Today I’ll start by sharing 8 Tips for Writing a Synopsis – Short and Sweet
You’ve just completed the Great American Novel. You’ve done everything you’ve been told to do. You’ve created compelling characters and plopped them right smack in the middle of emotional/physical conflict. You’ve engaged the reader with your perfectly executed plot and subplots. You’ve edited and proofed and allowed your baby to be critiqued by your writer’s group.
Now it’s time to share the pictures and see if anyone wants to hold her. So you register for another writers conference where editors, agents, critiquers, and contest judges may ask for a synopsis.
Although you’ll find varying guidelines depending on the organization, here are 8 tips to creating a great synopsis:
1.Â Â Â The synopsis is a summary of the plot of your book that gives the reader a chance to see if it warrants a closer look.
2.Â Â Â It’s often limited to 1-3 pages, but in a few cases, the page limit is much higher. Be sure to follow the guidelines of the organization you’re submitting to.
3.Â Â Â It’s usually single-spaced with an extra space between paragraphs and 1-inch margins on all sides.
4.Â Â Â Print it in black ink, on white paper, using a standard font (Times New Roman is most often used).
5.Â Â Â It is written in present tense, third person.
6.Â Â Â The synopsis must tell the ending of the story, even if the book is a mystery, thriller, or suspense novel. This is not the time to leave the editor/agent/judge/critiquer hanging and hope he or she will beg you to tell the ending. I’ve actually read a synopsis where the writer said something like, “I can’t give away the ending because it’s so unusual, but believe me, it’s a real twist!” Hmmm. Not a good idea.
7.Â Â Â You can’t cover all the points of the book, but you’ll want to include the major plots points that move the story along to a satisfactory ending.
8.Â Â Â Give enough detail that the reader is engaged, but–with a limit of 2-3 pages–you’ll have to carefully decide what earns a place in the synopsis.
So, there you have it–8 tips to writing a synopsis. Remember, it’s the short and the sweet of your story!
And kudos to these talented Christian Writer’s Den friends!
These CWD writers are doing the work, and finding success. Let’s celebrate with them!
1.Â Cheryl Barker (KS): My book Mother of the Bride: Refreshment and Wisdom for the Mother of the Bride was officially released by BroadStreet Publishing on July 1st.
2.Â Sandy Quandt (TX): Sandy has THREE things to share this month! 1)1st place award in the unpublished Children’s Lit at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference; 2)Contracted to write 20 devotions for Worthy Inspire’s Seeing God in Nature devotional; and 3)Article on “How to Write a Devotion” published on WOW! Women on Writing.
Books and articles and awards, oh my! Congrats, Cheryl and Sandy. We’re proud of you!
And friends, if you didn’t find your name on this list, be sure to check back next week where I’ll have a collection of opportunities just for you!
Next upâ€¦Who earned another entry into the MoGo7000 drawing for $100?
#15: Susan Baganz – 11,114 words
#16: Amanda Everett – 7,019 words
Congratulations, Susan and Amanda! And friends, if you’d like an opportunity to win $100, just check out the MoGo700 Challenge guidelines here. It’s all free!
Well, that’s does it for today. I hope you’ve learned something and been inspired to keep writing. After all, writing isn’t a race to the finish line. The finish line is whenever we pass into glory. And the only way to lose at writing is to quit.
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