Outline… Synopsis… brain melty bad falling down

You see, this is what you get when you trust the internets for research.

I want to submit my novel to an agent. Agent’s submission page asks for first three chapters & outline.

Problem 1: It’s in scenes, rather than chapters. Grr, but minor Grr. I’ll bundle up chapter sized chunks, pas de probleme.

problem 2: Outline… okay,that’s the longer than synopsis one, right, let’s see what all those helpful writers on the internets say about outline…

They say it should have been writen before you start: to which I say a hearty cobblers.

They say it should break down each scene in terms of conflicts, desired outcome, characters, obstacles, scene resolution, and all sort of other stuff that’s really helpful for writing or re-writing a scene where you don’t know what’s going to happen, but fucking useless, in my eyes, for a publisher or agent to read and see what actually happens, rather than what the author thinks happens.

They say it should be written in a neutral tone.

They say it should be written in the same tone as the book.

IN fact, no two sources say the same thing.

Now, anybody out there who’s done this before, or is a publisher or agent, or whatever… what the shimmering frell would be wrong with outline being, plainly, scene by scene, capsule version of each scene.

And, while I’m here, anybody got gossip on good / bad agents / publishers for The Gimp? Mail to pete dot darby at gmail dot com if you’d rather not publically comment.

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One thought on “Outline… Synopsis… brain melty bad falling down

  1. Hahahahahaaaaaaaa! Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I see so much of this and, as a writer, have suffered the same myself. Who’s the agent? Personally, I’d just stick to a nice mid-length synopsis to appease the guidelines (around 1 – 2k in length). All they want to see is whether your story works and that it’s not reliant on some fabulously sucky deux ex manchina ending. Write in present tense, find a tone somewhere in between sparse and chatty and get someone to proof it for you — or leave it to rest for a week before going back and proofing it yourself. Or send it to me. I’d be more than happy to take a look. As for writing an outline before one begins… Pish. Diane.

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