When I do a synopsis for an art fact sheet, usually the book is done. And I do not generally use them as a selling tool. At least not in the same way I did when I was subbing to Harlequin hoping to make a first sale. And even then, the book was written. Even if I only subbed the first three chapters, the first draft was done. I knew how it all worked out. I didn't enjoy synopsis writing, but it was a necessary evil and I did okay, I think.
But right now I'm in the position of both needing to write a "selling" synopsis and one for a book that isn't completed yet. It, and a partial, are going to be with my agent by the end of the month. Yesterday I managed to write a synopsis - 3000 words - that was pretty much completely devoid of goals, motivation, and character arcs. In other words, I was so focused on HOW the story played out that I forgot to put in the WHY. And that's important. Because if I want to sell an editor on this story, I have to make them care about what happens - not just know about it.
2500 words later = new synopsis.
I think I find this particularly challenging because I'm a pantser. I don't plot. I don't have things all worked out in the beginning. That does involve a lot of trial and error but it would happen anyway, because when I plot, what looks good in summary often doesn't work out in execution. And it's not that I don't think synopses are important. It's just that I've been in the enviable position of being able to write them after the fact when I do actually know what happens.
This afternoon is being spent working on the first three chapters, which are being reworked for the zillionth time trying to get it just right. And possibly juggling scenes. AGAIN.
Please God, if I can just get these first three in the right place, I might actually be able to move forward.