1. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    Synopsis How to write a good short synopsis - any tips?

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Rosacrvx, Dec 25, 2016.

    I'm finding hard to write good short synopses of my work. I mean very short ones, three lines the most, the sort you are able to read on an book website. Or on a movie on Netflix. Really short ones that tell you what the story is about without giving away too much.
    I'm able to do this for any book I read or any movie or TV show I watch, but I have trouble with my own work. I'm not objective and distanced enough.
    I've tried to do it by telling the beginning of the book, but it's not enough to give the reader a clear idea of what the story is about. But if I do hint at what the beginning will lead to, I'm afraid of ruining the suspense of events that keep the reader interested in the beginning, or giving away spoilers.
    Any advice on what I should focus? Any tips on how to write from a distanced perspective (if that's possible)?

    Anyone else has this problem? Or had this problem and overcame it?
     
  2. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    The type of thing you're talking about (I'm guessing) is more of a pitch than a synopsis. In the first Save the Cat! book, he talks about a way to do this that I found very helpful. In a nutshell, you talk about the MC, his goal and the major obstacle (usually the antagonist) standing in his way. And you leave it open-ended.

    The book is available on Amazon.
     
  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    It might sound weird, but I'd suggest starting even shorter, and then adding, rather than thinking about the whole thing and then taking away.

    So, at its absolutely most basic level, maybe your book is "Two teenagers have an adventure." That's not enough, obviously, but for me at least it's easy to add to it. The names of the teens, the nature of their adventure, a bit about the setting, etc... don't add too much, obviously, but some!
     
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  4. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    tonguetied likes this.
  5. antlad

    antlad Banned

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  6. pitviper

    pitviper Member

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    Let me read your story. I'll write the synopsis for you. I am good at this.
     
  7. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    Thank you for your replies. I'll read the links as soon as I can.

    @pitviper
    Thank you so much, but my story is in Portuguese.


    Hahaha! I wish I had friends like that. If you do, treasure them.

    I'll try to do this instead. I'll try to write a short synopsis of my story here and you'll tell me what you think. (I hope that's ok to do that.) A synopsis (I think you call it blurb) should be so concise and to the point that it can be done in English too without any meaning being lost in translation.
     
  8. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    This is what I got (translation):


    In an act of disguised kindness, the young emperor saves an unfortunate girl from the ignominy of the village’s tavern. What unexpectedly happens afterwards, from what should have been so inconsequent, changes the course of their lives forever. How much, of all, is the result of chance and choice, and how much, of all, moves them like pawns in the hands of fate?

    ***

    Too little?
    Last sentence is too poetic?

    The theme of the story if indeed fate. I wanted to convey it without saying it.
    What do you think?
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Too many big words , and uneccessary words at that

    The young emperor saves a girl from the village tavern. Whether by choice or the hand of fate their lives are changed for ever
     
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  10. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I would say that went just a little too far in the opposite direction, but yeah, that was a lot better.
     
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  11. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    @big soft moose
    Thank you! I do think, however, that a summary like that would lead readers into thinking of a romantic involvement = romantic story. I don't want to mislead the readers. (It's not a "boy meets girl" story.)
    What changes their lives forever is not just their encounter but what happens afterwards. The way their destinies reveal to be entangled long before they knew they were.
    I've read the tips on the links above and they seem indeed too simplistic, but they do point out a villain or an antagonist. My story doesn't have "villains", in that sense, but Fate seems to play that part. In fact, notice that I've just capitalised Fate. The purpose is to draw the attention of people who are interested in that sort of thing: chance, choice, or Fate?
    It's clearer now, in my mind, so thank you all.
     

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