Strathy Follow glencstrathy To sell your novel, you may need to know how to write a synopsis, even if you are a pantser-type novelist who can write a whole novel without making an outline first. Agents and publishers will often ask for a synopsis along with sample chapters before they request a complete manuscript. Then the other team scored.
And let me point out that there are very different recommendations regarding the style and purposes of a synopsis, differences so striking that the two camps might as well be discussing different pieces of writing.
On one side is the idea that the synopsis is a tease, a draw to get the proper persons agents, editors, contest judges to want to read the full story. They direct the writer to include the story arc as well as major character arcs. What this turns into is a mini-version of your story with the same feel and word choices and emotional impact.
The emphasis here is not on how you write but truly on what happens in the story. One popular agent who offers online tips to writers is a proponent of this style.
Think of this group as wanting to cut to the chase. Is it any wonder writers look on writing one with dread? But you can do it.
Writers do it every day. Even with the disagreements among professionals who deal with manuscripts and synopses every day, keep in mind that there are some absolutes.
Start with the commonalities and write your synopsis. Make a decision and send the submission. But I mean it.
Make it the best you can. Have others read it. And then start submitting. Keep in mind that proponents of neither style are looking for a laundry list of common actions or setting details.
No one is looking for a play-by-play.
Think in terms of meaningful events rather than common actions. Teach yourself how to look at the big picture of your own stories.
This is what the reader of a synopsis, of either style, wants to know. For both styles, make your summary engaging. A synopsis, at its most basic, is a summary of your story. Yes, you have to spell out what happens at the end.
Agents and publishers need to know that you can end the story. They need to know what the end is. They need to know that. You can point out character growth or character insights; both can be more important for character-driven stories than for plot-driven ones. For the synopsis that flows in the story style, consider the synopsis as your bait.
Infuse your synopsis with life.Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, it’s tempting to think that writing the book is the really important thing, and that the book title can grow out of the writing later. Wrong. The title is hugely important: it should catch the agent’s attention and stick in the memory.
You'll need a book or novel synopsis to send literary agents. Read a simple guide on writing and formatting a perfect synopsis (with a synopsis example).
How to Write a Novel Synopsis. Posted on September 16, July 13, by Jane Friedman I’ve recently read on an agent’s submission page to send a synopsis with three first chapters. Do I still send some sort of query letter too?
Otherwise, How to Write a Book Proposal; Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book;. While there’s no single “best” way to write and assemble a book proposal—it will depend on the category, the author, and the publishers’ submission guidelines—the following sections appear in almost every book proposal.
If you have the skill to write a gripping synopsis, do ensure that you have used your energies wisely in advance of submitting and make sure that the book itself is as good as it can be.
Focus, particularly, on the fine-tuning of the opening 50 pages. While fiction writers are often required by publishers to submit a synopsis of their manuscripts, many nonfiction writers often don't think about writing synopses for their books.