Before you go, I mean it. Synopsis writing can be fun.
If I had told me that at any time in the last three or four years, I'd have laughed in my own face. Fun? In a masochistic, attach-jump-leads-to-testicles kind of way, perhaps. With the first version of this book, I struggled with the synopsis. In fact I hated it. Unwieldy, episodic, lacking a coherent flow and a narrative integrity.
In other words, much like my book.
I'm no expert in these things, but it's tough to create a great summary of a story that's not working. Those early synopses were trying to tell me something.
I've been giving my story a lot of thought. Well, I've been giving my characters and their histories a lot of thought (there is an immense difference). Introduce those fuller characters to a situation and guess what? Story happens. I had a go at a plot summary the other night, trying to get the key points straight. A 90% complete synopsis fell out of the sky and into my lap. If you saw the remarkable video of a meteorite streaking across the sky and blowing out windows in the Urals, it was a bit like that.
There are two reasons why it came to me so much more easily than my earlier efforts: there weren't any of those inelegant constructions tripping up the flow; and, frankly, I hadn't yet written any of the story. Boiling a complete story down to a page or two is a Herculean task (the messy one in the Augean stables fits the bill). Sketching out a story from scratch in the same space is a fragrant walk in the park in comparison. If you haven't tried it before, I'd recommend the starter-synopsis option. And if you need any help, get yourself a copy of Nicola Morgan's succinct Write a Great Synopsis.
My story summary will change, of course, but that's easy to handle. What I will always have is a useful little overview of my work in progress. I'll take all the help I can get.