I have to write a synopsis. Actually, I have to write two. There is the chapter breakdown and then there is the shorter summary synopsis.
The reason for this is that a kind friend in America said he might wave them in the way of a literary agent or two over there and see if they bite.
Obviously, American literary agents are better-looking than this nice fishy and they probably eat more salad.
I started it yesterday and went through each chapter and tried to write down the salient points. It sounded flat and lukewarm.
Now, I should have started several weeks ago when he first made the offer but my first attempt was ripped apart so badly (by somebody else) I can't say I prioritised it. Which is stupid. What a wuss.
So I had it hanging over me and thought I should get started. By Chapter Four of insipid prose I was checking ICanHasCheezeburger every five minutes. Ooh! A new kitteh!
Then I checked the weather, the latest news (Gail Trimble's team were disqualified? No!) and the various brands of white tea sold at Sainsburys.
All very interesting stuff.
It is far harder to write a good synopsis than a novel. This is your opportunity to really 'sell' your book and without it your shining novel will never reach anyone. But I can't sell!
(By the way, this is a photograph of a closed-down shop)
And then there is the fear that this is an opportunity I could completely stuff up!
American literary agents want things presented a little diferently than British aagents, who mostly want a one-page synopsis described as a 'book jacket blurb with an ending'. In face, quite a few of these do actually end up as the book jacket.
But Americans want a full chapter breakdown as well as the snappier bit, which apparently can't sound anything like a book jacket blurb with an ending. It has to fully describe the book and the action. I suppose one reason for the difference is that British agents (all sounds a bit 007) also ask for the first three chapters usually whereas the Americans don't let you get that far unless they've been hooked by the synopsis.
And my half-finished synopsis currently isn't good enough to use as toilet paper.
Then this morning I remembered the online writers' community I joined a few months ago, WriteWords. You do have to pay to join but at least there are some friendly souls there who will quite happily give you feedback. It's a good place to start. If they rip my synopsis to shreds then I can have a second chance, something that certainly won't happen if a literary agent uses it to line the kitty litter box.
So maybe I should stop chatting and get on with the f@+$ing thing?