I've been bitching and moaning about my synopsis; I think it's been more than a week now and I'm still not happy with it. (I did cut four pages off yesterday, so I'm down to six. I suppose that's progress.)
Mostly what I wanted was to see some examples of synopses of books I've actually read. (I found a lot of synopses for romance novels online, of all things, but I'm just not familiar with the genre so the posts are not as much help as you might think.
Then, last night I started reading Ison of the Isles by Carolyn Ives Gilman, and the book started with a 2-3 page "what has gone before" kind of piece. I thought about it, and I probably have a couple of dozen books that begin in a similar manner. Now, those are plot summary synopses, and are designed to be so, because they have a different purpose than enticing someone to read further. But, if I pay attention to what characters and events were left out, what the main threads are, what non-plot points (e.g. magic) are discussed, etc., I might start to get somewhere.
All right, time to get to work. I'm going to finish this damned dissertation this week if it kills me. (Already approved, for what it's worth. Just doing last-minute formatting now.)