1. Jothur
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    Jothur New Member

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    one-page Vs twenty-page synopsis

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Jothur, Jan 26, 2010.

    I am a little confused.
    From reading various articles, it appears that a synopsis is about 20 pages and contains details of the characters and locations as well as a story breakdown.
    What needs to be put on a one-page synopsis?
    Many of the literary agent’s submission guidelines ask for a one-page synopsis. Are they after a summary similar to what would be on the back cover of a published book? Are they after the same detail as the 20 page but in a condensed form?
    Is there a link to a sample one-page synopsis?
    Basically what is the difference between a one-page and a twenty-page synopsis?
    Thanks
    Gary
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What publisher or agent asks for, or has the time to waste on, a twenty page synopsis?

    For a query, keep it concise. But it is not a teaser like what you find on the dust jacket of a novel. A publisher wants the entire story summarized, including the ending.

    Sometimes a publisher will ask for the first one or two chapters, which is probably the twenty pages you are thinking of. That isn't a synopsis, it's an actual sample of the writing.
     
  3. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    The kind of summary that would be on the back of the book is a good place to start to give you an idea of how much detail and which details to include, but to add support to what Cogito has said, they don't want anything to be hidden. Tell them how it ends.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gary,

    I've not come across many publishers that want a 20 page synopsis. The longest I've seen is around 5 pages. Most want a 1-2 page brief synopsis.

    Here's an article I wrote on the topic that may provide some information and guidance on how to write/structure one: Writing a Novel Synopsis

    Good luck.

    Terry
     
  5. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    Everything I've read goes along with what Cog said.
    A short one page break down of the entire story (and no more than one page, single spaced, TNR 12 point.), no teasers, all the details. Fun times, right? I read that they wouldn't be opposed to you including the first 5 pages of your work along with the query letter, kind of like a sample, but no more than that. I would be afraid they'd turn me away just from not wanting to read all my junk. So, good luck with that. haha It's a daunting task.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't send a sample unless the submission guidelines allow it. Stick to the query letter, unless otherwise indicated.

    Besides, you'll save on postage by not sending more than requested.
     
  7. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    You should follow each agent's submission guidelines to the letter. Any deviation provides the agent with justification to "round file" the submission.

    As far as the structure of a synopsis, TWErvin2 has a good link in his post. Another guideline I like is:

    http://www.fictionwriters.com/tips-synopsis.html
     
  8. coldu
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    coldu Member

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    If you submitted a twenty page synopsis to an agent they would reject it faster than you blink and probably black-list you until the end of time.
    You need to prove you can write concisley and a tweny page synopsis is not going to do that in billion years.
    I have never heard of a synopsis being anything over two pages. It is not a summary or ab blurb for the book. It should be a step by step, deatils of the key points, chracters and purpose of each chapter from beghing to end. it should be written in the third person , presnet tense and should follow logicall from begining to end regardless or how the story is plotted. No surprises either. THey need to know the ending.
    Every step can ecompas three major elemement. Introduction, conflic and resolution. Try to isloate these three steps for every stage of your story. keep it breif but excitiing. There is a differnece between simple writing and bland writing.
     

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