How many of you write your synopsis before you write your story? How many afterward?
If I had a choice, I would write it afterward.
But the publishing industry often times wants a synopsis along with a partial when agents submit to editors. As a writer, I hate this. It's not because I don't like to write the synopsis--ahem.-- but because I generally do not have a clue as to where the story will take itself once I start writing. I usually know the beginning, part of the middle, and how it ends. But getting from a to b to c, at least for me, is not a straight line.
I did something different with this current manuscript; I created chapter titles and a one-to-two sentence of what happens in that chapter. I'm not sure if my agent submitted this partial synopsis to the editors. I do know that it helped me tremendously when I needed to get back to writing this story. I can see myself doing this for future stories--especially for ones that I write only a partial and then move on to the next story. I've laid the groundwork for what I was originally thinking, and I then only have to fill in the spaces (chapters) that are unfinished.
Now that the manuscript is done, though, I need to write the full synopsis. It's still not my favorite thing to do, but it sure will be a lot easier since the manuscript is finished.
Did I fudge by not having the synopsis done when I submitted the partial? Yeah, probably. But now that my hands are not throbbing, I can work on cranking out those lovely pages and sending those off to my rock star agent. At least this time when I attempt to write it, I know what happens!