|A lot in a little package|
The synopsis is an overview of your WHOLE novel. I know you're excited, thinking this is exactly what you wanted in the first place. There's no way they won't love your novel now they can see everything. You sit down to the keyboard and realize something. Your novel is somewhere in the ballpark of 60,000-100,000 words. You now get to condense ALL of it into one to two pages. No picking which characters you feel are more important or which story arcs should be included. Everything in the novel has to be included.
Once you get through the shock of how much work is now ahead of you, you come to a sad conclusion: this is going to be as boring as school reports. You won't have room for embellishing your writing or adding any of your 'voice' to it. There just isn't enough space. This part is for facts and facts only.
I know you're saying, "But, there must be some way to make this interesting! The agent I managed to snag after all this time will fall asleep two paragraphs into this drivel." I agree. Here's how I manage to get through mine.
When I received my first request for a synopsis, I panicked. While I thought about how to approach it, my son asked me to read him a story. I obliged with a Little Golden Books version of 'Finding Nemo.' While I read it, I came to a strange conclusion: this was a synopsis. It had some embellishments, but everything was boiled down to it's basic elements.
|But I don't have time to tell you all about him now.|
So, here's my advice: Take your novel chapter by chapter and explain each one in a paragraph or so. Write it as though you're explaining the action to a small child, not an older reader or adult. Before you know it, you'll have all those complicated twists and turns written out as 'FISH escapes and goes home. THE END.'