Writing A Synopsis

The other day I was talking to a lady I know who’s also a writer. We were talking about my short story that’s getting published, when the topic moved onto synopsis writing (at the point, I realised I had been pronouncing synopsis all wrong…). She told me the synopsis was one of the most important aspects of writing. It doesn’t matter how good a novel is, if the synopsis sucks, you’ll never get published.

So  I did some research on synopsis writing, and decided I would share some of what I found out here. In the next post I’d like to share some tips, but in this post, I’d like to share with you how to write a synopsis.

What is a Synopsis?
A synopsis is an outline of your noel, designed to persuade the agent to take on your book for representation. The synopsis is written in first person, and can vary in length, depending on what the agent wants.

Writing the Synopsis:

Read your Novel:
Read through your novel once more to get the details in your head before you start.

Start the Synopsis with a Hook:
The synopsis should start with a paragraph or two that is similar to a blurb. Hook the agent in to wanting to read more.

Introduce the Characters:

Introduce the main characters in your novel. Tell their motivation and goals. Whenever you mention a character, use CAPITALS. Always refer to the character as the same name.

Summarise the Novel:
Re-read each chapter, taking note of the key points. Summarise the chapter into a paragraph, then do the same for the next chapter.

Use a Few Paragraphs to Write the Climax and Resolution:
Keep it simple. Detail the reactions of each character for every step of the action. Don’t make the agent have to guess what happens. Make sure you provide a resolution. Again, don’t make the agent have to guess.

I’ve seen people complain on Twitter that their synopsis’s are too big, so I’m guessing that now, yours will be too. Read through your synopsis, culling everything that isn’t needed. Keep doing it until you reach an appropriate length.

As I said earlier in the post, I’d like to have another post with some tips for writing synopsis’s. What are some of your tips?


3 Responses to Writing A Synopsis

  1. Wendy says:

    Another good post. You remind me of the lovely, Merrilee Faber. You guys always manage to churn them out 🙂

  2. Some great advice. I’m still trying to figure out the whole synopsis thing so I’m thankful for you sharing these tips.

  3. […] on Writing a Synopsis Following on from my previous post on Writing Synopses, I’m going to share some tips for writing […]

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