Monday, January 16, 2012

The power of the synopsis as a writing tool

I consider myself a pretty organic writer, but I am learning the benefit of using the synopsis as a writing tool. I suppose it is part of the writing journey and finding your own groove, but when I first heard of this it sounded very different than how my brain does the creative process and I shook my head in oh-no, not a chance. I want to flow.

The more I write, though, the more my brain and my creative process wants that organized synopsis. It sounds almost counter-intuitive to me and my vision of flow (I'm still in my writing style transition), but I am realizing now that scenes are freer to flow when I know what I want them to do ahead of time. I can sit down and write the scene fully, not with my attention split between the scene and wondering how the story is going to unfold. It is less stressful, too. People are masters at creating unnecessary stress. Why do we do that?

It also saves a lot of time rewriting scenes. And as characters develop and take on a life of their own, stay flexible and fluid to roll with your authentic character. Seriously, sometimes those characters feel so real in their persistence on how a story is going to go. You know what I'm talking about.

An older colleague of mine always says make a choice. If you find it doesn't work for you, make another choice. Don't stall yourself in indecision, though, that in itself is a choice, too. Make a choice, you can always make another one later if you need to, but don't have your life stall in indecision.

Works for stories, too. Make a choice. Decide your story, you are always free to change your mind, but in the meantime, you have a conscious game plan.

Happy Monday!

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