I love writing synopses!
Okay, maybe I don’t love writing synopses, but I do enjoy the process of writing a synopsis more than most. I write synopses before I start the book, so this is really where the story starts coming to life.
Here are some things I’ve learned about the dreaded synopsis:
1. There’s no formula, article, example, etc. that will make writing a synopsis easy. Trust me; I’ve looked. There are plenty of great resources and things you can learn, but the toughest part is sitting down and doing it. It usually takes me more time than I think it should to write a synopsis, and that’s okay.
2. Writing a synopsis is a great way to pinpoint plot problems in your story. When I can’t figure out a simple way to explain something in my synopsis, it’s probably because it doesn’t belong in the story or needs to be reworked.
3. It’s all about motivation. Nothing matters if your character motivations don’t add up and if they’re not clearly laid out in the synopsis. We have to ask “why” about everything on the page. This leads me to critique partners, who were a huge help with this.
4. It’s important to have several people critique your synopsis for two reasons. First, you go over it so many times, it’s difficult to see the small mistakes you’ve made. Secondly, as writers we’re so engrossed in our stories that it’s easy to forget the reader doesn’t know everything we know about our story. A good critique partner can let you know what’s missing.
Now, I have to get busy on the synopsis for my next book!
Do you love or hating writing synopses?