This article by guest poster Romi Summer on Jami Gold’s site is one of the clearest synopsis-writing templates I’ve seen yet (thanks again to Chris the Story Reading Ape!). I especially like that it’s a primer on story structure as well. I don’t care if you do write Literary Stuff—if you don’t have these elements, you don’t have a story.
Give it a try and tell me what you think!
Is there ever a time when Jane Friedman’s writing advice is not worth reading? Just today, checking out her newsletter, I’ve discovered more wonderful posts than I can feasibly share.
I decided to link to this Jane Friedman piece on writing synopses because recently members of one of my writing groups have been plagued by their struggles with that demon of demons. Oh, how we all hate that one task!
But listening to the synopsis drafts, I found myself wondering if the writers had searched the lovely Internet for the many helpful examples, guidelines, and templates that excellent writers have shared. The first thing you learn when you do is “Do not try to create a blow-by-blow of every single thing that happens in your book!” Yet over and over, that’s what drafts of synopses seem to do.
Getting from the blow-by-blow to the contained, focused, emotionally revealing creature (in one page, no less) that agents and editors say they want is HARD. I’m not for one second denigrating the incredible effort it takes. But I’m sharing these resources just on the outside chance that some readers haven’t encountered them. Friedman lists no fewer than six sites that prove both instructive and inspirational, including one that critiques more than 100 drafts.
I’m not at the synopsis stage right now, but I will be again soon, and I will mine every one of these sources. I hope they prove helpful to you.
Do you have a favorite tip site for writing synopses? Share!