As I work on more synopses from students in last month’s The Synopsis: Four Steps to the Ultimate SALES Tool, I’m coming across writers having a common problem. Their books are so full of interesting characters, each with their own story, and interweaving story lines, they’re having trouble cutting the story down to one or two pages. The synopsis will sound almost like a laundry list of characters and so many story lines, you can’t understand it all.
Of course you can’t! If you take 300 or 400 pages and condense it into two pages, you’ve got to kill characters and story lines. For such a short synopsis, focus on the protagonist, the opponent or antagonist, the main story line (protagonist’s problem), and one or two supporting characters. To get just this much in while making it read like a mini-me of your book both in story and voice, that’s all you’ll have room for.
And don’t forget to tell the ending. You don’t tell the ending in the query letter, but you DO in the synopsis.
5 months ago