My love/hate relationship with the Synopsis

Say the word ‘synopsis’ and you’ll find the majority of authors run screaming in the opposite direction.

Why? Because they’re hard work. They require condensing your entire story down into basic explanation form. This happens, then that happens, and this character reacts this way and feels that way and so on and so on.

Me? I have a love/hate relationship with synopses. They’re a necessary evil of the business, so I know I have to do them. They’re time consuming and a pain in the brain.

But frankly, even before I was required to do them in order to sell a book, I wrote one out before writing a story. They were my outline, my map of where I was heading. I can’t write a book without a story outline.

Now I can’t sell a book without a synopsis, what they call a ‘proposal’, which is typically the synopsis and anywhere from 2-5 chapters. So my advice to authors wanting to break into NY? Get used to writing a synopsis, because you won’t be able to sell a book without it.

I’m working on a proposal right now and loving the creation aspect (this is the ‘love’ part of the love/hate relationship :giggle: ). This is where I put the story together, figure out who the characters are, what their backgrounds are, and what’s going to happen throughout the course of the story. It’s fun to figure out what happens next, what my characters are going to do, how the plot evolves. Now granted, I sometimes deviate from my synopsis when I write the book, but not so much that the overall story changes dramatically.

For those who don’t plot but just write and discover, yes, writing a synopsis sucks, but it still needs to be done in order to sell a book. My suggestion is to just write a synopsis according to how you ‘think’ the story is going to go. If it changes after you write the story, you can always revise your synopsis accordingly.

Keep in mind that marketing departments write the blurb, or back cover copy, from your synopsis. So if your story changes significantly from the synopsis, you need to let your editor know and revise your synopsis.

As for me, it’s back to my proposal. I need to figure out what happens next. :boobie: