How do you write a synopsis? A catchy couple of sentences to whet the appetite of a potential reader/purchaser – how hard can that be? The answer, as I’m fast discovering, is ‘very’.

With a thin comic the title and the overall look of the thing have to do the work, but when you’ve got something that’s quite thick and bound like a book, it makes sense to have some enticing words on the back. I’m the sort of person that picks up a book and goes straight to the back cover – if it doesn’t tell me what it’s about (instead throwing quotes from reviews at me, which sometimes turn out to have been taken out of context, or taken from a review of a previous novel) I put it down again.

I’ve read plenty of back-cover synopses on novels that are misleading, and a few that are factually inaccurate (Who writes them? Have they read the book first? Why not?) so I know what I’m trying to avoid. However, being so close to Boys Don’t Cry I’m almost guaranteed to emphasise aspects of the story that other people wouldn’t see as so important, and words and phrases that I choose will probably conjure up different ideas for different readers.

So, I have to write a brief, memorable (for us to quote at anyone who asks what it’s about, to save being tongue-tied and waffly), enticing, accurate summary of the plot/theme/atmosphere/style of Boys Don’t Cry, which will mean similar things to most people who read it. Simple, I don’t know why I haven’t done it already.

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