This post originally appeared at the Erotica Readers & Writers Association blog.
Ahh… the dreaded sucknopsis. Otherwise known as the synopsis. I’m sure many of the writers reading this post are already groaning or resembling the man in the photo at the mere mention of the word, and I don’t blame them.
A necessary evil, the synopsis is basically one big fat spoiler of your work. Describing your tale from beginning to end, including any plot twists, surprises and things to make your readers gasp. I hate writing them. There are several reasons for this. One, because of the spoiler aspect. I know that a synopsis is not something ever intended for a reader to see – otherwise what would be the point of them reading your book? They already know what’s going to happen. No, these are aimed at publishers who may potentially publish your work – they want to know that your work has a plot, a point, a beginning, a middle and an end, and so on. And they’re absolutely right. They don’t want to end up contracting something that’s crap. But it feels so wrong to me to write something down that’s saying what’s going to happen, especially since, for the most part, a synopsis is written before the actual story.
And, following on from that, often with my work I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen until I start writing. Even if I’ve done character profiles, chapter by chapter planning, etc, my creative brain often throws things in at the last minute, literally flowing from brain to fingers to keyboard, which may alter what happens next, throwing me off the line of the synopsis. Mostly, it’s a change for the better, too, so it makes sense to go along with it.
Also, writing a synopsis for something, especially if you haven’t written the book yet can make you lose all enthusiasm for the work. You’ve written four pages on exactly what’s going to happen, ending and all, and now you’re bleurgh about writing the thing. Hence the term sucknopsis – which I didn’t coin, by the way. It’s been around for a long time, and it’s easy to see why 😉
So, how do you feel about writing a synopsis? We’re all different, so maybe there are some of you out there that actually like writing them. Speak up!
Me… nah! Give me a blurb any day. Let me tease you, taunt you, and, above all, not give the plot and any surprises away! I want to make you gasp… in the best possible way 😉
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor forCliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more athttp://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9