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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    How detailed should your synopsis be?

    In your opinion how in depth should the synopsis be? Should it highlight all of the plot or is it more of a back of the cover description of the book?

  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
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    That can depend on the submission guidelines for the agent or editor but it's probably best to do a long one first and then you can pare down as needed.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArcadiaE View Post
    ...Should it highlight all of the plot...?
    Yes. A synopsis is not the place to be coy. You don't have to go into every character and subplot, but the main conflict should be laid out, including the climax and resolution. A query letter is where you hook an agent; a synopsis is where you demonstrate your ability to tell a complete story.

  4. #4
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    A synopsis details the flow of the story. Its job is to stand in for the manuscript, to show that there are no loose ends and illogical or contradictory events. It's usually told in present tense in the form, "This happens...then that happens...and after that..." How deeply you go depends on the complexity of the story, but most are two pages or less for the average length novel.

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Is that so? I thought they were typically three to five pages myself. Minimalist that I am, I don't think I could produce a decent synopsis in under two pages. That's only 600 words... unless you're talking single-spaced, then that's 1200 words...
    Last edited by John Oberon; 07-21-2016 at 11:06 AM.

  6. #6
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    They used to be longer, with a 100k/word novel running about four pages (years ago lots of people advised about one page per 25k/word), but they've been asking for shorter ones.

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