Oh, Snap! No Synopsis

Greetings lovely reader!

I’ve been building a query letter and putting the finishing touches on my novel for several weeks. Wow! What a challenge. Here I was, all excited to have my revisions completed and ready to query agents. It was all downhill toward the gravy train of publication.


I wrote a query letter. And another. And then another. Still it wasn’t correct. One letter should be easy, right? I mean, two paragraphs that sum up the book in a tight, exciting package.

Ah, NO. Not easy at all.

However, I learned something very valuable in the process. Writing a novel is hard work. Sweet, immersive pain. Capturing the story is the easy part. Refining it for clarity is more difficult. Shrinking it into two paragraphs is tough – especially words designed to capture the attention of an agent.

I did it, though. After three weeks of intense concentration and refinement, I completed a set of paragraphs I’m proud to say should sell my story. Finally finished, I pulled up my list of potential agents and then…


Ah, Christ! I’d completely forgotten about that. I had an outline, but it was pre-book – written before I began the novel. Now, I had to go back and summarize the entire book into two pages or less. Needless to say, I had a mountain of work to complete. With the submissions no longer ready, my excitement drained into the gutter like oily rainwater sliding from an asphalt parking lot.

However, I moved beyond and lifted my joy right back where it needed to be. My synopsis is almost done and then, if the Fates allow, I’ll be ready for submission. So, if there was one thing I’d offer that might help you on your own writing adventure, it would be this:


Rewrite your outline immediately after completing your first draft. 2-3 sentences for each chapter of your book. (I didn’t, by the way)

For my next novel, (yes, there will be more) I will do this. It shows where the plot holes are, what needs to be revised and how the story can be enhanced. THEN, when you’re finished, you’ll be well ahead of the game when it comes to writing a synopsis. It makes it easier, makes it more fun and you can take what’s most important and add the required emotions.

So there you have it, writing fans! I hope these thoughts will keep you from the gutter, soaking your faded glory in the dark depths of a rum bottle.

Fair Winds and Following Seas, my lovely readers, Wherever Your Horizons beckon!

Stephen R. Gann


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  1. #1 by Susan on May 19, 2016 - 9:11 am

    Love you lots! So impressed with your due diligence and staying power. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to read the novel. You will sign it for me won’t you?

    • #2 by Stephen R. Gann on May 19, 2016 - 10:49 am

      Hello Susan! Thank you so very much. It’s been an amazing adventure, and worth every step. I appreciate your kind words and amazing support. I will most certainly sign it for you, my dear!

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