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How to Write a Synopsis: Really Useful Links by Amanda J Evans

Article by Amanda J Evans ©.
Posted in Resources (, ).

In the past three weeks I’ve covered comp titles, elevator pitches, and query letters so this week I’m going to focus on the synopsis. This is often something that a lot of writer’s dread, myself included. You’ve spent months, even years, writing your manuscript and now you have to condense the entire story into 500 words or less. If you are planning on submitting your novel to agents or publishers, your synopsis is part of your query package. It is important to check the agent or publishers’ guidelines as some will ask for a one-page synopsis, and some will have a specific word count that could be anywhere from 250 to 1,500 words. Below are some links to help you craft the perfect synopsis.

  1. https://www.writersdigest.com/editors-picks/learn-how-to-write-a-synopsis-like-a-pro – Learn How to Write a Synopsis Like a Pro: This article from Writer’s Digest offers five tips on how to write a synopsis as well as what to avoid when writing your synopsis. It ends with some guidelines on how to format your synopsis.
  2. https://jerichowriters.com/synopsis/ – How to Write a Novel Synopsis: This article comes from Jericho Writers and begins with an explanation of what a synopsis is as well as its purpose. It then moves on to discuss the length, tone, and format of the synopsis before explaining how to write it. There are some example provided as well as common mistakes writers make.
  3. https://literaryconsultancy.co.uk/media/press-publicity/how-to-write-a-synopsis/ – How to Write a Synopsis: The Literary Consultancy explains what a synopsis is as well as its purpose before looking at fiction synopses and how to write a brief summary as well as a detailed synopsis of your novel. The article also cover non-fiction synopses.
  4. https://www.marissameyer.com/blogtype/6-steps-for-writing-a-book-synopsis/ – 6 Steps for Writing a Book Synopsis: Marissa Meyer offers fellow authors advice on how to craft a synopsis in this article. It includes formatting and how to read through your manuscript in order to find what goes into your synopsis.
  5. https://blog.reedsy.com/how-to-write-a-synopsis/ – How to Write a Synopsis Agents Will Notice: Reedsy’s post on synopses covers what a synopsis is as well as how to write one in four steps. There is a video included for those who like to watch someone explain everything. There is an example included as well as information on why it works.
  6. https://www.janefriedman.com/how-to-write-a-novel-synopsis/ – How to Write a Novel Synopsis: This article from Jane Friedman explains why the novel synopsis is important to agents and publishers as well as what your synopsis should accomplish if it is to be successful. She also talks about the most common synopsis mistake writers make and provides a list of common pitfalls to avoid.
  7. https://www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk/how-to-write-a-synopsis-for-your-novel/ – How to Write a Synopsis for Your Novel: My final link comes from Curtis Brown Creative and details what they like to see in a one page synopsis when writers query them. It explains what you definitely need at the top of your synopsis as well as what not to include.

I hope you enjoyed the links and I look forward to bringing you some more Really Useful Links next week. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.

(c) Amanda J Evans

www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans


Amanda J Evans is an award-winning Irish author of YA and Adult romance in paranormal and fantasy genres. Growing up with heroes like Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, her stories centre on good versus evil with a splice of love and magic thrown in too. Her books have all won awards and her latest novella, Hear Me Cry, won the Book of the Year Award at the Dublin Writers Conference 2018. Amanda has been featured in a number of poetry anthologies in 2017 and 2018 including A Bowl of Irish Stew, a charity anthology for Pieta House and her short story Moonlight Magic was included in the Owl Hollow Press Anthology, Under the Full Moon’s Light, published in October 2018. Amanda is currently polishing her novel, Winterland, which will be submitted to agents and publishers in 2019, and is also working on a Bronte inspired story for an anthology due for publication in 2020. Amanda is also the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012. You can find out more on her website www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans