As I work on the seventh or eighth draft of my synopsis and then try to get that down to an under-200-word blurb, I’m feeling Carolyn’s pain.
For some writers—and I’m one of them—writing a synopsis seems more difficult than writing a book.
With a book, there’s plenty of “room to roam,” dozens of pages on which to flesh out characters and enlarge themes. There are opportunities to slow the action to provide sequels to follow tense scenes and add description to set the mood and foreshadow action to come.
But a synopsis must be pithy, a neat progression of plot points, thumbnail sketches, tight but evocative description. It must be a distillation of tone, theme, and character arc.
So when writing coach Elizabeth Lyon suggested I write two versions of the synopsis for An Uncertain Refuge, I came as close as I ever have to giving up on my writing dream and getting out that failed knitting project (Who knew a scarf would be so difficult?) from 1970.
To her credit, Elizabeth’s…
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