Synopsis vs Outline

Writing the story is the fun part. All the rest can come later.

However, the time has come for later – and I find I really hate this synopsis. I hate the outline, too, but I can’t argue with them being valuable tools at some stage.

I wrote this novel draft piece by piece, knowing only what came a little farther ahead and where I wanted to the end. That means I kept writing until I got to the end, realized that I needed a little more wrap-up and I fixed that. Except I’m still not done.

Now’s where it gets tricky. I have an outline. It follows each chapter and the events that happen. Through the rewrite it is not completely up to date but it’s manageable. I keep making notes on where to change it and it’s slowly coming out in the novel rewrite. It’s also about three pages single-spaced, and growing, and too long for my word count to be directly funneled into a synopsis.

I took it to a writing conference some time ago, so I already wrote the synopsis. It handles only the major plot points from the beginning to the end and stands by itself at less than two pages double-spaced. All major characters, including the cat, are mentioned and show movement throughout.

The current issue between the two of them is that they’re not in agreement. Not completely. Sure, I can find every single point from the synopsis in the outline, but they’re not exactly in order. Is that a problem? I’m not sure, but it makes me want to rethink and reorganize both of them until they’re more in agreement.

That sort of brings me to the point where I’m at war with both of them. It’s ugly and it’s bloody (because I’m using a red pen, of course), and it’s only going to get worse when I scrap them both and start revisions on the manuscript with the pieces. I know it will work out eventually, but I hate this stage a little bit. I want to know if I have all my plot points nailed and if the book is saying what I want it to say: synopsis. However, I also need to keep the rest of it flowing well and honing in on the goal with the character development and the other events that foreshadow the big pieces: outline.

Send supplies in the form of finger foods and an energetic nanny. It wouldn’t hurt to clone me. Then one could go to my jobs and play with my toddler while the other one huddled in solitary and simply finished the stories. Wait – let’s make two clones. That toddler business is full-time.

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