Writing a Synopsis Can Be More Difficult Than Writing a Book

Here are some tips I’ve learned:

  1. The first paragraph of a book synopsis should “set the scene” – where, when, who the protagonist is and what the problem or challenge is. Write in third person and the first mention of each character’s name should be in ALL CAPS.
  2. Summarize the important events of each chapter in one or two sentences. This process can reveal some plot holes that need work.
  3. If the plot makes sense, focus on how the protagonist evolves as a result of the events in the story.
  4. When you’ve finished, review and edit. Be ruthless. Cut out all excess words. Read it until you feel every word helps tell the entire story.
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2 comments to Writing a Synopsis Can Be More Difficult Than Writing a Book

  • Danielle

    Great advice! I love ruthless editing, but I always save an original copy. Keeping the heart and spirit of the piece intact are equally important to editing. Sometimes, we are too ruthless with ourselves and need to go back to the original drawling board. Does anyone else use this strategy?

  • admin

    Yes, Danielle. We all have to be careful we don’t over edit. But in a synopsis, I find the bigger challenge is to summarize the the entire manuscript. Also, they do say you should reveal the ending. Not sure about that.

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