“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.
Nancy Parish, who runs her
blog, The Sound and Furry.
Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers Conferences:
- Feb. 11, 2017: Writers Conference of Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
- Feb. 16–19, 2017: San Francisco Writers Conference (San Francisco, CA)
- Feb. 24, 2017: The Alabama Writers Conference (Birmingham, AL)
- Feb. 25, 2017: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA)
- March 25, 2017: Michigan Writers Conference (Detroit, MI)
- March 25, 2017: Kansas City Writing Workshop (Kansas City, MO)
- April 8, 2017: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
- April 22, 2017: Get Published in Kentucky Conference (Louisville, KY)
- April 22, 2017: New Orleans Writers Conference (New Orleans, LA)
- May 6, 2017: Seattle Writers Conference (Seattle, WA)
- May 19–21, 2017: PennWriters Conference (Pittsburgh, PA)
- June 24, 2017: The Writing Workshop of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
- Aug. 18–20, 2017: Writer’s Digest Conference (New York, NY)
Other writing/publishing articles and links for you:
- How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips.
- Synopsis Example: “A History of Violence” (thriller)
- Synopsis Example: “The Ides of March” (thriller / mainstream)
- Synopsis Example: “Punch Drunk Love” (literary fiction)
- Sell More Books by Building Your Writer Platform.
- Follow Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter or find him on Facebook. Learn all about his writing guides on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and how to write a query letter.