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I have been struggling with a very long short story/novelette the last few days. It is currently at a bloated 12,500 words. I really wanted it to be much shorter but had been at a lose as to where to cut.

In came the synopsis.

Most of us only write synopses under duress but they are an important tool. I find it useful to boil down the whole plot of a large piece into a few paragraphs. It forces you to  pinpoint what the truly important events are far better than an outline because what is important is not necessarily what takes up the most space. Anyway, once I concisely put together the plot of the story, it became clear what was not working and what to do. A definite AHA! moment.

Are you struggling with a piece? Consider sitting down for a few minutes and writing a synopsis. It might illuminate your path forward.