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I know I’ve said this before, but my favorite book on synopsis writing is Writing the Fiction Synopsis, by Pam McCutcheon.

I used to agonize over writing a synopsis. Now I write them before I even write my story. I just sit down, pick up this book, and skim it again. Then I go, “Oh, duh. This is obvious. I shouldn’t need a book for this.”

That’s how you know it’s a good book.

(I love the worksheets, too, mind you.)

But oh man. It was written in 1998. That doesn’t seem that long ago to me. But then I read the formatting section. It tells you not to do anything crazy to get an agent or publisher’s attention, like printing with “red ribbons.”

The moment I read that, I stopped. Ribbons? Did she mean printer ribbons? She had to, right? No one would have been using typewriters in 1998. I mean, I suppose a few romantics have and always will love typewriters.

But then she also warned against using paper with perforated edges. And it hit me: She was talking about dot matrix printers, wasn’t she?

No, I thought. It wasn’t possible. 1998 was awesome. We didn’t have dot matrix printers and printer ribbons back then… right? Sure, I still had Windows 95 on my computer. But it wasn’t that far back, right? We didn’t actually still struggle with perforated paper and multi-colored printer ribbons, did we?

So, in conclusion, this book is old. It’s still really good. But oh man. It’s old.

And, apparently, I am also super old. Goodness.

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