Ana muses about the tweaks she making to her unfinished story while writing the synopsis
My plan after winning a request for a full + synopsis from a big name (to me) agent is to submit the synopsis and beg for time to finish the story. I have six chapters written out of what's sure to be twenty or twenty-five.
So I've been revising the plot outline I wrote two years ago, when I took a Deep Story plotting class and wanted a fresh story line for the homework exercises. The backdrop I chose was familiar, since I wrestle with it in my daily life: choosing between alternative medicine and codified medicine.
Since I believe there's value in both approaches to healing (and look forward to a day when the best aspects of both systems merge), I made my heroine an herbalist and my hero a newly certified Physician's Assistant. Through their mutual attraction, they learn to appreciate the value in each others' views on healing.
But a successful story is not made by grand themes or personal social agenda. Stories are made by rigorous attention to characters and plot. I'm converting my plot outline into a synopsis with my eye on the basics:
1. Scenes start with a goal. Then the POV character collides with an unexpected mini-disaster and has to regroup. This sets up the next scene.
2. Both main characters have diametrically opposing opening goals. He intends to hop from this first job into a job in pro baseball by adhering strictly to the requirements of his job as a prison medic. She believes if her convicted father is let off his mandated anti-psychotic drugs protocol, he'll remember what happened to her mother the night she disappeared forever.
3. Both main characters think they need to resist their attraction to each other, that if they indulge in the attraction, they will sabotage their original goals.
4. Once H&H come together, the forces opposing them become even more powerful.
5. H&H can prevail only if they are willing to sacrifice their original goals.
6. The plot twists are not readily predictable. The Black Moment is very dark, so the ultimate reunion is satisfying.
I've had to make tweaks in details. The hero is now not committed to four year service stint to repay student loans. He's free to go as soon as he gets job offer from the MN Twins.
I'm deleting paragraphs in the opening chapters that won the request because the agent pointed out I'd hinted too overtly who the villain is and what he wants.
When I finish the synopsis, I should have a good road map to write the rest of the story. I'm sure I'll find more details to tweak, but the plot arc should be one I can stick to. Fingers crossed.