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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Experimenting With Synopses

Another blog written in Minnesota: Writing synopses are never fun. Well, at least not for me. Maybe some anal plotter type enjoys them, but I find them torturous. While I was up in Minnesota, working on my house, I spent some time trying to come up with a five-page synopsis for my Work In Progress (WIP). I met with failure after failure.
Multiple tries for me on a synopsis is par for the course, but I was doing a particularly bad job with this story. We're talking world champion horrible. Something clearly needed to be done differently.
To get my head straight, I started listing the plot points I felt needed to be mentioned in the synopsis, and as I'm making this list, it dawned on me that I could do this for my hero's growth arc—it's his book since he's doing the major changing—my heroine's smaller growth arc, and the romance.
Four lists with the items all in bullet points. Now all I had to do was blend them together into one cohesive synopsis.
I started on that the same day I finished the final list and it helped. A lot. I came in at six pages, not five, but it's much more concise without a lot of unnecessary information thrown in. This was one of my primary problems with the earlier versions—lots and lots of extraneous detail.
This method actually proved helpful. I'm probably going to try it again the next time I have to torture myself by writing one.