I wanted to share with everyone the importance of a synopsis. I hope to explain what it is, what purpose it serves and how it can make or break your opportunities to be picked up by a publisher. We all feel we know how to write a compelling storyline, to engage our readers with lively characters and that our stories deserve to be seen by the masses but that may not be possible if this one important step is not done correctly.
What is a Synopsis?
A synopsis in the simplest terms is a summary of your story. It needs to give the beginning, middle and ending of the complete story. A synopsis is not intended for you to give the long version of events that took place in each part of your plot. It needs to be one page ONLY! It is also the representation of your work and usually a door opener or closer into the world of publishing. It needs to capture your audience (publishing company) in one page and give away the ending. Many writers are leary about giving away the ending or think if they withhold the ending it will entice the publisher to take a chance. It actually does the opposite and shows that you are an amateur. Avoid that mistake like the plague.
Why Do You Need a Synopsis?
Your synopsis is your first impression, it’s the first thing a potential publisher sees to determine if they want to read the rest of your manuscript. You only have one shot to hook them and your synopsis is the bait. Take some time to craft your synopsis and be sure it has the beginning, the middle and the end of the story. It should flow and tell the reader enough about the story to help them make a decision. Avoid giving your personal opinion, for example: “I think this part is great when the characters confront each other” It should be done as a review which means an overview of the story or a narrative.
Synopsis: A Make or Break?
How can a poorly done or no synopsis make or break you, you ask? Well to be quite frank most publishers are bombarded with thousands of manuscripts per day. They unfortunately don’t have the time to read tons of unsolicited work so they use a synopsis to help filter their submissions. It is also used as a means to determine if they want to read more. If your synopsis doesn’t capture them before the end you can bet it reaches the slush pile of discarded work. If you don’t have a synopsis its like coming to a network party without business cards. If your synopsis is poorly done it will stop you at the door. You’ll hear the music but won’t be invited in.
For a few samples of winning synopsis’ visit the link below.
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