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I admit it. I’ve been avoiding posting anything on the subject of Synopsis creation. I think partially from the subconscious avoidance of the subject. But also because I haven’t found a good set of instructions I identified with. Sure, taking my outline (since I am a pantser I got outlines galore) and turning it into a couple pages of prose seems straight forward but it really doesn’t explain why I am doing it, how I am doing it. It doesn’t explain the ART.
For a Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) post, Curtis C. Chen masters the dilemma by comparing the process of paring a novel down to a synopsis to the cooking process of reducing a soup to gravy in “Special Synopsis Sauce“. This is exactly what I have been looking for. I actually “get” his explanation.
You can find the full recipe here: http://www.sfwa.org/2016/04/special-synopsis-sauce/
WRITING EXERCISE: For your present WIP, write a three-paragraph synopsis (if a novel) or three-sentence synopsis (if a short story). Remember this is different from an elevator pitch where you are selling your product; this is the synopsis to show an agent or publisher who is already interested in the product. … Next the hard part, … show it to someone and ask if it could be shorter or if it needs to be more active.