#writetip The dreaded synopsis has found its way to the top of my to-do list.
How do you take 82,000 words and summarize them in to 500 to 1000 words?
Sweat it out, of course.
As I’ve said before, I love my spreadsheets and don’t know how anyone can write a novel without one. Well, here is my next use.
One column of my spreadsheet has a name for each scene. The name represents what happens in this scene.
To create my synopsis, first I’m look for turning points in the novel. Luckily, I already have this in the spreadsheet. The turning points are events that take the story in a new direction.
Next, I write each scene name on a paper. I cross out anything that doesn’t need to be in the synopsis. Once I do this four or five time, I write out a one line description of the scene. Now I know if I’m anywhere near the right word count. If not, I keep cutting.
I follow some simple guidelines:
– Use protagonists POV
– Don’t include questions
– Use present tense
– Write in the same voice as your novel
– Don’t turn the synopsis into a list
– Include the ending
If the first line of your novel is great, and I hope it is, why not use that as your opening line of your synopsis?
If you have any tips for writing a synopsis, I’d love to hear them.