When you write a book, especially a work of fiction, and you intend to pursue the traditional publishing route and want to land a literary agent, you need to produce a concise, yet evocative description of what your book, your story, is about. This is a synopsis.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? But many writers find a synopsis an incredibly difficult thing to write. After all, how is it possible to condense all the convolutions, all of the plot's twists and turns of a 100,000 word novel into less than a thousand words?
The key is to make sure that only your novel's major plot developments are covered in the synopsis. An agent doesn't need to know every step your main character took on his or her journey towards the novel's conclusion - including these in your synopsis means the agent doesn't need to read the book. Most novels have sub-plots, but these shouldn't be included in the synopsis unless they impact upon the main plot. You can read my article with 5 tips on how to write a synopsis here.
Often, to the writer of a work every single page is precious, which may be why authors find it difficult to write a synopsis which demands only the highlights of the novel are detailed. It also demands a different style of writing, being written in the present tense, which most novels aren't. In a synopsis there is no room for insights into character motivations or their thoughts - all a synopsis does is detail events.
So, all in all, a synopsis is a challenge, because whilst it is a piece of creative writing, it is also a sales tool and writers are notoriously poor at selling themselves.
I am a Copywriter, Proofreader, Virtual Secretary and Author.