SYNOPOSIS – Harder than writing a novel – Writing lessons

You notice that I have not put a question mark after ‘harder than writing a novel’, this is because I’m not asking the question, I’m telling you!

I have just finished my draft synopsis and it is still too long.

(In a non-related subject; why do I keep publishing this blog when I haven’t finished writing it yet? Apologies to all.)

How can you summarize the entire contents of a 75,000 word novel in one A4 sheet of double spaced text? OK, some publishers/agents allow two pages but what about that really funny bit you are desperate for them to read or that emotionally charged scene that although is not a main plot point, cannot be left out?


1. Read as much as I could on the subject

2. Go through my manuscript and note down each plot point

3. Capitalize the character’s (full) name when he/she is introduced.  Revert to normal text after that.

4. Limited naming characters to five. This forces you to focus on the main characters and plot.

5. Made sure I had a beginning, middle and end. 

Through research, most agents/publishers, want to know what happens at   the end of your story. Don’t leave them dangling, thinking they won’t be able to resist reading the whole thing if you leave out the ending….they wont.

6. Didn’t worry about being dry, like, ‘She tells Bob that she is dying. Bob has to go back to work.’

You won’t have room for the emotions of the scene.

7. Made sure my synopsis was double-spaced and in third person past tense.

This is the same regardless of what point of view the book is written in.

A synopsis is not a book blurb so is not intended to tease the reader, just let them know what happens and what happens to the main character.

If anyone has any other tips, Please feel free to let me know!

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