The Good Synopsis

This post ends, “I will never give up on this book. This is the book that drove me to be a writer. This is the book that proved to me that I have something to say and can say it well.”

I spent four years getting my novel “right” enough to snag an agent. I spent four months condensing it to a single page that included the synopsis, my bio, and marketing prowess. The end result was a somewhat functional if hopelessly earnest attempt to detail the entire book.

The good synopsis is harder and can take longer than writing the novel. At least the novel is fun.

The synopsis it is hard because it had to be short.

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

     -Attributed to Mark Twain, Voltaire, and Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher who invented the calculators.

Four years. My agent re-wrote it. Oh so briefly, she captured:

  • the hook;
  • the expanded hook;
  • one more, slightly longer graph describing (get this) just the first 70 pages; and
  • a final, short graph posing a question to set up a compelling interest in the rest of the book.

Over the next few posts, we shall dissect. Please visit tomorrow, or let me know you would like to be alerted when they post.


Author: allehall

I am a writer. I write to explore childhood: literary essays and short fiction, journalism, and three haiku. My published work expresses my belief that everything which did or did not happen to me as a child is manifesting in everything that is or is not happening to me today. More importantly, it is also manifesting for my children. I believe funny is the new navel-gazing, and that the best funny keeps a penny's worth of serious in an accessible pocket. Little-known fact: I have a completed novel decorating the inside of a desk drawer. Perhaps it is not funny enough.

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