When I’m writing a novel, I can happily sit at a keyboard until the postman calls through the letter box to see if I’m still alive, but come the bit where I have to pull a synopsis together, and I’m cleaning out cupboards, decorating the lounge and talking to my neighbour about compost.
Seriously, I hate this bit. I hate everything about it. I hate the prescriptive nature of it, I hate that it’s about jumping through hoops, I hate that it reduces my baby to a clinical monologue, and most of all I hate that I’m terrible at it.
I have pondered that this is because a synopsis is loaded with so many expectations. It is the point of contact for an agent or publisher, it is the make or break moment. It has to be everything to every man, sometimes on a single sheet of A4. Each chapter has to be catalogued, reduced, and churned out in a can. No wonder it makes me want to run. It feels like strangling the thing I love and then cramming its twitching corpse though a ham slicer. Frankly, after several attempts, the finished article bears as much likeness to my book as an energy saving light bulb.
Is there some panacea of process that I have previously missed?