Of all the things you have to do as a writer of novels, creating a synopsis is my least favourite. The pain the task induces, is slightly less than scooping out my own eyeball with a plastic spoon.
In defence of the synopsis, I can certainly see why publishers require them and I might even like them a little more if my main experience with them wasn’t the synopsis-defying-novel. So, you know, I might yet come to prefer them over eye-ball gouging. Someday.
I have however learnt one tit-bit of useful methodology from the aforementioned novel and the large number of (virtual) balls of crushed paper that litter my floor…
Take your protagonist and write a description of their personal journey through the novel. Kind of like an overly detailed character sketch, but with a bit more plot.
Now I’m not saying my most recent attempt at a synopsis for the problem-child novel is perfect – heck it mightn’t even be all that good – but it’s the closest I’ve gotten to writing a short version of my novel in a cohesive, fluid way.
This method though is certainly how I will approach the next synopsis I have to write. (Just after someone hides all the plastic spoons.)