Monday, 9 July 2012

DEAR CRABBIT: synopsis for a trilogy?

Dear Crabbit
I read 'Write A Great Synopsis' ( which I thoroughly enjoyed). I have a question regarding the submission. 
What of a trilogy? Do I include the synopsis for all three books and take three times the length to give the full outcome of the novel, or do I simply give the synopsis to the first book and no conclusion?

Is it presumptious to give the synopsis for all three books, will it be thrown away immediatley since I did not adhere to the rules on the website for synopsis length or will it help the agent to see how all three books pan out to its conclusion? 
A submission should be for this book. You may well have plans for (or indeed written or drafted) a sequel, trilogy, series or whatever, but you are first pitching this book.

So do a proper synopsis for this book.

If you definitely plan for this to be a trilogy, send a shorter, separate synopsis (e.g. half a page) for each of the other two. (Remember, if the agent doesn't want to read them, she needn't.) Do say what stage they are at. And remember that a trilogy must have a whole arc, as well as the arc within each book.

If you are proposing that there might be scope for follow-up books (whether one or more), but that this is not an essential part of the offer, by all means add a paragraph to this effect, perhaps identifying some directions the series might take or some ideas you have. 

Certainly the agent would be interested to know whether you have an idea for a follow-up, but she really does not need to see anything other than the idea at this stage.

Your submission should focus exclusively or almost exclusively on this novel. Because if it's not up to scratch, nothing else matters. The agent is not going to say, "Well, this is pretty mediocre but I'd love it if there were two more mediocre ones to go with it..."


Evie McLaughlin said...

Thanks for that, I will be wondering about this at the end of the summer when I hope to be ready to submit! Now I won't need to wonder! :-)

Laura Mary said...

Very good question - particularly as it's one I'd not thought of!
One to print and file :-)

Ebony McKenna. said...

I see comments like this on twitter - people have written a trilogy, or a hexidecagology (it is so a real word) and want to know how to pitch the entire series in one hit.

I agree with Nicola. Write the best book you can and pitch that. If an agent or editor wants more, you'll be ready.

womagwriter said...

There's a good post on this on Behlerblog