What’s First: Synopsis v Query v Book

Just thought I’d drop in and say hello, apologies for the absence but I’ve been knee-deep in history books as of late. And of course writing the new book! (My latest novel takes place over the years 1006 to 1035ish and takes place in England, Denmark and Norway).

So far so good, I’m 5 chapters in and trying to make some very dull history more accessible. Thank goodness people back then had the same problems with family and friends that we do today. While working I had a brief conversation with one of my beta readers (hi Meghan!) about writing a synopsis. It got me thinking about some advice I once received, which was write your query first, before starting your novel. Another source suggested starting a writing project by writing the book synopsis first.

I’m a huge fan of outlining (as many know!) and can absolutely see the benefit of doing either of those before writing the actual book. The only trouble is my stories (and I’m sure everyone else’s too!) take on a life of their own and it would mean constantly updating both the book, query blurb and synopsis. I understand it’s meant to guide the story but sometimes stories just won’t be led. They decide where they want to go and how they want to get there.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I’ll keep writing (I’m sort of on a major roll with this story) but make a few notes when I’m finished each chapter. When I’m done the book, I’ll be done the synopsis. And as I’d like to start talking about my book, I really do need a short, sharp summary ie query. So I’ll work on that first, get it done and out of the way.

Okay, rambling over. But I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the query/synopsis/writing process, particularly ideas for making the whole thing less painful!

Before I go, please take a moment to enjoy my new header. The background is the lid from the Franks Casket, made from whale bone in the eighth century and currently displayed in the British Museum, London England.

Happy Writing!

This entry was posted in Stuff.

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