A while ago, I wrote a post about the process of writing a synopsis. I’m in the middle of synopsis-itis. I’ve just completed a long synopsis of a book, and was asked to look at someone else’s short synopsis. And that brought back some uncomfortable memories.
Before I say anything else, I make this recommendation:
If you are writing your first novel, or the first novel you plan to market, make sure you don’t leave writing a synopsis to the very end, something to do the day before you send off the query.
Because writing a synopsis may well be the most heart-breaking thing you do. You struggle for days, and when you show your efforts to others, only the most the intrepid readers will comment that the whole thing doesn’t make any sense at all. Or that they can’t see a plot.
And you know, the heartbreaking thing is, that if you’ve struggled to write this thing, not because synopses are hard to write (which they are), but because there IS no coherent plot. Or the plot is way too complicated, or plot threads are not complete, and character arcs unsatisfactory. And the trouble your readers have with the synopsis is not because the synopsis is flawed, but because the BOOK is.
So grab that synopsis-thing by the horns and use it as a tool to streamline, simplify and focus you plot. Do it. Save yourself the heartbreak.