How to write a Synopsis!

Old typewriter on a vintage wooden floor isolated on white

First of all what the heck is a synopsis?  

To many of us it is a book blurb, it is what we write to get a readers interest.  Many are found on the back of a book.  However, there is much more to this than many realise.

Synopsis is a brief detailed statement of something. It could be for a book, an assignment a presentation etc.  For Authors, it the bare bones of a story. A bit like using your plot if you are a writer who plots and plans their novels.  Like a movie trailer, or as many authors do today, even a book trialer.  It says buy me, read me, listen to me, watch me.  It is in essence your advert to draw people in to the world of your imagination.

Who do we write the Synposis for?

First of all you must consider who you are writing a synopsis for!  They are not just what you find on the back of books.  They can be written for agents and publisher.  When this occurs the synopsis holds more weight.  It is longer, it is an introduction on how your story starts, the heart of it and the conclusion – like a min essay. It is written to sell, to gain interest to prove you have a fabulous story a publisher can make money on.  You do this wrong and you will get rejected.  In fact most authors get rejected many times (not alwyas because of the synopsis either) which is why many Authors now self publish, some with teams of people working with them to make the best of their novel.

What’s next?

Once you know who or what the synopsis is for, then you can take action.  

For the back of a book or for a book blurb (as some call them) You need to write a consise, interesting couple of sentences about your book to engage the reader. A great idea – if you are stuck, is to find books in the same genre, read them, think over what points they have and use them as a guide to write your own.

For an agent or publisher you will need to look at your planning notes – if you’re a planner. It is the basics, which you can increase to the relevant word count the agent or publisher asks for. If your a pantser – don’t run – you can still sort it out.  You’ll need to study your story as a whole, find the best parts, the character development, the lead characters, how the story begins, unfolds and concludes.

Apparently agents and publishers are now asking for up to 3k word counts for synopsis. Enough to scare anyone off.  So glad I self-publish and pleased I don’t ask my clients for 3k submissions. Though I do love a good read and submissions with synopsis are becoming a must even as an Indie Publisher.

I found this interesting website this evening after talking to another author. It would benefit many to read Jane Friedman blog.  The link below is exceptionally interesting and helps to guide you on the dos and don’ts of synopsis writing, whoever it is for.  Enjoy and good luck.

https://janefriedman.com/novel-synopsis/

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