Synopses are fruit of the devil’s loins. Editors hate reading ‘em as much as you hate writing ‘em. Doesn’t mean you can halfass. #editortips
That said, yes, please include the ending in the synopsis. I don’t want to read 300 pages just to find out you jumped the shark. #editortips
Well, I didn't think that writing a synopis was *THAT* bad. But I know better than to argue with Adri.
For me, whenever I get lost writing my story it's time to go back to the synopsis. If the problem is that I haven't written one yet then it's time to write it. In fact, once I'm serious about writing a longer piece of fiction there are three things I need to have to keep me focused: a short teaser description (the classic elevator sales pitch or "back of the book"), a synopsis, and a chapter by chapter outline.
The teaser makes me remember, "What makes this book pop? What are it's essential elements?" The synopsis keeps clear, "How is this supposed to work? What are the basic elements of my plot?" And the chapter by chapter outline keeps me on the right track (and is also a handy place to keep notes on future scenes that popped into my head).
The good/bad news is that when the work is done I get to revisit all those write-ups because now someone like Adri wants to read them. And invariably along the way of turning an idea into a finished work a lot of things have changed. But they still serve the same function of keeping everything clear.
How do you keep your writing focused? Do you use a synopsis?
(And while we're talking about Adri, in case you missed it, Lyrical Press has a call out right now for Irish-themed novels/novellas. Gather up your shamrocks and try submitting.)