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Thread: Synopsis

  1. #1
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    Talking Synopsis

    Hi. Does anyone have any favorite sites on writing synopses? I was thinking of something like Query Shark. There doesn't seem to be much on here about it. Thanks.



  2. #2
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    Tinman,

    Sure, I have a couple of sites you may find helpful. The first one is Charlotte Dillon:

    http://www.charlottedillon.com/synopsis.html

    This is primarily a romance writers site, but she has some great examples and lots of helpful links.

    You should also check out the blog, Guide to Literary Agents:

    http://guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog

    (I think that's the correct link!)

    If you scroll down the side, you'll find a link to "writing the synopsis." Chuck Sambuchino has posted a whole bunch of sample synopses for well-known movies. He also provides a quick primer on what should be included.

    Some things to remember about the synopsis:

    It's written in present tense.

    Concentrate on major plot points and major characters only and leave out ALL of the beautiful descriptive writing you've used in your story. Cut the adverbs, adjectives, flowery phrases, etc.

    The synopsis tells the complete story from beginning to end.

    Length can range from about one 1-2 pages single-spaced to 5 pages double-spaced. Shorter is usually better.

    Hope that helps.

    Jeanne

  3. #3
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    Jeanne. Thanks. The guidelines for one of the agents I want to submit to has "short synopsis". I'm planning 2-3 double spaced pages, 500-750 words. They don't define short. Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
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    Before you do, use the search function on "Moby Dick." You should find the one paragraph synopsis that I've put up here at least once. Unless your book needs to be in several physical volumes like The Lord of the Rings, there's no need for it to be that long.

  5. #5
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    I use a one page and a two page. I think anything more than two and it's just talking too much.

  6. #6
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    I have to do my first synopsis ever. Bleagh.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Joe. I'll check it out. I'd prefer to keep it as short as possible lol

  8. #8
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    Leslee. Thanks. I've read a few people who talk about 15 pages (groan), or 1 page for each 10,000 words. I thought 2 or 3 pages was brief. I'm glad to know it doesn't have to be so long. I guess I'll just keep it as short as I can while introducing the main characters, motivations and plot. Thanks again.

  9. #9
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    Jena. I share your pain lol. The second site (Jeanne has a link to it above) was very good. It had samples from several types of novels. Good Luck to us both!!!

  10. #10
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    If you can't find it, let me know and I'll repost it. I got it from John DeChancie, who wrote it simply to show that a full synopsis can be short and still get everything in. In fact, he even makes a point that most people miss: we never do find out the narrator's real name.

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