1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. HondaWriter

    HondaWriter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0

    The dreaded synopsis

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by HondaWriter, Oct 26, 2009.

    Just so Im clear on what I've found online, a synopsis covers the whole book very briefly. It reveals the plot, main characters, and any twists.
     
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,953
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If that's a question, the answer is yes.
     
  3. HondaWriter

    HondaWriter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have found some conflicting information though.

    Like here: <commercial site link removed> Where it says the synopsis resembles the back cover of the novel, explaining what the story is about.
     
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,953
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A synopsis that you present to a legitimate publisher on request is a full summary of the story.

    You can find conflicting information about anything on the Internet. That doesn't mean it has any value.
     
  5. HondaWriter

    HondaWriter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    What? Bigfoot is a myth?

    Dang.

    I understand what you're saying, but my ignorance on the whole publishing/querying aspect of writing needs to be forgiven. I dont really have a clue. I normally just write short stories and am still working through my first novel. I never thought I would be asked to write a synopsis of my book...heck a couple weeks ago, I've never even heard the word synopsis before....

    Thanks for your help, Cogito.
     
  6. BUDDY GORGEOUS

    BUDDY GORGEOUS Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    UK
    You pretty much answered your own question to start with mate :D
     
  7. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    blurbs on book covers/jackets are written to entice the book-buyer, not to sell your ms to an agent or publisher...

    so your synopsis should not have any questions in it and should lay out all the main plot elements of your book, including how it ends, all written in simple declarative present tense...
     
  8. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,657
    Likes Received:
    662
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    To add to what others said about a synopsis: It’s a single spaced, one page, present tense, summary of the novel. Sometimes it bleeds onto a second page, but one is generally best (unless individual publisher guidelines state otherwise). It is to cover the main action of the story, what’s at stake, the resolution and the main character’s involvement. For clarity, a synopsis isn’t what many call a teaser found on the back cover to entice readers toward purchasing the novel.

    Terry
     
  9. architectus

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    Hopefully, this personal site is allowed. It's Charlotte Dillion's site. Anyway, it is mainly for romance writers, but it has links on how to write a synopsis and examples of winning synopses.

    http://www.charlottedillon.com/synopsis.html
     
  10. bruce

    bruce Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
  11. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,953
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Here is a new one from our own Terry Ervin: Writing a Novel Synopsis
     
  12. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    good stuff!... should be required reading for all who ask how to write one... how about putting this link in a sticky, somewhere that's appropriate, cog?
     
  13. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,657
    Likes Received:
    662
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Cogito, thank's for posting the link to the article in this thread, and Mammamaia, thank you for the compliment. It was written to provide direction for writers trying to tackle a synopsis.

    Terry
     
  14. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,953
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Good idea, Maia. I've started a resource sticky in this forum with a link to Terry's article. I'll add other article links to it over time.

    Collected Informative Links for Submitters
     

Share This Page