Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Writing a Synopsis or What is Your Story About?

Do you wrestle with writing a synopsis? I don't have as many problems as I used to. I finally learned the key, for me, was writing it in the same tone of voice as the story. In the past, I wrote them more like college papers - very analytical and straight to the point.

After realizing that wasn't quite right and doing research on HOW to write them, I've discovered
little things that help me.

First, I introduce the hero and heroine (and villain if you have one) before delving into the meat of the story. This includes mentioning each character's goal. When I finish, I end up with a brief paragraph for each main character.

After that, I start with the inciting action and use the turning points as my guide. In the past, I didn't use TPs and a lot of miscellaneous action ended up in my synopsis that frankly, didn't need to be there and no one cared about. Using TPs helps tremendously in capturing the important and relevant action as it happens throughout the story. Each turning point affects the H/H in some way so it is important to include that information as well.

From a synop, you should be able to understand the complete story, including the motivations/conflict and goals for your characters. When you've accomplished that, you have written a great synopsis.

When I get bogged down and can't seem to make any progress writing the synop, it does help to remind myself that a synopsis is a response to a complete stranger who has just asked, "what is YOUR story about?"
posted by Liz @ 9:43 AM  
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