5.10.2006

Miss Snark Contradicts Herself and Becomes....drum roll...Nitwit of the Day!

A Snarkling gently reminds me of this post on 1.08.2006:
Synopsis spacing

Miss Snark: This may be a nitwitted question, but should a synopsis be single or double spaced when it is sent with a query letter?

This is not a nitwit question. If you're trying for the nitwit sweepstakes, you have to ask if Miss Snark has a day job.

Synopsis are traditionally single spaced. Double lines between paragraphs. Indents not needed. Go easy on big blocks of text. Shorter paragraphs are easier to read than long ones in this form. One inch margins all around, and in a readable font.
If you are tempted to tweak any of this cause you can't fit all your words on one or two pages, I STRONGLY urge you to whittle your word count before you start dropping your font to 8point.

Making something physically easier to read is just smart. Making it harder to read...well, that's the nitwit strategy.

The synopsis I've seen recently have been double spaced..but they've run for several pages. And truthfully, I'm not much of a synopsis reader. Yes they are traditonally single spaced, but if you've got a long one, boy double spacing is nice on the eyes.

Bottom line: make it easy to read.

Nitwit of the day: Miss Snark


15 comments:

McKoala said...

I don't think a real nitwit would be so graceful in pointing out her own contradiction.

Title withdrawn and awaiting next applicant. I'm sure you havea few twisting their sweaty hands in the wings.

Anonymous said...

And in the intervening 5 months, no one has gently prodded Miss Snark and mentioned that synopsis is singular and it is synopses that travel in groups?

Please, allow me...

(So that's how snark feels... ::shivers::)

Big Boy said...

I agree.
I do have a long one, it is double spaced, and I have been told many times it's easy on the eyes.

Inez said...

Love the revision, here Miss Snark, as I was kicking myself for sending out single-spaced synopses.

Miss Snark said...

No, Anon you pointed it out earlier...probably on this post now repeated, and you just haven't noticed that I've been correct ...mostly.

Not tonight though.
Chalk it up to being double spaced-cadet.

Anonymous said...

'Twas not I before. So there must be more than one smart-ass in the world... How can I compete?

Patrice Michelle said...

I always thought it was single spaced and then another author told me it was double spaced. Because my synosis was 8 pages,I went with double spaced. Glad to know I got it right by accident.

Patrice *who thinks the best kind of Snark is one who is willing to give herself the Nitwit of the Day label. LOL!*

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm the expert, but I've written and sent out a number of them over the years, and have several books published in NY, some of which were sold on a synopsis. My understanding is that for the one pager is single spaced. Anything over that is double spaced.

I don't think you get the Nitwit of the Day award, Miss Snark. You might get the Not Quite as Clear as I Should've Been Award...

BillyBobJimJack said...

A double spaced cadet -- I'm crapping my pants here. LOL

Dear Ms. Snark,

Please forgive me for contradicting you, but if you make a mistake, admit it, and make amends for it later, doesn't this mean you are not a Nitwit? I appreciate your candid honesty.

You're the best. Keep up the good work.

BBJJ

tlc said...

FWIW, our RWA chapter's mini workshop on synopses offered this little tidbit:

One page = single spaced
3-5 pages (usually sent in response to a request for a partial and a 'short'synopsis = double spaced.

The dreaded land of 'more than 1 page, less than 3' = anybody's game.

I tend to single space anything under 3 pages. Which means my 4 double spaced synopsis sometimes sneaks in when guidelines say 2 pages, but don't specify spacing. But I do agree with double spacing between paragraphs.

OF course, I also always hide the synopsis at the end of any pages I've included, because, no matter how I space them, my synopses suck.

Mark said...

That's the way I write mine for the proposal.

Sheila said...

My 2.5 page synopsis is 1.5 spaces...a happy medium?

Nick said...

No. It's not possible. If Miss Snark is a nitwit that means most of the laws of physics are suspect. It's that kind of paradox that makes the universe blow up. I refuse to believe it.

Jillian said...

Miss Snark,

Humility is a beautiful thing, and gives credence to the words of those who display it.

Admitting an error is never nitwittery.

(Nitwittery?)

Well done, Miss Snark. You simply need to hear how gracious your words and attitude have been.

Just this once. ;)

David Rochester said...

My, my . . . to think that a writer's career could launch or crash based on so minor a detail as spacing. Failing to provide a synopsis at all isn't, as I discovered, a viable solution to this heartrending dilemma.