I have spent the past couple of days trying my hand at developing a synopsis before having written the story. I have not tried this before, but I understand it is common practice amongst many writers.
Currently, I am 60,000 words into the first draft of my work in progress and until last night, I had no clue as to how the story would end. I took my ‘Keep Calm and Eat Chocolate’ notebook, my trusty purple pen and Sarah Duncan’s advice, and started writing a series of ’And then’, uncertain where my scribblings would lead.
In a few hours, spread over two days, I noted down what I considered to be the relevant points of the story. I took the synopsis as far as I could – a fraction over half way, but with a need to finish it, I had to decide on how to end the story. I took the radical move of making it up as I went along, resulting in a few pages of rubbish.
And it was rubbish.
But I was getting words onto the sheet.
Yesterday, I reread my notes. They were wishy-washy, there was very little structure, the chronology, like a time machine, was all over the place, and the final part, like me without a map, had no direction whatsoever, but this made me happy. I had a starting point and I knew what improvements had to be made.
This time, I took a different, larger notebook and settled down to transcribe from the smaller pad. I refined the relevant points, put the events in the correct order, discovered exactly who my characters are and what made them that way and…fanfare please…found my ending. I was so pleased, I announced it to Gajitman, who, bless him, stopped racing in the Alps, put down the controller and listened to me.
I have a real sense of where I’m going with this WIP now.
It seems developing the synopsis before writing the story, works. It totally focuses one’s mind, too.