A fallen ego maniac, I had the idea that because I am so old and have written for so long that I must know how to do what I do every day – WRITE — and be pretty good at it. hahaha Teachers think that, you know. In our defense, we have to or the kids would eat us alive. Frankly, we spend our whole careers learning to teach writing, so we should know something. But the truth is…
After tackling one new writing project after another….
- First a blog, (I’m still learning new things every day.)
- I braved a NaNoWriMo novel.
- Carol convinced me to take a children’s story class, and I wrote several (almost ready) children’s picture book stories.
- Then a local history book for Arcadia Publishing Co.
- Now back to my novel.
…I admit there are
a few many things that I don’t know. (duh!) Now I’m checking first with other experts to see what they say. Writing a Synopsis is a link to a Writer’s Digest page – links to several articles about how to write a synopsis. Here is a synopsis of my favorite by Beth Anderson.
Seven Sentence Synopsis
- Write a sentence that tells what your book or article is about, and names the major characters.
- Explain the beginning in one sentence.
- The third sentence tells the end of the book. Don’t pull any punches here. Spit it out. The boy gets the girl. The gorilla dies. The tooth fairy drops all the children’s teeth into magic water, and they change into dentures.
- Write a sentence about each major point of action in the story, and put those between step two and three.
That’s it. Step one, done.
Step Two – Write a One Page Synopsis
- Use your same opening sentence, then describe the beginning in a paragraph.
- Write two or three paragraphs describing the major points of action.
- Finish with a short paragraph about the end of the book. Again, you don’t try to trick any readers here. A synopsis is to sell your book to a busy agent.
Step Three – Write a Three Page Synopsis
Add more action points and obstacles. Add secondary characters. Tell, don’t show!
Step Four – Write a Six Page Synopsis
Add more action points and obstacles. Add secondary characters. Make sure the road-blocks get more obstacally as the plot thickens. Characters never come out unscathed until the end of the book where they emerge scratched and smiling, prize in hand, and not a hair out-of-place.
Step Five – Write a Twelve Page Synopsis
By the time you add more obstacles and action points, your book is finished. All that remains is to add the dialogue and describe the setting. The best part is you know how it’s going to end. Those pesky characters can’t sneak up on you and write their own script. Oops. They can? Yep, these experts say they can, so watch out. However, you have it pretty much in control.