Synopsis. It’s a word which can strike fear into just about every writer’s heart. How do you put everything from your story into between two and five pages? You don’t.
Wikipedia’s definition is a brief summary of the major parts of a subject or written work or story. It goes on to say ‘condensation of a work’.
What to include in a synopsis
The purpose of a synopsis is to show how your story is to go from the beginning to the end and the emotional journey or arc of your characters. It needs to show the voice or style of your book and be in the third person.
The first thing you need to do is introduce your characters and their main conflict. Then you need to show all the plot points they will encounter, their emotional journey and how they will reach their happy ever after.
Think of it in parts. I usually use five.
1. Introduce your hero.
2. Introduce your heroine.
3. Set out the story opening.
4. Show the emotional journey the characters are to go on and the main plot points which occur during that journey.
5. Set out the black moment and how this leads to the happy ever after.
What not to put in a synopsis
The synopsis is not a place to info dump the entire back story. Any important elements about a character’s past should be included in their introduction. Neither do you need every plot twist and turn or to introduce of every minor character. The synopsis is not the place to raise questions like will they ever reach their happy ever after? Keep your cliff-hangers for the story itself.
How long should a synopsis be?
The answer to this is a long as it needs to be. Check your submission details for this information, but once you have your synopsis you can either enlarge it or cut it back to suit a particular submission.
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New Year at the Boss’s Bidding
Moretti's by midnight
Jilted bride Tilly Rogers hopes her luck is changing when she's offered a prestigious catering contract for billionaire businessman Xavier Moretti's New Year's Eve party. But then she ends up snowbound alone with her boss…and at his bidding!
It's the end of the year and the end of Tilly's contract, which leaves Xavier free to seduce her at his will. Hardly shy of a challenge, this notorious playboy makes it his resolution to have virgin Tilly crumbling by his experienced touch.
Before the snow settles, Xavier is determined to have Tilly under a brand-new set of tantalizing terms!
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What about you? Do you love or hate the synopsis? Any more tips to add?