Tag Archives: How to write synopsis


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. 1-2 pages in length
  2. Single spaced
  3. All the essential details of your novel should be summarized
  4. 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:
  1. Give a clear picture – the roadmap of your novel (the complete skeleton) the reader/agent should not feel confused. Focus on clarity
  2. Don’t cram too many characters – just your protagonist, antagonist, and one or two major supporting characters
  3. No descriptions – No unnecessary details
  4. No to jargons
  5. Don’t refer other novels
  6. No adverbs and No cliches
  7. A good opening line is a good brownie point
  8. Use active voice
  9. Avoid the character’s backstory in the synopsis
  10. 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 🙂