The Elusive Synopsis

Today I think I'll address the elusive and ever-changing synopsis.  For as long as I have been writing, I have labored over the proper synopsis.  I have gone to many workshops, read tons of articles, and worked and reworked my own synopses until I can honestly say, I still do not understand what makes a good synopsis a great one.  Here is my dilemma - some want them 10 pages, others want 5 pages, and some are asking for 1-3 page synopses.  So, how do you trim your story to meet these ever changing requirements?

I believe the hardest thing for a writer to do is to whittle down a story to just a few pages.  In those few pages, we must include a brief character sketch with evidence of a character arc, the basic plot making sure to include the development of the romance, and of course include such information as type and length of novel.  I know I am leaving out several other key pieces but this is where the issue gets sticky - how does one take a 400 page novel and reduce it to such mean lengths?

So, tonight, that is my job - take several of my novels and create the most compelling synopses imaginable to entice others to want to buy my books.  I have a deadline here - Feb 1 for my first contest, so I must work quickly and efficiently.

Wish me luck and, if you have any advice, I'll take it!

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