We were talking about  what skills are needed for writing synopses after last night's writing session at  Million Monkeys We concluded the main one was the ability to précis, something you're unlikely to have been taught unless you have studied literature or language at school or college.

On the back of this we're now thinking about how to better educate ourselves in the T Party and may run a workshop.  And those of us already with the skill have realised it could be useful in other ways too.

This link looked useful to me, though a synopsis will need to be much shorter.

I really like what Tom said at the end of all this, half joking that novels include all the unnecessary words, scenes and characters.  That's what make them novels, and makes them entertaining.  It's the difference between a story and a synopsis.


I think I have the opposite problem. Years of training have made it very difficult for me to write anything _but_ a précis. Every time I think about writing anything longer - particularly a novel - all I can see is a synopsis laden down with the "unnecessary words, scenes and characters". I suppose it's a question of self-belief: if they're not necessary, can you be confident that you'll make them entertaining?


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