Outline/Synopsis Critique

Quick and Dirty Rundown

  • As a writer, you know that an idea can be fleshed out in many different ways. Therefore, it’s impossible for me to look at something as sketchy and broad strokes as an outline or synopsis and be able to say, with certainty, “Yes, this will work.” There’s too much still left to be decided by the execution. With that understanding…
  • What I can offer on your outline or synopsis is often general thoughts, guidance, and questions. Perhaps lots of questions. When you answer those questions for yourself, your plan for, and understanding of, your story should grow richer and deeper.
  • I’m looking for basic elements of structure, the pacing of where those elements seem to fall, and how they act on the story. Do you have a first plot point or doorway into the story? It is clear why the character chooses to move forward? Do you have a point in the middle which changes the context of the story in some way? In Romance, do you have a Black Moment which causes a break down in the relationship? Are you clear about your story problem or story goal? Does the climax resolve that? Is your character the primary agent for the resolution, or merely a bystander?
  • I’m going to look for elements of character arc, the character journey, and how your external stories and internal stories work on each other.
  • In Romance, I’m going to look at the progression of your relationship, how the plot you’ve laid out builds the relationship, breaks it up, and puts it back together again, and how your elements of characterization contribute to the love story.

What’s next?

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