Writing in dog years

Posted on Oct 13, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

Writing in dog years

I’ve spent the past week working on a synopsis, which has been behaving in the way they typically do. Over this morning’s coffee, I found myself considering why it was that writing a six page synopsis is so much harder than writing an entire chapter of a novel.

And then it hit me. A synopsis is to a novel as dog years are to human years. Each page of a synopsis carries the weight of fifty or more pages of story. A superdense form of prose, each paragraph of a synopsis must do the work of at least a scene, if not an entire chapter. It’s as if I went to do my normal workout only to find that someone had swapped out my five pound handweights for fifty pounders. No wonder it’s taking me so long to make progress.

The important thing is that I am making progress, so rather than beating myself up over having created only five good pages, I should recognize that these five pages are worth many times their weight in ordinary prose.

Now all I need is more coffee, and I’m ready to tackle that one last page.

Oh, and if someone wanted to return the hour that was stolen from me last night, I wouldn’t say no to that either.

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