems to be the default setting for a lot of story TELLING (as opposed to showing). Something about making it feel more immediate, maybe? Or perhaps because past tense says, “That’s all there is, it’s done”, and present tense says, “There’s more to the story, this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

    Maybe? :shrug:

    But listen to people relating an incident, and you’ll often hear it in present tense.

    “So I go out to get my paper, right? And there’s this chick walking her dog, and she sez to me…”


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