Can You Write a Synopsis?



I was looking for interesting pictures to get some inspiration for my book cover when I came across the one you see above. I think it is absolutely stunning!

Always been a big fan of cats, any cats, even the wild ferocious ones, and I think this is because they fill me with envy. They are so independently proud and free, always doing exactly what they want to do and nothing else. And we love them for it! No one ever really owns a cat. It’s probably the other way around!

Speaking about my book, I came up with an amazing idea the other day. I still have days when I am chock full of doubts and misgivings about my ability to create something that other people would want to read. And this is after writing three books!

Book number four is giving me a lot of trouble, mainly I think because my characters are not bossing me around as they normally do. The plot is a mess, and I have a sneaky feeling the POV slips a bit here and there. After almost a week of wanting to throw it away, I have managed to find a little inspiration. After all, I was an editor/proof-reader first and a good one by all accounts. And before you all rush to tell me, I know that doesn’t automatically mean  I can write anything of note myself.

I got to thinking about Anita’s books and the synopsis that each one had to have when we first started out. (An outline or summary was and still is essential if you are targeting mainstream publishers)

Creating a full two-page synopsis is very difficult, believe me, but with a lot of effort and perseverance, I managed to get quite good at it. Thing is, you normally think of a synopsis after you have written the book. At least, that is how we did it back then. It was quite a cathartic thing to do, for you knew if you had the material to make a good synopsis, the book was probably pretty good too.

So I got to thinking. What if I did a synopsis first? I already had some kind of outline in my head, even though I was convinced it had more holes in it than a string vest.
I put on my most businesslike, determined face and had a go. Several hours later a fully-fledged synopsis was born. And I liked it. Trying to mastermind the structure of my book that was still mainly in my head was enlightening, to say the least. My editor’s head took over and I was forced to confront all the weak points. (and some non-existent points too) Ideas came galloping in from the ether and I ended up feeling very optimistic about the whole thing.

So if you are filling up with self-doubt as I was, try to make a synopsis out of your ideas. You can connect with your own editor head and impress the socks off him. It worked for me and now I can move forward and stop procrastinating!



5 thoughts on “Can You Write a Synopsis?

  1. That sounds like a great idea! I’m sort of stuck on a book I wrote a few years ago and never finished. The other day I wrote a brief blurb for it and it really made me want to continue writing it. If I take that one step further and write the ‘dreaded’ synopsis, maybe I can work out the end and get that first draft finished!

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