Paula agonises over her synopsis!
I read somewhere that the synopsis is probably ‘the most despised document you might be asked to prepare’ – and, having spent hours trying to write the synopsis of my recently completed novel, I agree with that!
My previous publisher only required a basic ‘blurb’ when I submitted a novel to her, so I was well out of practice in writing a synopsis.
Of course, I knew the basic advice about synopses – characters, core conflict, how the characters deal with it, how the conflict is resolved and how the characters have changed as a result.
All well and good, but what happens if you have several sub-plots which add to and/or further complicate the core conflict? Or which hinder or contribute to the resolution of the conflict?
I think this novel had more sub-plots than I’ve ever used before. Sometimes they form separate strands (for a while, at least!),but then they become interwoven and often somewhat tangled!
I started by writing a basic plot summary. Maybe that is similar to what I might have written beforehand if I was a ‘plotter’ – but, being a ‘pantser’, this was the first time I had done it. It was, inevitably, far too detailed, with too many names and too much irrelevant information.
But, having done that, I could then see (a) what had to be deleted, (b) what could be condensed and (c) what needed to be taken out of the ‘linear’ outline of the story and combined, so that the synopsis didn’t jump from one thing to another.
So, after tearing my hair out a few times, I finally managed to compose a synopsis, which I hope reflects the most important parts of my story, as well as the emotional journey of the two main characters.
I’d be interested to know how you approach synopsis writing!