Most novelists find the most challenging piece they ever have to write is a synopsis of their novel/s. A synopsis, or brief summary, according to various publisher and agent submission guidelines, can be anything from one page to seven pages long. The shorter the synopsis, the more condensed and ‘crystallized’ its content – the content of an entire novel, including key plot elements, story arc, conflict, resolution and main characters – of maybe well over 100 000 words, into a mere handful of paragraphs that will be meaningful to the intended reader.
Last week I tried my hand at a new form of writing: a petition (through the online community petitions ‘arm’ of international humanitarian/human rights campaign organization, Avaaz). Over the last two years, I have probably watched hundreds of hours of key witness testimonials and footage, read widely, studied evidence, spoken with first-hand witnesses and photographers, not to mention my own experiences, related to the subject of this petition; a call for formal disclosure of extra-terrestrial engagement with Earth.
So, just like a synopsis, all this information had to be condensed down into a few paragraphs (with petitions, the advice is ‘the shorter the better’), addressing the questions of ‘who, why, what, where, when’, identifying the target audience (in this case, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations), while generating interest and enthusiasm.
Once I started, I quickly realized how having written four synopses (for the novels of The Siaris Quartet) was the most perfect preparation I could wish for. It didn’t matter that this petition-synopsis covered non-fiction material, those key questions of ‘who, why, what, where, when’ were totally relevant, and important. It helps that I feel at least as passionate about unravelling the secrecy surrounding the presence of ETs on/around Earth as about my novels!
If you would like to see why, here’s a link to the petition:
If you’re interested in looking into this subject further and are not sure where to start, here is the best 10 minute summation of the current ET scenario I have come across; UFO researcher Richard Dolan’s closing speech at the recent Citizens’ Hearing on Disclosure (National Press Club in Washington, USA, April-May 2013):