It takes a bit of confidence to abridge a book because you're like a really nasty editor with a red pen, slashing and cutting through whole chapters. But it really does make you think about what is essential in a book. Because having stripped back that much, with some books, the whole plot falls apart. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad book, but the one I’ve just abridged only succeeds because the main character is so compelling. But the actual plot has holes the size of a swiss cheese. I had to break the Abridging Rule which is you never add words of your own to stitch bits together unless it's absolutely utterly necessary. (If you add your words the work becomes an adaptation as opposed to an abridgment.)
So if abridging a book reveals the plot holes, Beth Anderson’s blogs shows you how to write a perfect tight synopsis – a selling tool - one you can build a whole watertight book from. Very basically she forces you to write one sentence summing up the whole book, with no fluff or curly bits. One sentence that determines exactly what your book is all about. Then another sentence describing the beginning. Finally one sentence describing the ending.
Then you go back and fill in the major roadblocks. It’s very hard work, so much so that I haven’t done it. But I have printed it off and written How To Write A Synopsis in big black letters on it. And having finished my abridgement, the writer of the book would have written a much tighter plot if he had read that blog too.