1. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Novel Synopsis

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by KhalieLa, Mar 21, 2016.

    I'm now satisfied with both the 1 page and 3 page synopsis of my novel. I worked hard on the 1 pager first because it seemed the most relevant and useful. When I finished that, started the 3 pager by putting contact information in the header and double spacing the body. Guess what? A 1 page synopsis IS a 3 page synopsis.

    I'm happy the work is done, but it does have me wondering what the point of having two is? I know some editors/agents want 1 page and others want the 3 page version, but it's not like you are getting any more of less information with one over the other, so WTF? Why not just set a word limit cap rather than say 1 page single spaced or 3 pages double spaced?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  2. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    So.. maybe you can help me out and clarify, what .. a 'synopsis' is supposed to be?

    I have been asked to write one, in addition to turning in the first 5k of my WIP. Synopsis should not be longer than 600 words.

    So.. what should I do? Is this the same as a query body? Or not? :confused: Is it a summary of the plot? Factual or emotionally written?

    I would be much obliged..
     
  3. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    The synopsis is it's own document. Your query will be a one page letter and you will enclose the synopsis along with it.

    Basically, your synopsis is your story boiled down to 600 words or so. I think writing a synopsis counts as cruel and unusual punishment and should be outlawed per the Geneva Conventions. It was the most painful thing I've had to write so far. How do you condense 110,000 words down to 1 page? It hurts, but it can be done.

    I started by just looking at my TOC and asking myself what was the most important thing that happened in each chapter and how does that relate to the overall story arc? After combining all those elements I had far too much information and needed to cut. Sentences became less pretty and more succinct. Even after doing that I still had trimming to do, asking myself which point could be cut and not reduce the understanding of the main story arc.

    After that, I had one of the English professors read it. He pointed out where I needed more clarification and which points seemed irrelevant. After that re-write I have something that I like, but it took me nearly 3 weeks to see a complete project I was happy with.

    I'm an info-phile so I searched the web for all kinds of advice and examples as I wrote and found this blog to be really helpful:
    http://theeditorsblog.net/2012/07/15/clear-the-dread-from-the-dreaded-synopsis/
    What I liked about the articles is that it not only said what to put in it, but also gave specific formatting instructions.

    These articles from Writers Digest were helpful too:
    http://www.writersdigest.com/editors-picks/learn-how-to-write-a-synopsis-like-a-pro
    http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/get-published-sell-my-work/your-guide-to-an-effective-novel-synopsis

    And here is some information from Agents Blogs:
    http://www.agentquery.com/format_tips.aspx
    https://janefriedman.com/novel-synopsis/
    http://carlywatters.com/2013/11/04/how-to-write-a-book-synopsis/

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  4. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, that helps quite a lot! :)
     

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