Writing the Dreaded Synopsis

Megan is working hard on her synopsis.

If you're planning to send your book to agents or editors, you need a synopsis. You've heard how evil they are, and how hard it is to write them. I'm here to tell you - it's not that bad!

After you've written and revised your novel a half dozen times, and tweaked your query for ages, I know that you can write a short summary of your book.

I'm definitely no expert, but I recently wrote my own synopsis. Here are my tips:

1) Don't stress too much over it! It's more important to have a great book than a great synopsis.

2) Focus on the main plot, and cut out everything else. You have to be ruthless, and it will feel a lot like killing your darlings. But you'll get over it, and find a way for the plot to make sense without all those details.

3) Have someone read your synopsis who has NOT read your book. They can tell you if anything is confusing, what you can cut, and what you should expand on. Then revise it, and have them read it again.


Here are some of the resources I used when writing my synopsis:

Synop-what? by Kathleen Ortiz of Nancy Coffey Literary

Tips on the Evil Synopsis by Sarah Goldberg, assistant at Fine Print Literary

The Sum of the Parts: Writing a Synopsis by author Janice Hardy

WriteOnCon: How to Write a Synopsis by author Jodi Meadows


Have you written a synopsis? Do you have any other tips? Are you dreading it?