My synopsis is out to get me.
Chautauqua has given me an assignment: Write a one page synopsis to send with the first 2500 words of my novel. Due June 1st. Okay, I can do this. I know what my novel is about. I've written the premise and turned it into a logline. I've prepared a picture file to help me visualize my settings. I've done character studies and I know my protagonist well. I've written the first six chapters. I thought it was all very clear in my head... until I tried to put it down as a synopsis. That's when I realized there were major issues.
First, my ending is fuzzy. How can I write my story if I don't know where I'm going? Second, I discovered I didn't know my antagonist. So I pulled out the big guns - Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, by Donald Maass.
I don't know if you've ever used this workbook, but it's a fabulous tool. Hard to do, but that's because he makes you dig deep to get to know your characters, their motivations, and plot development. He makes you think about your darlings thoroughly, and the results are well-rounded, believable characters that (hopefully) your readers will love, and a plot that satisfies. Did I mention this was hard?
I spent over two hours this afternoon with my antagonist -getting to know her, defining her desires and goals, working on the world of my novel and how she wants to change it. It was liberating! The ending fell into place - the last piece of the puzzle. I hope, anyway. I've listed the major plot points, and I'm confident I can write the synopsis. Now, if I can only get it down to one page...