Monday, August 17, 2009

Guest Blogger - Lyn Cote on Writing a Synopsis

I am pleased to have Lyn Cote here to blog about the importance of a synposis and to introduce you to her brand new release, Her Inheritance Forever. This is the first of a series of guest bloggers I plan to have on Blissful Writing Thoughts.

Writing a synopsis is a huge stumbling block for many aspiring writers. How can they compress 200 or more pages into a succinct package for an editor? And how long should it be? And what should be include, excluded? And why do editors need synopses anyway?

Well, over the past decade of writing, I have discovered the importance of writing a strong synopsis. After a writer becomes published, she no longer writes the whole book before she shows it to the editor. Editors have this habit of not liking everything an author writes. So to save everyone time and frustration, published authors sell books and series of books by writing proposals which consist of a synopsis for each book and 1-3 beginning chapters of the first book.
So if you want to be published and with more than one book, you must learn to write a synopsis. In fact, you need to get good at it. Because you will do it over and over. It's part of the business of novel writing.

I'm going to give you the basic elements which every romance synopsis must include. You will be surprised how with a little practice how easy it will become for you to give the editor the elements she's looking for. This list is primarily for romances but any author can take this recipe and tailor it to meet the needs of the genre they write for.

List of Synopsis Elements:

1-The setting-time and place
2-Heroine-age, an adjective identifying character trait and her occupation and life goal
3-Hero-the same as above.
4-The main external plot— what’s happening around them and impacting their lives- Is it a mystery to be solved, a family home to save, a child to be found?
5-The internal conflicts of hero and heroine—what keeps them apart from within, the old scars, the sadness
6-Their romantic conflicts-what keeps them apart, what bad lessons have they learned about romance in the past?
7-The story question.
If you include each of these elements, you will be giving the editor what she needs to evaluate your story idea. These are the basic ingredients for a successful romantic novel.

Lyn's Bio

When Lyn Cote became a mother, she gave up teaching, and while raising a son and a daughter, she began working on her first novel. Long years of rejection followed. Finally in 1997, Lyn got "the call." Her first book, Never Alone, was chosen by Steeple Hill. Lyn has had over twenty-five novels published since then. In 2006 Lyn's book, Chloe, was a finalist for the RITA, one of the highest awards in the romance genre. Lyn’s brand “Strong Women, Brave Stories,” always includes three elements: a strong heroine who is a passionate participant in her times, authentic historical detail and a multicultural cast of characters. Now, Lyn spends her days writing books that show the power of divine as well as human love.

Lyn helped found two RWA chapters Heart of Iowa Fiction Authors in 1994 and Faith, Hope& Love Inspirational Chapter in 1997. She served as president of both. She is Pan Liaison of FHL now. Lyn has also written three articles for the RWR on Classic Romantic Conflicts and the inspirational romance market. Lyn has also taught regional and national workshops for RWA. Now she is an active member of the Wausau WI group of Wisconsin Romance Writers.

Her Inheritance Forever - 2nd in the Texas Star of Destiny series
Avon Inspire
ISBN # 9780061373435
In 1836 Texas, Alandra Sandoval is the lady of Rancho Sandoval, determined to prove to a doubting world that a woman alone can run a ranch as well as any man. But when Comanches attack her ranch and kidnap her, Alandra must admit she needs protection. A top hand at a nearby ranch, Scully Falconer, is chosen for the task and though Alandra tries to pretend she doesn't need his help, he quietly stays by her side.

Though they believe their paths to be worlds apart, the rugged American cowboy with a troubled past and the proud lady of Mexican descent are united when Alandra's greedy relatives burst into their lives. And when General Santa Anna's army crosses the Rio Grande—marching toward a rendezvous with destiny at the Alamo—Alandra and Scully are swept up together in the tide of history...and their world will never be the same.

You can order the book here.
Lyn's website:

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