K.L. Kranes lives in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband, daughter and dog. When not writing fiction, K.L. is a freelance editor.
A synopsis is an outline of the plot of a book that is 2-5 pages with from 500-1250 words. If your synopsis is 25-30 pages long, the agent or editor might lose interest after the first 5, so be succinct. You don’t want your reader to fall asleep.
When you write a synopsis, first start with your pitch summary from the blurb on the back of your book cover. After the pitch summary, then write the full synopsis using a paragraph for each plot point and tell the ending.
Pointers for your synopsis:
1. Keep your language clear and active, and focus on telling the story. As your plot unfolds, write it the way you would tell about a movie to a friend, skip the dull parts and hit the main highlights.
2. Start at the first scene in the book with the main character: “From the moment she woke on that chilly February morning, Savannah Smith knew without a doubt that she would divorce her husband.”
3. Show the beginning, middle, and end with main character conflicts and resolutions. Don’t get bogged down in details. Stick to a few main characters – perhaps the protagonist and antagonist and make their core conflicts and their emotional ups and downs, with their twists and turns.
4. When you introduce a new character, give a quick character sketch: “Burly Jones is a 36-year-old workaholic whose biggest joys in life are horseshoes, women, and his motorcycle, not necessarily in that order.”
5. Include, perhaps, one piece of dialogue between the protagonist and the antagonist to give evidence of the tone of the story.