I’d better write three novels than a synopsis, because, it is THAT difficult. For my next flick Dirty Martini – My editors and I re-wrote the synopsis for almost 50 times though we are convinced now, we also know how challenging and painstaking it is. Agents ask for synopsis along with your query letter most of the times.
I thought this post would be of some use to the newbies and also, for the authors to use this as a checklist.
Quintessential a synopsis:
1-2 pages in length
All the essential details of your novel should be summarized
It must be interesting enough to be picked
Yes, Challenging indeed.
Protagonist, the conflict, and setting
As I usually say, all the stories are about pushing the protagonist in a situation and helping him/her to come out of it. Make sure it is fresh, new and exciting. Ensure that your elements in your story don’t reflect or imitate any other.
Major plot turns/twists
Explain the motivation of your protagonist, emotions of the characters involved during these plot turns should be recorded
How the major plot is resolved
The ending, the surprise factors, etc.. should be listed
Points to remember/ Checklist:
Give a clear picture – the roadmap of your novel (the complete skeleton) the reader/agent should not feel confused. Focus on clarity
Don’t cram too many characters – just your protagonist, antagonist, and one or two major supporting characters
No descriptions – No unnecessary details
No to jargons
Don’t refer other novels
No adverbs and No cliches
A good opening line is a good brownie point
Use active voice
Avoid the character’s backstory in the synopsis
Don’t split your synopsis into sections/don’t use labels as you do while brainstorming
If you have more points to add, please feel free to comment