When, a few years ago, I started writing a book, friends would ask me what it was about. I’d say it was about a lot of things - a world where no one believes in anything, conspiracy theory, drugs, the lost dreams of the Sixties and Seventies - but that wasn’t what they wanted to hear. They wanted to know what the story was. In truth I didn’t have one. I thought I could write a novel based on ideas rather than character and story.
This piece is written by Book Shed writer BillJustBill.
An important technique that I think generally is most helpful in understanding what you’re doing (and need to do in any particular fictional situation) is get very deeply into the head of your characters, particularly your main character. Some people can do this and some people can’t, but I certainly think it’s something that can be learned, because I’ve learned to do it, at least more or less and to some extent. And of course I’m still learning.
Writing a synopsis is often seen by authors as being the hardest part of putting together a package and submitting your work to agents and publishers. It doesn't have to be dull, if you take some time to plan your approach and edit/rewrite it with the same passion you apply to the novel itself.
Writers will spend years writing, lovingly polishing and then marketing a novel, and yet they shrug off the synopsis with a comment like "I hate writing synopses."