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The Dreaded Synopsis

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Submission guidelines for virtually every agent or publisher seeking novels include a request for a synopsis. Ergo, every novelist or aspiring novelist needs to know what a synopsis is ... and how to write one that will catch an editor's fancy. This book by acclaimed romance writerr Elizabeth Sinclair gives all the details -- what to do and what not to do -- to make your s ...more
Paperback, 124 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Thomas Max Publishing (first published 1999)
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Theresa Smith
I wish I had taken note of the publication date on this book before purchasing because most of the advice contained is now quite outdated. The chapter summaries were good, as was the last chapter detailing the results of a survey done with editors on what they look for and reject in a synopsis. Overall, the information provided was confusing. Is the author giving advice on writing a synopsis, or your actual novel? At times, this was not clear. If you're looking for advice on how to structure a t ...more
Jenny Schwartz
A great comfort book if you're writing your synopsis. But also, a book to make you see your synopsis a little bit more clearly.

Random jottings rather than a review:

Your synopsis is hat everything at the publishing house (and really you, in your promo prep) will refer back to.

Make sure your protagonists' agendas are clearly spelled out - mission, incentive, obstacle (or goal, motivation conflict)

Write in the same style as novel and TELL don't show. Yeah, really. It's not like writing a story.

Mahrie Reid
This is sub-lined "A writing and plotting guide." It delivers! Although this follows through with a romance exaple, the extrapolation to determining scenes and sequels and the question provided to ask are excellent. I'd recommend this book to the intermediate and accomplished writer. Beginners would also benefit from seeing the way Ms Sinclair structures a story.
This book's tips still apply although most editors and agents ask for much shorter synopsis now. Has absolutely contributed to every request I've ever received.
Though geared toward adult romance novels, I highly recommended to any writer, regardless of genre, looking for thorough instruction on how to write a synopsis from scratch. It really makes you zoom in on your novel and pick out those crucial moments.
This had some useful stuff, but what I'd really like, instead of a whole book of instructions and one example of a good synopsis (usually of a book the writer has agented or written), a how-to book that takes twenty well-known books and their synopses.
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