Now that you know how to find a good plot for your novel , that you are able to start thanks to the true sentence , that you are clear about what the conflict is and that you know how to end your novel in a masterful way … What is there to learn? Believe it or not, there is still something left.
Locked in the depths of the Fortress of Solitude, beyond the always frozen Wastelands of Review, imprisoned behind the Gates of Madness, lies a superhero: The Writer.
Who is this masked vigilante? We know little about him, the only thing that is really clear to us is that he has given everything. Everything. A single tear escapes from his mask and rolls down his cheek as he writes the last words of his manuscript. FINISH.
The writer stops for a second. The entire room seems to be holding its breath. His great masterpiece is complete. Soon, the whole world will know its power.
The Writer reviews his arcane grimoire of writings. There, in gold letters, in the middle of the page, a horrible phrase stands out, his blood freezes and his eyes go wide:
Submissions must have a one-page synopsis of the work attached.
A lonely cry through the corridors of the Fortress of Solitude, is an agonizing cry that no one else will hear.
The dreaded synopsis
Why do we writers hate writing a synopsis? Possibly, because as writers, we are too attached to the history we write. We know each phrase by heart and how it fits with the rest. And now they ask us to forget 99% of our work.
Also, some stories don’t sound good at all when you reduce them to a single page. The subtlety disappears, the characterization disappears. Even the script twists (so incredible in the manuscript), they seem childish and silly.
There is no more, we all hate synopses.
Can these problems be avoided? It’s complicated. It is impossible to reduce a work from 60,000 words to 1000 and not miss many things along the way. Does that mean, whatever I do, my synopsis will be nothing more than a mutilated blur of my novel? No, it doesn’t have to be that way.
You need something fantastic:
• Make it quick to read.
• As clear as a polished diamond.
• Able to explain several chapters in one sentence.
The powerful synopsis:
Length : 600 to 700 words. More or less the size of an A4.
Narration : in the third person, for the rhythm.
The powerful synopsis: the content
• You should start with the setting: where and when your novel is set.
• Then introduce your protagonist.
• Explain your first conflict and how you deal with it, and also introduce the antagonist who is causing those problems.
• Explain how and why the protagonist embarks on the adventure.
• Explain the following important facts in order.
• Explain how the conflict (internal and external) hinders the protagonist’s progress.
• Finally, he explains how he gets the prize and what its value consists of.
Tips for your synopsis
• Remember that your antagonist does not have to be a person.
• Don’t mention any supporting characters; only protagonist, antagonist and the main ones.
• Do not introduce subplots in the synopsis.
• Don’t include unnecessary details or too many descriptions.
• Don’t write a ” teaser ” like the ones we find on the back covers of books. You need to explain your manuscript, not hook the reader.
• Eliminate adverbs and adjectives from your synopsis. Write minimalist.
How to cook your novel
A good way to write a synopsis is to cook your novel. You can try to peel each chapter and chop it up. If we can chop them up into one sentence, then we’ll have a good start for our synopsis.
Try using this formula:
In one ( scenario ) the ( protagonist ) has a ( problem ) ( caused by his antagonist ) and ( faces the conflict ), while trying to ( reach his prize ).
If you reduce each chapter to this type of summary, it will be much easier to complete the synopsis.
Talk to someone
Another good idea is to talk to a friend, record yourself while you explain what your novel is about. Listen to the questions I ask you. Transcribe the conversation and keep the most interesting. Your novel may flow better during conversation.
Investigate. Do tests. Combine any of the processes that I have described above until you are able to find the one that works best for you. Until you find the one that best suits your novel. In the end, when you read the synopsis to a friend, their reaction should be: I want to read that!
Finally, I leave you another tip to write a good synopsis is to read and make synopses of other books (other than yours) . Practice makes a master. In addition, it is much easier to cut the pieces of the others.
Keep working until you get the synopsis your novel deserves.
Now it’s your turn. Do you like synopses? Do you hate them? Do you have any trick to write synopsis and not die trying?