I’d better write three novels than a synopsis, because, it is THAT difficult. For my next flick Dirty Martini – My editors and I re-wrote the synopsis for almost 50 times 🙁 though we are convinced now, we also know how challenging and painstaking it is. Agents ask for synopsis along with your query letter most of the times.
I thought this post would be of some use to the newbies and also, for the authors to use this as a checklist.
Quintessential a synopsis:
- 1-2 pages in length
- Single spaced
- All the essential details of your novel should be summarized
- It must be interesting enough to be picked
Yes, Challenging indeed.
- Protagonist, the conflict, and setting
As I usually say, all the stories are about pushing the protagonist in a situation and helping him/her to come out of it. Make sure it is fresh, new and exciting. Ensure that your elements in your story don’t reflect or imitate any other.
- Major plot turns/twists
Explain the motivation of your protagonist, emotions of the characters involved during these plot turns should be recorded
- How the major plot is resolved
The ending, the surprise factors, etc.. should be listed
Points to remember/ Checklist:
- Give a clear picture – the roadmap of your novel (the complete skeleton) the reader/agent should not feel confused. Focus on clarity
- Don’t cram too many characters – just your protagonist, antagonist, and one or two major supporting characters
- No descriptions – No unnecessary details
- No to jargons
- Don’t refer other novels
- No adverbs and No cliches
- A good opening line is a good brownie point
- Use active voice
- Avoid the character’s backstory in the synopsis
- Don’t split your synopsis into sections/don’t use labels as you do while brainstorming
If you have more points to add, please feel free to comment 🙂