One of my least favorite things about completing a project is writing the synopsis. I can tolerate the editing, the countless re-writes, the sacrificial offerings of sentences (or paragraphs, or even entire chapters) to the writing gods. But boiling all that hard work down to a single easy-to-digest cup of wholesome goodness? It’s hard work. When you’ve spent months or years on something, your mind has been focused on a landscape of ideas, character nuisances, tragic or funny dips in the road. Paring it down brings the mind into focus, in 300 words or less. Okay, what was this sucker really about, and why would anyone want to read it? Good question.
Man meets boy. Man kills boy. Boy comes back 57 years later and kills man. And stuff in between.
Of course I need to do better than that.
It really is just a matter of distilling all those words into an informative and tasty aperitif. It sounds simple, it should be simple. So why isn’t it?
Maybe I’m over-thinking it. Start again:
A man accidentally kills a boy; years later, he confesses his guilt to his victim. Is the boy a hallucination? A dream? A ghost? What was the catalyst for the tragedy? Who are these people, and who else was involved?
There. A little better. Time to get back to work.