Wednesday 3 September 2008

How to present a Story Synopsis

Tell Me a Story

A synopsis is important
A synopsis could be the most important thing you ever write. Get it wrong and your book might never see the light of day. Make it stand out, make it interesting, and you might well be on the way to becoming a published writer.

A story synopsis can take on many shapes; it has no definite arrangement, but like the manuscript, should be double line-spaced and clearly printed.
The chief component of the synopsis, and sometimes the only element, is a short narrative of the story, and SHOULD:-
  • Always be written in present tense.
  • Name and describe all major protagonists.
  • Sum up key events in the novel.
  • Specify the book’s point of view:
  • Contain virtually no dialogue:

A background piece might occasionally lead the synopsis itself, but only if the story's framework necessitates explanation, (where the plot may hinge on unfamiliar story elements such as in sci-fi or fantasy).
Try to keep the synopsis to just a couple of pages. After all, you're trying to entice the editor by presenting a brief sample. The last thing you want, is to bore your tired and weary editor into slinging the synopsis into the bin.

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