Wednesday, 2 February 2011

One synopsis, several synopses.

Pic nicked from Ripping Ozzie Reads

I was over at BookEnds a few minutes ago. The blog was from a literary agent receiving a submission that excluded the synopsis despite her request for one. The author claimed, "The synopsis is too hard to write."

Interesting, me thinks. I write a synopsis first. Even if I don't know how the piece is going to end, I'll still write a synopsis. A cut-down version of which, could grace the back cover of the final, beautifully published and well received book (quietly selling in millions and available from all book stores, good and bad, I thenk yaw).

Try it. Write your synopsis before you finish the first draft of the ms.

If you're like me, after you finish your novel, you'll have to tweak the synopsis to cater for changes made to the main story. Still, it will have served as a useful tool for getting the big picture / overview, and help you keep on track. It's also nice to have when someone asks, "What's your book about then?"

But then again, I'm the type who ponders for months before putting pen to paper, so pretty much know what's what before I start. I know some of you don't. So, umm, please disregard everything I say.

A summary of your thoughts?

(Click on the book picture to go to Ozzie Reads and some advice about how to write your synopsis.)


  1. I definitely think that this is the best way to do it--writing a synopsis first. Doesn't matter that you'll probably have to tweak it when the book's done, but it'll serve as that impetus to get you into the story.

    Can't believe that any serious writer would tell a prospective agent that the synopsis is too difficult to write!

    Interesting and informative post. Thank you, Gary.
    Ann Best, Author

  2. I'm definitely an outliner now. I prefer to know where I'm going and have it preplanned. Breaking it down to only a few sentences..that's another story. lol

  3. You know, I hadn't really thought about it, but I kind of do that with my blog posts!

    Good advice, Gary...


  4. Hi from a fellow crusader! I should try this. I'm at the start of a new novel, so maybe I'll sit down and work on it. Once the school vacation ends and I can get some writing done that is!

  5. For my novel, The Artist, I nearly blew my brains out trying to write the synopsis. I began affectionately calling it the "pinche synopsis." Eight drafts it took before it met agents' perimeters.

    But I learned my lesson. I did do the synopsis for the sequel, The Hitman, even before I started writing the first chapter.

    But I still hate them.