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Monday, February 28, 2011


Tricks to write a shorter synopsis

You have edited and polished your manuscript to death and now you need to send off a stack of query letters  to different agents/publishers. The dreaded synopsis is’s six pages long. That’s okay in some instances, but what happens when you come across someone who wants a ONE page synopsis? Shock, horror, how can you condense 6 pages into one?

Here are a few of my tricks.

The page should be single spaced with one space in between paragraphs and right-aligned with no indents and 1-inch margins.

2. Reduce the font to Times New Roman 11pt. Yes; it is small, but still readable!

3. Go through the synopsis and find the turning points. Remove any extraneous sentences.

4. Think about rewording. Can you make some sentences smaller? For example:

Abigail doesn’t want Justin to touch the child. He might kill him.
change to
Abigail fears Justin will kill her child.

Here you have just gotten rid of five words without changing the meaning of the sentence. It will also make the synopsis sharper – more concise.

5. Remove flowery description. You don’t need it in a synopsis.

6. DON’T repeat full names. Put in the action and emotions, but leave out what the place they are in looks like unless it’s haunted or there is something more that needs to be highlighted about the room.

7. You're telling whoever reads this synopsis what the story is about, so don’t include dialogue.

I hope some of these tricks of the trade help you. Good luck with your publications.

Born in England, Margaret moved to the Kent countryside five years ago to get away from the busy life in London. She is married with two grown children and has worked in various fields of work. She is a Clairknowing medium, Crystal Therapist, Parapsychologist and Psychic Development tutor.She has been writing for over 20 years and has numerous short stories, novels and articles published. Margaret writes romance and paranormal romance. 

Her love for literature extends from writing to reading and she is always willing to embrace new ideas and philosophies. She likes nothing more then to sit with a good book in the quiet realms of the countryside, with her dogs, Odin and Chester. A true animal lover, Margaret’s warmth and sensitivity is reflected in her writing


Margaret West said...

Good Morning.
Thnak you for having me here today. I look forward to sharing ideas.

Cate Masters said...

Great tips, Margaret! It's helpful to write the longer version first, then edit to a shorter one, and keep both versions handy. So long as both contain the major plot points and the wrapup, you're good to go!

becca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi Margaret,

Thank you for posting your tips. I saved it. :)

Hi Cate, glad to see you here.

Tierney O'Malley
Romance Author

Peggy said...

Not being a wroter, it amazes me what us readers take for granted when we pick up a book. So much work goes into it behind the scenes, You must be doing something right, margaret. I have all your books and love them all.

Skyla Wilde said...

I guess it must be hard to dondense a whole book into one page. No wonder you writers are all so neurotic lol (I'm just a reader)

Love ya books mags.

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

I hate writing summaries and blurbs and all that stuff! You'd think after writing a whole book, it would be easy, but it sure isn't! Thanks for the tips, Margaret. I think the only thing easier is to get someone to do it for you! lol

Toni Wild said...

Loving the tips. I thought more authors would be interested though. What a shame. BUT, you're books are fantastic, so its their loss lol

country queen said...

WOW, what you have to put your brains through to get words on paper so us lesser mortals can have the pleasure of reading all your hard work. Me thinks I'll let the experts keep up the good work and sit back and enjoy what they have written. Much appreciation from an avid reader.

Maggie Dove said...

Thank you for the wonderful tips, Margaret. I will definitely use them!