Blog Post

Writing a Synopsis

I did it!

I finished writing a synopsis of my book.

Okay, it’s not the first one I’ve written, but I was never happy with the results I’ve gotten before. Others that I have written, seemed to be dry and incomplete. They weren’t something I would want to read, so how could I expect others, say, an agent, want to read them. And if they did make it through the synopsis, I’m sure they would have no desire to read the book, which is the whole reason for writing a synopsis in the first place. My last synopsis put even me to sleep.

So… what was my salutation?

I didn’t send my proposal to any literary agent who wanted a synopsis to accompany my query letter. I also didn’t enter a contest that required one. Talk about limiting myself!

I knew that had to stop if I wanted to go anywhere with my writing. So this year I decided that would end. In a previous blog, I talked about how I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions, but that I chose one word to focus on during the year. That I would look at from every angle and apply to each area of my life. One of my very respected friends commented on that blog. She stated she was going to focus on the word “health.” I hadn’t chosen my word yet, and when she said that, a spark within me was ignited.

Health in every area! Not just physically, but spiritually and mentally. Health in relationships, and in all my habits… and health in work. It’s not healthy for my writing to neglect an area that is so critical.

Soooo…

I set out, again, to work on a synopsis. To make it an incredible synopsis.

But how do I do that?

My son was my inspiration. I had previously tried to break each chapter down in my mind and transfer that to paper. I would get frustrated and upset trying to put all I wanted down and then crossing out what I thought wasn’t necessary.

Boring… delete… start over.

While I was struggling with this once again, my son came in and asked what I was doing. I explained my situation and he asked me to tell him what my book was about.

“But you have to hurry, Mom. I’m getting ready to go gaming with my friends.”

I was surprised at his answer. Not that he was going gaming, that is a weekly activity for him.  But him asking me what my book was about? He knew that. He had even read a good deal of the finished product.

I obliged him anyway. I went over the basic storyline trying to get it all in within the five minutes I had before he left, leaving out the ending, of course. I had never revealed that to anyone.

“That’s great, Mom. Now write it out for me to read when I get back… except write the ending too.  Then you’ll have your synopsis.”

He was right! That’s all it took. How many times have I told others what my book was about? I had never alluded to the ending; it has a twist and I wanted to keep that as a surprise. But writing a synopsis was as simple as telling the invisible person next to me, what my story was about.

When it comes right down to it, I think we make writing a synopsis hard, at least I do… did. Hopefully, I’ve learned how to make it simpler and won’t have the same problems with it next time.

My daughter gave me a mug for Christmas. It says:

Writer’s Block

When your invisible friends stop talking to you.

I love that! I think it’s a perfect way to explain writer’s block. Maybe it’s something only another writer can understand. But with a synopsis, I think of it as the exact opposite.

Writer’s block with a synopsis is when I stop telling my story to my invisible friends.