The Plotting Synopsis
One thing that writers have always said that they dislike is writing a synopsis. It’s true that summarizing a 75,000 word book into a page can be extremely difficult. However, writing a synopsis doesn’t always have to be a chore. One way I plot my books is by writing a synopsis—you can call it a plotting synopsis. It’s not only not difficult, because I’m not actually summarizing a book I’ve already written, but it’s actually fun to write and aids in the creative process.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the first thing I always do when I begin to plot a new book is to create the characters, but once the characters are created, then it’s time to move on to the actual plot. The plot is created by discovering the beats necessary to move the story forward and move the characters towards achieving their goals. There are two ways of doing this: one, by placing plot points on a W graph, or, two, writing out a synopsis.
By writing out a synopsis, basically a summary of the story, you can easily see the flow of action and, hopefully, any holes in your plot will be obvious. A summary can also let you get to know your characters better. As you write your way through your synopsis, you can think of how the characters would behave in the situations in which you are putting them. It’s a good way to get to know your characters as well as figure out the flow of your story.
Writing a synopsis is also a great way of breaking through writer’s block. If you have written your book to a point and suddenly find yourself unable to go on, sitting and writing a synopsis of both the story so far and where you’d like the story to go will help you order your thoughts and get past whatever is stopping you from writing.
As a normal part of my writing routine, I will spend 5 minutes summarizing the next scene I’m to write, which helps me no where my story is going and puts myself in the mind of the POV character. I do the same thing at the end of my writing time summarizing what I will write the following day. Basically, writing brief summaries of your work in progress is a great way to keep your story flowing and smooth and keep you’re writing the same way.
Don’t hate writing a synopsis. It can be the most useful tool in your writer’s toolbox. If you write a synopsis after you have finished your book, it will also help you in writing your book description because it forces you to shorten your work down to its most vital parts and reminds you of your characters’ goals, motivation, and conflict which is just what you need for your book description. So embrace the synopsis and enjoy writing them.
I’m going to be taking the next few weeks off from my blog. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, winter solstice, new year. I will be back in January with my annual goals, hopes, and dreams blog post.