Writing a Synopsis for a novel

Write a synopsis for a novel

A synopsis is and must be a technical document: Directly and clearly tell an agent what your story is; make clear what your hook, premise or lift pitch is; implicitly demonstrate its appeal and how action increases dynamics; share an ending that feels satisfying. I have heard of authors who make the synopsis before they write a word of the novel, but I am not surprised how many authors find writing this synopsis more difficult than writing the book itself.

But it doesn't have to be a difficult process. The majority of editors and agents require three chapters and a summary from the authors.

Write a synopsis for your novel: An alarming but useful practice.

I' ve been writing books for a long while. One of those students who was reading my normal text books at class and through university I sent tales to journals. Years later - after two weddings, five offspring, two cross-country movements, Himalayan hiking and a free-lance writing job - I eventually bought a memoroir for Random House.

So I still couldn't get my six-year-old books for sale, so I released a novel myself. My agents selling one of my books to New American Library/Penguin two week later. The success was cute, but I had never composed a synopsis for my notion. I don't even take the example of a boyfriend who sticks pages of his novel to the walls of his offices so that he can see and move the cuts.

One of my editors at NAL, whom I love, asked for a summary of my next novel so they could choose whether they wanted to look at the first three sections and consider it. How it happend, I had a new novel I had been working on for over a year, so I thought it would be simple to open up a synopsis.

So what is a synopsis anyway? Sure, a synopsis is a synopsis of the storyboard of your novel and depicts the protagonists and conflict. A synopsis must also be a unity of its own, with a clear beginning, center and end. The writing of the abstract of this novel lasted a whole weeks and made me dehydrated, weakened and frightened.

Thing is, when I was writing the abstract, the novel had more gaps, tears and lack of clapboards than I knew. Same thing the chief editors thought. I was left empty-handed between writing this novel in my normal fiction-dream state and working on my characteristic compilation of paid non-fiction books. But after so many years of rejecting the fictional, here was an interviewer who asked me - actually asked!

So all I had to do was a tale with credible personalities, a visual storyline, a few suprises and a great deal of emo. The summary, five pages on which I recounted the tale from the beginning by going through the best moments in the centre of the novel to the beautiful end.

The summary was sent to the publisher by e-mail. By chance I was on my way to a week-long writing retreat, in which I wanted to complete the novel I had been working on. Then in a fortnight, I was writing six chapters. That'? I' ve never been so quick to write a novel.

Then I realised what was different. Duh, I had a recap. And I knew where to begin the story and who the figures were. Writing a synopsis for my novel was the most useful lesson I had ever used. So if you want to try to write a synopsis for this novel in your mind, or for the one inside your computer, here is a general guide:

Don't be worried about the writing. Stay with some of the protagonists and make their key conflicting issues clear. Do not keep your summary longer than five or six pages. A lot of reporters and writers will ask for a summary of your novel if they like your questioning letters, and they can even ask about it with the first few sections of your text, so it's worth learning how to do it.

You' ll find out, as I did, that the summary before you lets your words flow when it's actually writing to you. But in my case, the summary did something surprising: She was selling my next novel for me. while I was at the airfield and came back from my writing retreat. Well, I'm sorry.

When she said that they had chosen to buy the volume solely on the basis of the summary without ever seeing the chapter, I almost toppled. So, get to work and write your summary now!

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