Thursday, July 20, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About... The Synopsis!

Contest season is coming around the bend, and whether you're planning to submit to Pitch Wars, Pitch Slam, Nightmare on Query Street, or another contest, there are some common requirements for every submission package. Over the next few weeks, Operation Awesome will be giving and rehashing tips, advice, and 'lessons learned' about each of these required pieces of the submission package.

Take a look at last week's post on THE FIRST CHAPTER, and the post from two weeks ago on QUERY LETTERS. Now, let's turn our attention to THE SYNOPSIS.

Top Synopsis Tips from the Operation Awesome Crew

KARA: It's okay if your synopsis is boring. Be sure to hit the important story beats, and how your character gets to each one. And for the love of everything, include how the story ends. This isn't the place to be coy about it.

MELINDA: Don't overload your synopsis with the names of every character in your book. Mention the three main characters, four if you must. For those of us who read through synopses, a bunch of names is not only annoying, but  meaningless. I want the plot and a couple of important characters. That's it.

J: Make sure we know what to care about. The best examples include survival, hunger, sex, protection of a loved one, and/ or fear of death.

LEANDRA: Don't go chasing plot bunnies in your synopsis. Stick to the meat! (Jaime says it so much better below, lol!)

JAIME: Beginning, middle, and end. That should be your mantra while you're writing your synopsis. Make sure you're establishing your story's 'normal' at the beginning of the book, detailing what changes (the inciting incident), tracking all the main events of the plot, and then giving away the ending.

Operation Awesome's Library of Posts About The Synopsis

Tackling the Dreaded Synopsis: Part One
Tackling the Dreaded Synopsis: Part Two
How to Write a Synopsis for a Book with an Unusual Structure
Writing a Synopsis When You Have Two (or More!) Viewpoint Characters
Ten (so far) synopsis critiques between February and May 2017

As always, if you want your synopsis critiqued on this website, fill out the form here, or email your 1-2 page synopsis to me at, and I'll post one critique per week (NOTE: I'll email my critique to the author as soon as I'm done, so the author won't have to wait to see his/her synopsis on the site). Thanks for participating!

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