The concept of a synopsis is quite easy. Leave out the detail. Hit the emotional highs and lows. Something that sounds so easy shouldn't be so hard to get right, but it is for me.
I recently submitted Warrior Pledge and of course had to write a synopsis for it. I started the way I usually do:
*Make note of all the emotional high points and low points in the story. Those are the things that get mentioned in the synopsis.
*Choose which character to write from. A synopsis is from one character's point of view only, and it's generally in third person, present tense.
*Describe how the character feels about and reacts to the emotional highs and lows.
Sounds easy. I generally start out okay. The first paragraph is filled with tension and pretty phrases and is 'synopsisey'.
Then it all falls apart, and I end up with four pages of chapter summaries.
With Warrior Pledge, I tried something new. I wrote my usual chapter-summary-I-call-a-synopsis. It at least shows me all the emotional highs and lows. Then I took two pieces of paper, folded them in half lengthwise and put headings at the top. I wrote adjectives that described the personalities of the two major characters. Not what they thought or felt or did at any time, just their personalities. I ended up with something like the table below.
Then I used those words and qualities to describe why Checa and Heath were doing what they were doing at the emotional highs and lows.
The result? Every word a synopsis. So easy.
Oh shit! What if I can't do it again with the next book?