Tip#8 to cut a synopsis—cut modifiers
Adjectives and adverbs are usually the easiest to cull from a synopsis. Sometimes you don't even need to change the noun or verb. Other times, a stronger noun or verb is needed.
She determines to win without interference from her meddling friends.
She determines to win without interference from her friends.
He is physically attracted to her.
He is attracted to her.
He lusts after her.
Tip#9 to cut a synopsis—change nouns and verbs
This is similar to tip #8. Sometimes you can substitute a different noun or verb that's a little shorter than what you have. Because the format is typically left justified, even one less letter in the sentence can be enough to eliminate a line (see tip #7 about getting rid of short lines).
He sneaks up to the house.
He creeps to the house.
He needs to stay out of her way.
He needs to avoid her.
She leaves her job.
Tip#10 to cut a synopsis—eliminate extraneous nouns and verbs
There are some places where certain types of nouns and verbs can be eliminated entirely. Things like "He realizes", "She understands that," "He hears her say," "She sees him."
He follows her. He sees her enter the hotel.
He follows her. She enters the hotel.
He reads the family Bible. He discovers that Sally is his cousin.
He reads the family Bible. Sally is his cousin.
His reaction opens her eyes. She realizes she's always been in love with him.
His reaction opens her eyes. She's always been in love with him.
However, be aware that sometimes, these verbs can't be eliminated, so don't beat yourself up if you can't do it:
They fight. She realizes she's always been in love with him.
They fight. She's always been in love with him. (doesn't make sense)
Camy Tang lives in San Jose, California. She previously worked in biology research, and she is a staff worker for her church youth group. She runs the Story Sensei critique service, and her Asian chick-lit novel will be released in September 2007.
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