A synopsis lesson taught me by Kate Willoughby


Synopsis openings usually include three important elements in the beginning: setting, hero, heroine. I’ve been grouching about my current synopsis for about 12 hours (not straight; I gave up after an hour and went to bed, then gt up and grouched another 10 minutes til Kate rescued me).

Setting? What’s that? What do I say about it? It’s Annapolis for Pete’s sake. All you do is say “It’s Annapolis.”

And let’s not talk about characters–in order to set up my heroine’s situation, I had to cram all this worldbuilding about a fake company into the first sentence. Hero? Ok, easier, but still, I need the set-up first-

Then Kate saved my tail by pointing out the need for describing the fake company and its Tupperware-esque non-sex parties.

Oh yeah. Setting isn’t always a city street block; it’s the goings-on around the characters, the non-character vehicle the characters ride through the story.


So the lesson today: setting doesn’t necessarily have an official population, a mayor, or a Main Street.

That is all. 🙂



Filed under Emily, writing

3 responses to “A synopsis lesson taught me by Kate Willoughby

  1. Inez kelley

    Very cool info to know. Thanks!

  2. kate willoughby

    *blushes* Shucks. T’weren’t nothin’. It’s easier to fix someone else’s synopsis than to write your own.

  3. Neith

    See. I knew Kate was the shi-zizzle.

    Yeah, good point. I think we may tend to get locked into our pre-set definitions of what constitutes character, motivation, goal, setting, all of those things that make a story. But these are fluid concepts, not meant to lock us into a little box, but to free us to write good stories.

    Go, Em!

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