This year is about over, and a new one will begin later this week. I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions, but I do believe in looking back over the past year just to see where I was at this time last year – what’s the same and what’s different. Let me tell you, it’s been a busy year. Insanely busy.
I could have started writing everything that had happened, and all the little things that happened as a result of the big things, but then I’d be here for the rest of the week. I don’t have time for that, so, instead, I focus on only the big things. The things that changed either me or my life in some way.
I think this is not unlike writing the synopsis for a novel. I think a synopsis should contain the major plot points, but also the major points that change the character in some way, either internally or externally. Here are the things I do to write a synopsis:
1. Go through each chapter and write down the major plot point, plus my absolute favorite part. If they happen to be the same, even better.
2. Make a list of all of these pieces, then turn them into a narrative (present tense, single spaced).
3. This is always longer than one page, because there are always too many pieces of the story that I love and want to include. So I go through each item and prune out anything that’s not part of the story’s framework, or skeleton. I keep doing this until I’m down to a single page.
4. Tighten up word choice, review spelling and grammar/punctuation, and polish until it shines.
What I have left are the most important pieces of the story, both to me, and to the story. This is also a good exercise in pacing – if I can’t find the major piece in a chapter, then maybe I need to rethink that chapter.
Anyway, that’s what I do to write a synopsis. What do you do?