YA Indie Carnival: Synopsis, Cover, and Paragraph

As National Novel Writing Month begins, and people struggle to get a ridiculous number of words written a day, you might assume that writing a book is supposed to be the hardest part, right? Not for me. That was hard for sure. But the hardest part was boiling down everything I just poured out, about a hundred-thousand words into a few paragraphs. Uh…what? Why didn’t I just write a paragraph to start with and have that be the novel? Why do we need a synopsis, cover blurb, or pitchline?

Because people, especially people who you want to read the book need the Cliff’s Notes first. In this busy age full of information everywhere, they need something to tell them what the story is about before they decide to spend time reading it. This is your opportunity to make your book shine and get people hooked before the first chapter. When browsing in bookstores, I have bought books I wouldn’t have thought about, based on what I read on the back cover.

So how do you boil down your life’s work into a few paragraphs? This took me hours of wiffling and waffling and writing and re-writing. I’m not sure there really is a shortcut or an easy way. At least there wasn’t for me. I put down the major plot points that would have wound up in an outline if I had had one. They were the messages in the book that I most wanted the reader to get out of it, without giving away the ending. And then I consulted with friends, who could look at it objectively and tell me what parts hooked them the most. Finally, the bottom line after that was paring and paring and paring down to the bones, narrowing down what was really the central storyline so I didn’t confuse readers. And there’s no shame in learning by imitation. I looked at my favorite books and read the covers again to see how things were worded to pitch the book, and tried to adopt that kind of language.

Synopsis and Cover are partly where you pitch your book, which is particularly difficult for those of us that compulsively hit ‘forward’ over and over on Hulu, trying to fast-forward through commercials in which if I were smart, I could be taking tips. I’m not a natural salesperson. But it is a critical part of the novel process. And it’s worth it when you get that email saying, ‘I’d like to read the book, send me the manuscript!’

Check out the other carnies tips and tricks in writing their synopses!

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy

And guess what? We have a new Carnie, Terah Edun. Here is all about Terah:

Terah Edun is a young adult fantasy writer born and raised in the Atlanta metropolitan area, who transplanted to the Northeast region for college, and now lives in South Sudan. She writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl. She prefers tales of adventure, magic, fellowship and courtship – in other words high fantasy. No planes, trains, or demons dressed in Dolce & Gabanna will cross her pages. Sometimes you’ll see cloaks, daggers, independent and strong girls, independent and strong guys, sweet and soft spoken girls, sweet and soft spoken guys, markets, cute guys, sparkly magic and irritatingly know-it-all boys.

She is inspired by authors like Tamora Pierce, Cinda Williams Chima, Naomi Lane, and Mercedes Lackey. Her work is appropriate for young adults and adult readers. The book she’s currently working on is CASBAH GUARDIAN, the second in her young adult high fantasy series.



Terah Edun’s Books:
Red Madrassa
An Amlah’s Diary

So be sure to check out her blog this week and welcome her!

And here’s What’s New with books and cover reveals and other goodies.


3 Responses to “YA Indie Carnival: Synopsis, Cover, and Paragraph”

  1. I agree. Trying to condense your whole book into an enticing paragraph is SO hard. I always struggle 🙂

  2. Hello there, You have done an excellent job. I will
    definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
    I am confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

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