Crapometer Questions

In breathless anticipation of the return of the Crapometer, I am wondering if we can get some advanced guidelines. Not just for myself, of course, but also for all the other avid fans tuned in to your enlightening blog.

I would like to make sure that should I ever get to meet you or Killer Yapp, that I make no errors that would incur the wrath of sharp pointy teeth and leather clad bodyguards.

What is the ideal? Short story/flash length, single chapter, outline and first three or just the first 13 lines? One entry per person? Lit Fic only? No f/sf/h? Should we leave Romance at the bar?

The Crapometer sends word that the ETA is after Christmas.
Synopses this time.
All fiction categories.
1000 word limit and less is more.
Email submissions only and ONLY when the crapometer is "up and running": no early bird stuff.

Spelling counts.
ALL work is answered on the blog; no private consultations.

Killer Yapp will enforce the rules.


Unknown said...

While I hate to bring up... Winslow, Arizona... again, on November 25th you suggested that writer could submit the first pages of her novel to the Crapometer when it returned home from... Winslow, Arizona.

Does this mean that the ... Winslow, Arizona... Crapometer has gotten lost and another Crapmeter will be coming home before it will?

Miss Snark said...

I too hate to bring up Winslow Arizona,but the truth is that the Crapometer previously vacationing there has ..and I'm sad to report this, leaped off the north rim of the Grand Canyon in a fiery tribute to Thelma and Louise. The final words I'm told were "Nicole Richie".

The Crapometer was of course one of a pair of twins so all is not lost.

However, learning a lesson, the suriving Crapometer has sworn off actual pages and will do only synopses for the time being.

A memorial service is pending.

Rick said...

This is a good place to repeat a question that got lost in the comments some threads back:

What exactly is a synopsis for? Mechanics aside, what do you look for in one? How does it help you, and the editors you send it along to? Obviously not as a writing sample, since no one can write a good one, and it can't convey much if anything about character, atmosphere, etc. So I'd imagine it is to give you a sense of the plot. But can you tell from the synopsis whether the plot is likely to hold up?

Anonymous said...

1000 words now? Color me relieved that you extended it from 500. Not because I couldn't do a 500 word synopsis, but because my novel bores even me when I cut the secondary characters. It's like Lost if Jack were the only one on the island. Who would the more interesting characters revolve around, and who would provide the center if not for Jack? Conversely, how can Jack be the center if not for the others?

Which brings me to my actual question--all the example synopses I ever see are from action stories. They capture the slam-bang of alien invasions and exploding pistons and whatnot. What about those of us writing books in which the most 'explosive' thing is a guy getting over his ex-wife by starting a futile love affair?

You must see synopses that fit into both of these categories. Can you give any general advice on spicing up a novel synopsis where the main plot concerns the main character changing his life and no one is involved in a mob fight?

Inadequately yours,

Unknown said...

Ah, the evil twin trope. An appropriate deus ex machina when one has written oneself into the proverbial literary corner.

I suspect, though, when GPS records of the twins are found, an uncomfortably disturbing proximity will be discovered between the siblings just seconds before the esteemed Crapometer willing to read pages 'leaped' off the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

Mindy Tarquini said...

Um...crapometer? Send a thousand words? If I ask you to explain, will I get stomped on?

quanty p biederman said...


Read back through Miss Snark's summer archives and you'll see the crapometer in action. Pithy, quite.

Tsavo Leone said...

I appreciate the 'sensitivity' of the issue, but will examples of good synopses be shown to the world at large (yes, I know, potentially a very dumb question)?

Alternately, can anyone direct me to a suitable (web) location where I might view examples of what constitutes a good synopsis for my own edification?

Ta much.

macandal said...

I would love to see some examples too.

Jo Bourne said...

Hi tsavo leone -

You can try the Books and Writers Community.


Just run an advanced search for 'synopsis'. There have been several discussions on this.

Jo Bourne