Friday, December 7, 2012

The Synopsis, Pinnacle of All Evil

Cower in fear, people. Cower in fear. It's usually what I do when confronted with the task of writing a *shudder* synopsis. We thought query letters were bad. But, it's okay. Sylar says:

The synopsis is uber-frustrating, partially because it's kind of hard to find concrete info on the internet about it. Some people say 1 pg. Some say 3-5. Some say 1 for every, like, 30 pages. (Don't do that.) For our purposes, we're gonna go with the 1 pager. Cause if you can write a 1 pg synopsis, you can write the higher page ones. I always just assume 1 to 2. Sooooo, the guidelines.

1) When I say 1 pg, I mean single spaced. Double spaced between paragraphs.
2) No indenting anywhere.
3) Include your contact info and the manuscript title on there, too. Those are important things.

Got that?

Next. Some more pointers.

1) Synopses should ALWAYS be written in 3rd person present tense.(Example of that to follow.)
2) You wanna hit all your main plot points. (If you're not sure what those are, go to Larry Brooks' website. He shall inform you.) So yeah. Main stuff. You gotta cover all the big twists. AND THE ENDING.

No. I'm not. ALWAYS PUT THE ENDING IN YOUR SYNOPSIS. Or it's not a synopsis.

3) Introduce your main characters. We don't need all your side characters, just the ones who play a major role in your story. And the first time (only the first) that you introduce them, put the name in ALL CAPS. Like that.

4) Put some voice into it. As much as you can reasonably.

Sooooo, without further ado, here is an example. It's a synopsis I wrote of A New Hope. It's a little less than a page. (If you haven't watched Star Wars, get off my blog and watch Star Wars. Cause this synopsis, like all synopses, gives away the ending.



Nineteen year old LUKE SKYWALKER has never been concerned with saving the galaxy. Living on a backwater planet in the middle of nowhere, he is much more concerned with his Uncle’s farm than he is with intergalactic politics. But, he spends his days dreaming, hoping for something more.

He gets more than he wished for when a crazy old hermit shows up and claims that Luke is the key to saving not only a beautiful princess, but the galaxy itself. And he cannot help but be intrigued. And when the evil ruler of the Empire murders his family, he has nothing left to lose, and follows the hermit into space.

The hermit, named OBI WAN KENOBI, reveals to him that he is a Jedi, a powerful mystic warrior. Not only is Obi Wan a Jedi, so is Luke. Though Luke has a hard time believing it, he begins to train anyway, and discovers powers he never thought he had. On their way to the princess’s home planet, they pick up the jaded and cynical HAN SOLO, a renowned smuggler and pilot, who charts their course through the galaxy.

Upon reaching the princess’s planet, they discover it has been destroyed by the Empire, the same agency who was responsible for the deaths of Luke’s family. So, they change course and board The Death Star, where the princess is being held captive by the ruthless leader of the Empire, DARTH VADER.

Disguising themselves as members of The Death Star’s crew, they sneak aboard, intending to rescue PRINCESS LEIA from certain death. But, their plans go awry when they are discovered, and Darth Vader challenges Obi Wan Kenobi in battle. Obi Wan fends off Darth Vader, and when he sees that Luke, Princess Leia, and Han Solo are on their way back to the ship, he sacrifices himself to save their lives.

Safely on board the ship, but mourning the loss of Obi Wan, Luke knows that he must truly embrace the teachings of the Jedi and fulfill his destiny: to destroy the Empire. So, he, as well as Princess Leia, convince the Rebels, a band of people not allied with the Empire, that they must fight.

On the eve of the planned attack, Han Solo decides to leave. But, his loyalty to Luke and growing feelings for Princess Leia compel him to cast off his cynical shell and join with the Rebels to fight against the Empire.

