I’ve been on this elusive road to publication for over six years. I have written three novels, won writing competitions, built up a following on my oh-so silly blog and partaken in several on-line peer review groups so that my grammar and punctuation is almost word perfect! (Oops, meant to put a period there).

With all that new-found and ever-evolving knowledge, as well as my increased capacity to tell a tale, I still couldn’t write a decent synopsis. Until today.

A synopsis to me is a bit of grey matter where a devoted writer of brilliant novel (namely me) has to condense ninety-thousand dynamic words into a measly five hundred (or so). ‘It’s impossible,’ I scream (nicely) whenever I type Synopsis onto a blank white screen.  ‘Let’s face it, my characters simply dance on those three-hundred pages. My dialogue sings and is wonderfully innovative. My weaving plot lines twist and turn, and my capacity for detail is a feast for the eyes. In other words, my book is one big party and I’m about to turn it into an intimate soiree.

My research over the years on how to write a great synopsis has not served me well. I have taken formulas and templates and I’ve filled in the gaps. I’ve emailed successful authors and asked them ‘How did you do it?” (They never replied). I have edited and edited again. I have posted it and had it rejected, never to be sought out by readers of standing. (or sitting) and I have cried, really soggy tears over my inability to knock one out. 

Until today! Hoorah!!

Now I have a method and I feel like shouting it from the rooftops. A method so universal and so apt to all tales, I am about to take my hat off to myself.  Yes, folks, remember you read it here first.

The indisputable way to write a synopsis.

Go through your novel page by page, chapter by chapter. Write a wee snippet of each chapter, introducing characters and plot details in order, as if you were writing a quick blurb for a short story. Then, where you're done, combine it all into one job lot.  Always give it a kick start at the beginning by writing about the overall idea and then use your characters to interconnect the scenes and the method behind your thinking. Always cap each character’s name when you first mention them (lower case after that). Don’t give away everything, but remember you want to sell it, so you have to give some great detail that could potentially excite agent slash publisher slash reader. Finally, round it all up without giving the game away. Just leave them knowing that if they don’t read your book after that great synopsis, they will live forever on the dark side.

Check out my theory
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Go write and be synopsis sure.
Good luck
Wendy

10/4/2012

Great article and a game changer for writing a good synopsis.

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