Your Essential Synopsis Checklist

Here are the essential specs for a successful synopsis. Bookmark this page and always cross-reference before sending out any synopsis.
Author:
Publish date:

Use a 1-inch margin on all sides; justify the left margin only. Put your name and contact information on the top left corner of the first page. Type the novel’s genre, word count and the word “Synopsis” in the top right corner of the first page Don’t number the first page. Put the novel’s title, centered and in all caps, about one-third of the way down the page. Begin the synopsis text four lines below the title. The text throughout the synopsis should be double-spaced (unless you plan to keep it to one or two pages, in which case single-spaced is OK). Use all caps the first time you introduce a character. After the first page, use a header on every page that contains your last name/your novel’s title in all caps/the word “Synopsis”:Name/TITLE/Synopsis. After the first page, number the pages in the top right corner on the same line as the header. The first line of text on each page after the first page should be three lines below the header.

OnDemand Webinar:
The Dreaded Synopsis by Jane Friedman
Get a clear, step-by-step process for tackling your synopsis—no matter what the length requirement—as well as examples of good and bad synopsis.

Image placeholder title

Become a Writer's Digest VIP and Save 10%:
Get a 1-year pass to WritersMarket.com, a 1-year subscription to Writer's Digest magazine and 10% off all WritersDigestShop.com orders!Click here to join.

Also check out these items from the Writer's Digest's collection:
Writer's Digest Elements Of Writing Fiction: Beginnings, Middles & Ends

Writer's Digest Elements Of Writing Fiction: Scene & Structure

Writer's Digest Elements Of Writing Fiction: Description
Writer's Digest Elements Of Writing Fiction: Characters & Viewpoint

Writer's Digest No More Rejections
Writer's Digest Weekly Planner

Writer's Digest How to Land a Literary Agent (On-Demand Webinar)
Writer's Digest Magazine One-Year Subscription
Writer's Digest 10 Years of Writer's Digest on CD: 2000-2009

3 Tips for Writing a Memoir Everyone Wants to Read

3 Tips for Writing a Memoir Everyone Wants to Read

A memoir is an open window into another's life—and although the truth is of paramount importance, so too is grabbing hold of its reader. Writer Tasha Keeble offers 3 tips for writing a memoir everyone will want to read.

Zoe Whittall: On Personal Change in Literary Fiction

Zoe Whittall: On Personal Change in Literary Fiction

Bestselling and Giller Prize-shortlisted author Zoe Whittal discusses the complexity of big life decisions in her new novel, The Spectacular.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 582

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a transition poem.

4 Myths About Writing Animal Characters

4 Myths About Writing Animal Characters

Author Codi Schneider debunks four myths about writing animal characters, including that audiences won't connect with animal characters and that they're only for children's books.

Voyager

Voyager

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character is a modern day voyager.

Stephanie Marie Thornton: One How an Entire Rewrite Added Suspense

Stephanie Marie Thornton: On How an Entire Rewrite Added Suspense

USA Today bestselling author discusses how rewriting a portion of her new historical fiction novel, A Most Clever Girl, added suspense.

Creativity Is Making Small Choices

Creativity Is Making Small Choices

When struggling to work through a creative dilemma, it's best to think of your work in small pieces that create a larger whole. Author Perttu Pölönen explains how creativity is a collection of small choices from an abundance of options.

Zibby Books Market Spotlight

Zibby Books: Market Spotlight

For this market spotlight, we look at Zibby Books, a brand new book publisher (just announced earlier today) that wants to introduce a new model with book champions and ambassadors to the publishing and promotion process.

Emigrate vs. Immigrate (Grammar Rules)

Emigrate vs. Immigrate (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between emigrate and immigrate with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.