You’ve just written the final word on your novel, and you’ve
combed through it no less than 35 times editing, reworking subplots and
characters, and you’re ready to submit your manuscript. One thing you may need
is a synopsis, or an outline that discloses the plot. Depending on the
publisher or agent, the synopsis will vary in length, usually one to two pages.
A synopsis is important to give the agent/editor a disclosure of the plot. They also give a glimpse of your writing style.
When I wrote my second novel, I was surprised at how much time it took for me to make sure every word in my synopsis counted. But it paid off. At least I think it did, because my book did get published.
But how can a 100,000 word manuscript be squished into two pages? What do you put in? What do you leave out?
A basic outline for a synopsis can be:
- A brief summary of the beginning of the story.
- A brief description of the characters and the problems they will need to solve as they go through the book, the basic plot.
- The obstacles they go through to solve these problems, and climax.
- Summary of how the story ends, who the bad guy is and all. (Leaving any hanging ends or questions that haven’t been answered doesn’t generate curiosity here.)