I’m revising a novel. Getting into the revision was tricky. I hadn’t looked at the book since April, and while I had notes about things that should change, it was tough to remember what it all meant.
So I wrote a synopsis. Ok, I didn’t start with the synopsis, I started by reading my outline. But it wasn’t until I got a decent way into the synopsis that it started feeling like a book again. I wrote the thing out of order, and writing it up into a narrative forced me to see it as a coherent piece instead of a sequence of scenes.
I used the outlining method from the appendix of the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, partly because it was homework for a writing class I was taking, and partly because that was much nicer than floundering wildly trying to figure out what to write down. It helped me remember to talk about the character, not just the plot, too. And now I can see all the bits that don’t quite make sense, or that aren’t actually on the page yet.
Which leaves me with a lot of things to fix. But I’m confident that whenever I start to despair, I’ll be able to look at the synopsis and remember that yes, this mess does belong to a real story.