How to Write a Synopsis of Your Novel
by Glen C. Strathy* To sell your novel, you may need to know how to write a synopsis, even if you are a pantser-type novelist who can write a whole novel without making an outline first. Agents and publishers will often ask for a synopsis along with sample chapters before they request a complete manuscript. The biggest mistake most people make when they try to write a synopsis for the first time is to create a bare bones plot summary, along the lines of “First this happens, then this happens, then this happens...” Synopses written this way tend to be so dry and boring even the author would have trouble understanding why anyone would want to read the full novel. Imagine, for example, if a sports writer described a hockey game as “First one team scored. What makes a hockey game or a novel mesmerizing is not a step-by-step description of what happens, but the emotions that accompany the actions, the anticipation, fear, hope, excitement, and disappointment at each turn of events.
• After the Draft