Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Synopsis Hints

Okay. I'm not quite to the point of being ready to write a synopsis. But for the WIFYR conference last week I had to submit a synopsis of my novel along with my first ten pages. I can write a story. I cannot write a synopsis.

If you're finished with your novel and ready to start sending out submissions to agents and editors then it's time to get cracking on that synopsis.

So, here are a few tips that Kathleen Duey shared with my class during the morning session of WIFYR. Hopefully, one day I will learn to write a good synopsis, because good writing doesn't just sell itself.

Bring your character in for the first paragraph. (Don't double back). Remember your story is your character and your events are the challenges your character faces.
Example: Candace lived with her father all her life, and the amazing thing is she's still alive.

Give a backdrop while writing the tour-guide version of your story, and leave out the connective tissue.
Example: Candace has lived in Ohio all her life. It was never where she wanted to be.

Here's a breakdown of what your synopsis should look like:
1. Character
2. Challenges
3. Precipitating moment
4. Quick world description
5. Secondary characters
NEVER mention any names other than the main character. Introduce them only by their relationship to the protagonist.
6. Consequence of what happens. The low point.

The important thing to remember is that this is a showcase for your main character.


  1. Ah, very nice. Synopsis are hard! My latest one was easier than the last--though as far as mentioning names, I definitely broke that rule. Does it apply to epic fantasy? XD

  2. HAHAHA. I think it probably applies to everything :)and especially epic fantasy. This tip did come from THE Kathleen, if that doesn't say it I don't know what does.