Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Synopsis: My Nemesis

I like to think that somewhere, there exists a support group for people like me. People who would rather peel off their fingernails one-by-one than work on writing a synopsis. Or perhaps, I'm just being melodramatic.

I don't know what it is. I appreciate the function the synopsis serves. I admire a finely constructed summary that encapsulates the driving points of a novel. But I absolutely hate having to write one for myself.

Maybe the problem is I'm too much of a "write as you go" sort. I'll have a general outline in mind, but it's not until I put pen to paper that the story really fleshes out in my mind. When "in the zone," I've topped out at 15,000 words in a day. So why is it taking me weeks to come up with a synopsis that doesn't make me want to puke when I read over it?

Anyone with synopsis-writing coping mechanisms? Some jewels of wisdom for the journey? Commiseration, perhaps?

What part of the process do you find most difficult?


Megan Kellett said...

I understand your pain. For me, it's easier to write-as-you-go too, then flesh out a whole outline to follow from the start. But unfortunately, the synopsis is a part of the process that has to be done.

Victoria Bylin said...

Hi Mandy! I do a great synopsis... after I've finished the book! Before then, it's just not how I think. I find the story by following the characters, not by telling them where to go. For me, writing to a synopsis is like putting my size 8 foot in a size 6 shoe. They limit me, which is why I do one for the proposal, then change it as I go, checking with my editor for anything big. So far, it's worked.

The part of writing a book I find the most difficult is the second quarter / first turning point. It's like aiming a missile. If I'm a little off, I end up miles off course.