I have been doing more research, not historical research though, no I have been researching the synoposis process. I wasnt really aware of the importance of a synopsis until I attended a crime writers conference in Harrogate in July. I noticed with interest how some of the writers pitching books to agents and publishers were starting with a very brief synopsis and then adding more detail – all in a two minute pitch! So I decided I needed to learn some more and what I have discovered will most definitely help me. Its not just about writing that first synopsis either for what I have discovered will definitely help me with the entire writing process on my first novel and all future ones.
It seems to be a de facto requirement that any aspiring author needs to have a synopsis of their book / novel plus the first three chapters all written up and to have these sent off to agents / publishers in double line spacing. If your synopsis isnt good enough your three chapters likely wont even be read. Here are some major points I have gleaned.
- Synopsis must fit a single page
- Must explain how your story begins
- Must introduce your main characters
- Must explain what the conflict or problem between them is
- Explain how the conflict escalates or develops
- Say how your story will end.
I discovered some great advice on a web page by a published author called Beth Anderson and the hyperlink is at the foot of this blog. I also like her advice on how to turn a single page synopsis into a complete and more detailed outline of the story. She also advises you write a synopsis even before you start writing as it should help the whole writing process. Having read her article I am even more glad I didnt go charging in and decided to pause until my historical research is complete. As my story is based on a real life event I have to say my synopsis will not be too difficult to write as I already know the story, how it starts and finishes. It is the great advice about developing and understanding lead characters and the conflict between them that I may well have overlooked and I most definitely didnt want to write a dry and dusty history essay. It seems my literary journey is continuing to provide me with more help and inspiration, so much to learn but the acolyte is listening intently……..
So readers, how have you fared with synopsis writing and did it help you with your writing or indeed publishing / getting noticed? Your thoughts and opinions will be very welcome……. and dont forget to look at Beth’s webpage, very, very interesting!