1. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    I've written my very first synpsis but...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by sophia_esteed, Aug 30, 2010.

    This is the very first time I'm trying to publish my works and they told me the first step for getting in contact with a publisher is writing a query and synopsis.
    Today I've written my very first synopsis.
    The novel is very long and it's full of twists and turns and I've tried to make the synopsis as much complete as possible, while not putting in it anything unnecessary, but it's turned out more than five pages long.
    I've read a catchy synopsis shouldn't be longer than one page, but I don't think I can boild down the whole plot into a document shorter than three/four pages without significant cuts.
    Maybe this is a stupid question, but should a synopsis be as much complete and detailed as possible? If not, how much can I leave out?
    Guess I should add a little more detail. The novel is sci-fi, with mixed-in elements from the supernatural and mecha.
    The plot is part a spy story and part a war story, the two stories told in parallel until they merge into a single storyline toward the middle.
    There are three main characters and two major subcharacters, and four subvillains and one great villain whom we meet only at the end.
    In the synopsis I tried to cover only the story for the three major characters, mentioning the others only if necessary and the villains only when they actually met the major characters.
    The novel is divided into five parts, with a prologue and epilogue.
    I tried to summarise each part briefly, trying to convey as much information as possible with the smaller number of phrases, including the infomation for prologue and epilogue.
    I left out any information about the context and I've focused on the plot only, adding at the beginning the word count and genre before the synopsis proper.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing a good synopsis is an art. You need to cover the essentials of the story without getting caught up in minutiae.

    It's akin to the skill needed to pare away extraneous words from a long poem to reduce it to its concentrated essence.

    It may take a few passes to make it flow well and reflect the meat of the story.

    It's okay to simplify. If there are subplots that add to the richness of the novel, but they make the synopsis harder to follow, omit them from the synopsis. If the submissions editor is enticed ny the synopsis to read the full manuscript, he or she can discover the additional subplots at that time.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    depends on whether you're writing a short [1-2 pp] one, a medium [3-5 pp], or a long [6-10 pp]...

    it should be written in a compelling, present tense narrative style... no dialog... just tell about what happens in the beginning, the middle and the ending...
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As Mammamaia indicated, there are different lengths for a synopsis, depending on the market/agent requests. Whenver there is a question, shorter is better.

    Getting a synopsis down to 1-2 pages can be a challenge. Here's an article I wrote on the topic which may help you out: Writing a Novel Synopsis

    There are some folks who think it's easier to write an entire novel than to write a synopsis for one. It seems impossible, but it isn't. Hang in there.

    Terry
     
  5. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    I didn't know there existed different lenghts for synopsis.
    I'd say the one I wrote yesterday is a long one.
    I think I'll work on it and try to write both a medium and short one.
    Thanks for the advice guys, it'll help me sort out things.
     

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