Years after my first tries, I’ve finally written a synopsis for The Purple Morrow I actually like.
I remember the first time I had to write one. It was around 2011 or 2012. I was terrified. Every resource I looked at warned that writing a synopsis was the single most unpleasant, difficult thing a writer would ever have to do.
And it was.
Depending on the agent or publisher, I had to write several variations. Some wanted a synopsis of not more than one page, others wanted as many as 7. It was a nightmare! Trying to figure out how to pare down a full-length story into a few pages seemed impossible. At the time, I was so close to the story and so passionate about it, I couldn’t tell what was essential (or not) in order for someone to understand the story’s plot and subplots in so few words. To me, everything was important.
Looking back on what I had written…well, I can only shake my head.
Like any piece we write, putting it away for a while before tweaking it is always recommended. I’m not saying you should wait 7 years between drafts like I did. I just know that’s how long it took me to get enough emotional and psychological distance from the story to try again more successfully.
Though I still love the story and the characters, I’m not as close to the manuscript as before. Also, I’ve written a lot since then, both fiction and non-fiction, which made it easier to craft the synopsis this time around. Lastly, finishing the triology was a big help, as it enabled me to see the whole plot in my head and therefore better discern where I had left out necessary information or hadn’t properly connected the dots.
Will this version gain me an agent? I have no idea. I’d like to hope so. But even if it doesn’t, I can say that I tackled this beast and completed it to my satisfaction. And move on.
What are your experiences with writing a synopsis? Do you have any tips or advice to share?