Tuesday, February 20, 2007

synopses crapometer

Some days there seem to be few words of literary craft or reflection that might merit a blog entry. That may be good—as when all free time is suctioned into the present enterprise of creating a science fiction novel, an unusual genré for this writer, but enjoyable, nonetheless. A second draft is coming along reasonably well, but a few thoughts on one of the hard tasks ahead might be worth musing about now. Synopses of stories are difficult to write, even for mainline fiction stories, but a synopsis for a science fiction story could be especially challenging. Lots of ground has been broken for some plot premises, which sci-fi readers might be expected to be familiar with, but any totally new concepts could be hard to get across in a synopsis. After reading online some synopses examples gathered by a literary agent, Ms. Snark, where writers have submitted them expressly for her Crapometer assessment exercise, a certain amount of trepidation now hangs over the anticipated synopsis writing task. Some of the synopses Ms. Snark received were rated good, but one of the sci-fi ones was so easy to lampoon. Lots have been written in craft books about writing synopses, but this was quite a lesson. Check it out.

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