Footnotes: 8 Articles on Synopsis Writing

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment
and in retrospection.” —Anaïs Nin

Footnotes is a recurring series on the GLA blog where I pick a subject and provide several interesting articles on said topic. Writing a good synopsis for your novel or memoir can be one of the hardest and most frustrating things we have to do as writers. Today I’m serving up 8 articles to help de-mystify the process.

1. A synopsis can sell your story. Agent Caren Estesen discusses why you need a good summary.

2. The advice “show, don’t tell,” doesn’t apply to a synopsis. Author Diana Peterfreund explains why.

3. Here’s how to write one. Agent Nathan Bransford shares his guidelines on writing the synopsis.

4. Ask yourself five questions. Writer Beth Anderson asks five questions in order to write a tight synopsis. Find out what they are.

5. Keep it simple. Romance novelist Brenda Coulter suggests dropping the pretense and just tell your story.

6. A writer answers common questions. Writer Sally Hanan answers commonly asked questions about the synopsis.

7. Grab readers, even with a synopsis. Romance Author Meredith Bond believes you have to “grab them by their eyeballs and don’t let go” and that’s just the first paragraph. 

8. See examples of fiction synopses. On this very GLA blog, you can see many posts related to synopsis writing – including several actual examples of synopses in all genres.

This guest series by writer
Nancy Parish, who runs her
blog, The Sound and Furry.


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0 thoughts on “Footnotes: 8 Articles on Synopsis Writing

  1. Donna Gambale

    Fabulous, fabulous links. Synopses are much more mysterious than query letters because there isn’t as much emphasis placed on them in advice sites online — but they’re equally important! This blog goes a long way towards fixing the imbalance. Thanks!


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