Friday, April 13, 2007


Last month I taught a workshop called “Writing the Synopsis: Four Steps to the Ultimate SALES Tool” for the North Texas Professional Writers Association (and I’ll be teaching it again next month for the Brazos Writers’ This Business of Writing Conference). Attendees to the workshop in Bedford could send me their up-to-3-page synopsis and I would look at it for them. I’m starting to get some of them now.

Writers tend to dread writing a synopsis. When they do write one, it often reads like a dry piece of toast. No flavor. It’s a listing of events that take place in the story. Even a book that’s exciting and a real page-turner can seem drab and lifeless if only the major events are presented like a paragraphed grocery list in the synopsis.

I can tell that the people sending me their synopses paid attention in class. They’re working to make the synopsis read like a “mini me” of their book. Put flavor into your synopsis. The voice of your synopsis should be the same as the voice of your book. An agent or editor should be able to read the synopsis and know exactly how the book will sound.

There is so much that goes into producing a “good” synopsis, but if there’s one key element it’s the voice of the synopsis.

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