Writing a Synopsis
A synopsis is a selling tool. Your audience
is agents and editors who have limited time to spend on any
new work of fiction. Convince them to make time for you! More
often than not, the well-crafted synopsis will be the difference
between getting a routine rejection letter and getting your
first three chapters read. Spend more time writing and revising
your synopsis than you did with any individual chapter.
The content of your synopsis should establish
the unique voice of your novel. Simply abbreviating your story
will not excite a reader. Begin your synopsis with your hook--what
makes your work commercial? Identify your characters and theme.
What is the setting of your story? What is motivating your
characters? What do the protagonists and antagonists have
to lose? What are the essential conflicts within your story?
How do the characters grow emotionally and spiritually? Establish
a clear resolution.
A synopsis can be effectively presented
in 1 to 10 pages. Briefer is better. Double-space your work
with 1 1/2" margins. In the upper left-hand margin, list
your last name/ partial title. In the upper right hand margin,
list the consecutive page numbers of your synopsis. Include
a title page with your name, the complete title of your work,
your home address, phone number, and email address.