Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–SYNOPSIS!!!!


Alrighty, you’ve finished your manuscript. You’ve written a query letter. What’s next?

The synopsis. GAH!

If you’ve been in the blogosphere for any length to time, you know advice about synopsis writing varies (as with everything else). Is it supposed to be 500 words or 5 pages? Is it supposed to be single-spaced or double? Do you indent the paragraphs?

And that’s just the format.

What about the content? Do you include just the three major plot twists, or do you give a timeline of every challenge confronting the main character? Do you take time to worldbuild? Do you describe the character’s motivations?

So many questions! So much information to distill! What’s a writer to do?

Check out tips offered by other writer’s, of course!

Fiction Writer’s Connection

Absolute Write

Bottom line: To me, a synopsis is a present-tense, blow by blow account of the major plot points. It starts off with a hook introducing your main character, his/her world, and the challenge he/she faces. The body of the synopsis details the plot points and how the main character overcomes them and/or grows. The last paragraph describes the conclusion of the story, including the ending.

Nice and simple, right?

Then why am I spending weeks working on it?! LOL!

So, dear friends, what tips have you head to make synopsis writing easier?

Don’t forget to check out Danyelle’s answer about how she handles waiting! Here’s Lydia’s post if you missed it last week!

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7 comments on “Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–SYNOPSIS!!!!

  1. Lindsay says:

    Oh the evil synopsis. Never have I struggled more than over those pages in my life! lol.

    My only tip is to go with the key events in your book. I want to write about everything, but making bullet points helped me to flesh out the synopsis.

    And I took an awesome synopsis workshop by C.J.Redwine which helped. 🙂

  2. Charli Mac says:

    I am taking a query/synopsis course right now and I found this tool so useful is crafting my synopsis.

    Here is part of our lesson, I hope it helps you, it did me.

    Story is: characters taking action. And every story has a beginning, middle, and end.

    Plot reveals the characters’ actions during the time span of the story.

    In other words, plot IS time. Whether your character is moving forward in time or backwards, the entire plot occurs during whatever time frame you have established.

    p.1: Opening Hook
    P.40: Call to Action
    p.100: Turning Point #1 (end Act I)
    p.200: Midpoint (where everything changes)
    p.300: Turning Point #2 (end Act II)
    p.360: Climax
    p.400: Resolution (the end)

  3. Lynn Rush says:

    Yikes. Synopsis writing is so difficult for me. I’ve seen the outline that Charli mentioned above before.

    Good luck with it…I know you’re gonna do great.

  4. Danyelle says:

    Surprisingly, the synopsis is the one thing that’s easier for me to write. With the caveat that it only has to be 1-3 pages. I’m not sure how I would fair trying to write a five pager. >.<

    It helps me to reread the story right before I write the synopsis so things are fresh in my mind while I summarize it.

    I don't do page numbers, but I'm planning on using the methord Charli Mac outlined above and then building a page or so off of that. 🙂

    *hugs and writerly cookies*

  5. Synopses are hard! One thing that helped me was to read the synopses in other books. Often later books in a series will contain a synopsis of the previous books. Reading those helped me to see what really could be left out and still get the gist of the story across.

  6. lbdiamond says:

    Linday–yeah, it’s challenging figuring out what points to include and which ones to exclude!

    Charli Mac–great tips!

    Lynn–thanks for your supportive words!

    Danyelle–I like the shorter synops too!

    Angie–oooh, great idea!

  7. Lua says:

    Argh- writing a synopsis is difficult. Glad I’m not there yet, still have to revise, edit, write a query letter and then get to the synopsis 🙂
    But thank you for sharing those great tips- very useful!

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