Crazy Talk

I don’t mind writing synopses. In fact, I find writing synopses helpful.

If you write long-form fiction, you probably just said aloud, “That’s crazy.” If you don’t write fiction…this post might be confusing.

A little background: a synopsis is a short summary of what happens in a book. Not like a blurb (e.g., what you read on the back of the book), a synopsis runs through the major action and the beats of characterization. Synopses tend to be between 3 to 5 double-spaced pages in length, though I’ve heard they need to be longer if you’re pitching a project you haven’t written yet. You need a synopsis for contests, pitches, and queries and also when you turn in a manuscript.

Suffice it to say most writers rank writing synopses only slightly below getting a root canal on lists of their least favorite things to do. How do you take a 250 – 300 page book and reduce it to approximately 1000 words? If your beautiful plot could be condensed, wouldn’t you have condensed it in the first place?

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