At some point, whether we want to or not, most of us will have to write a synopsis. I personally don’t much care for them, nor do I feel I need one. I’m perfectly happy with my chapter-by-chapter outline of what happened to who when. But an agent is probably going to want one. The trick is turning an outline into a synopsis. According to YALITCHAT, which I belong to, here’s how to do it:
· Start with a hook, maybe like the line you used to interest the agent in your query.
· Introduce the main characters and tell their motivation, conflict and goals. Be brief and use present tense.
· In the body of the synopsis use paragraphs to write about the high points in chronological order. Each scene should include ACTION, REACTION, and a DECISION.
For example, the Outline of the beginning of Almost Paradise looks like this:
Prologue – Louis Cade, a scientist working on a secret project disappears.
Ch. 1 – p. 3 Katherine abruptly decides she cannot marry her fiancé.
Ch. 2 – p. 7 In an effort to escape she answers an ad for an unusual vacation on Cristobel Island where she meets Louis Cade who has apparently designed a means of time travel.
And here’s the Synopsis:
Katherine Kennedy is a woman who appears to have it all but in fact wants none of it. Jack McCabe is a veteran with an unhappy past, drifting in search of something. They both soon find themselves back in 1881, thanks to Louis Cade, the owner of Cristobel Island, a unique vacation resort.
And this is Grimoire:
Chapter One ~ p. 3 (1805)Arlen: a girl who seemingly has everything, loses it all.
It is February of 1805 in a slightly alternate England and Arlen, a girl who seemingly has it all, loses everything. Destitute, she is sent to live with a grandmother she never knew she had. Her last view of her home reveals a startling vision of her parents waving a ghostly goodbye. What Arlen doesn’t know is that she’s a witch and her ‘talents’ have begun to manifest.
Do you have any tricks or rules for writing a synopsis?