I don’t know one author who enjoys writing a synopsis, but it’s a necessary evil if you’re going to submit your work. Even if you’re planning to self publish, I recommend writing a synopsis because it’s the best way to package your novel. This can be packaged for an agent, an editor, a website, a book blurb and for media kits.There are plenty of great websites out there with overviews on how to write a synopsis. I’m not going to teach a class in one blog post, but for those of you who struggle with these things, I thought you might like to hear how I break the whole thing down into something bearable.
Use 12 index cards. Twelve index cards only, Vasili. (Yes, I love The Hunt for Red October) On the first card, write down your hook. This is your elevator pitch or the first line from your query letter. Write the ending on the last card, if you know it. If you’re still plotting, write down possible endings. All of them. Now use a card to write down what your main character wants and why she or he can’t have it. If you’re writing a romance, use one card for the hero and one for the heroine. Detail on each card why they can’t be together. Take two or three cards and write down scenes where your protagonist attempts to achieve what she wants. Use the rest of the cards to write down the climax, your main character’s darkest moment, her first big challenge, etc. Remember, stick to the story of your protagonist only at this point. (You can add a few secondary characters later, but only if necessary).That’s it. When you’re finished, you will have a very rough initial synopsis outline. You should have a good idea of your protagonist’s character arc and the high points of your story. Good luck!