The attack is successful and Luke, with aid from Obi Wan from beyond the grave, deals the final blow, exploding the Death Star, and ensuring freedom throughout the galaxy.
There ya have it. We had to leave some favorite characters out, and some plot stuff in the middle, BUT, we got the major players, main point, plot, and a little voice.
You can DO IT.
And now, because I'm proud of you for writing your fantabulous synopsis, and a lot because I just really wanted an excuse to look up shirtless Ian Somerhalder gifs, a present for you. (Unless you are a straight male, in which case, this will do nothing for you. Apologies.)

The End.


  1. Seeeeee, distracting! Very nice post, though!

    1. Glad it was helpful! And, of course, distracting. ;-)

  2. Thanks for sharing. You make it sound so easy!!

    I still think query letters are harder. Lol

    1. Darn query letters! Really, either one=ze devil lol

  3. That was literally the best ending I ever saw. I truly feel that if I ended all my queries with a shirtless pic of Ian Somerhalder I would have agents vying over me. Thanks for the awesome idea...

    That was the idea you were trying to get across, right? ;)

    Oh, and thanks for the great tips on writing a synopsis too...

    1. It most definitely was the point. Should be effective ;)

  4. Hey Brianna! I wanted to let you know I received your resend tot he workshop. It will be a day or two before I finish but I just wanted you to know I got it this time:)

  5. Thank you for a post on the synopsis that doesn't make me want to jump out a window. :) :)

    1. Yay! I try to discourage jumping out of windows as a rule, so, glad it was helpful!

  6. Quality articles is the important to invite the viewers to visit the web
    page, that's what this web page is providing.
    Also visit my website :: Satellite Dreambox

  7. Hello there, I just want to let you know that I've nominated you for the Liebster Award! For more information on the award go here

  8. Nice article on synopses here! Thanks. As you said (and I'm paraphrasing here), they suck! Trying to cram a 300-400 page novel into one page is really difficult. And since I haven't landed a publisher for my novels, I probably haven't perfected that yet. But this was a great how-to and pep talk for taking on such a challenge. Thanks!

    1. Thanks! Glad it was helpful! And encouraging. :) They generally make me shake my fist at the sky, so I figured, GIFS plus Star Wars may ease the pain!

  9. You\'ll also business save them from having to pay First Quantum more than $1bn in compensation. I believe that the head is the" level playing field, with ministers who are looking for change. As business a communications professional, one of the biggest losers of today's sell-off after thе Bank of Јapan governor,
    vowed to achieve thе desireԁ benefits.

    Alѕo visіt mу sіte;

  10. In their minds, dating and new how to cleanse your colon seem benign.
    Intimacy with another is one of main causes why how to cleanse your
    colon last as long as they're in the game, even to the very end, they'll

    Here is my web blog: at home colon cleanse

  11. This is the perfect site for everyone who wishes to
    find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue
    with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly
    put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for decades.

    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

    Also visit my weblog :: Air Jordan

  12. Cool blοg! Ӏs youг themе custom
    mаԁе or diԁ you downloaԁ it from somewhere?
    A theme lіkе youгs ωith a fеω ѕimple
    tωeeks wοulԁ rеally mаke my blog ѕtanԁ out.
    Рlease let me know ωherе you got your theme.

    Visit my page :: reputation management

  13. Hello there! I κnow this іs kind оf off topic but I waѕ wondeгing if you knеw ωherе ӏ could
    gеt a captcha ρlugin for my comment fοrm?
    I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm havіng
    diffіculty findіng onе? Thankѕ
    a lot!

    Fеel free to visit my blοg; diamondlinks review

  14. Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the amazing spirit.

    My web page; Pirater Un Compte Facebook

  15. Hi I am so glad I found your website, I really
    found you by accident, while I was browsing on Aol for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a remarkable post and a all round
    entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I
    have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep
    up the excellent jo.

    my site - Wholesale Jerseys Cheap

  16. Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
    your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Feel free to visit my website ... This Site

  17. Hey are using Wordpress for your blog platform?

    I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and
    create my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

    Also visit my webpage homepage

  18. I must thank you for the efforts you have put
    in writing this website. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog
    posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me
    to get my very own blog now ;)

    Also visit my blog post :: Michael Kors Bags

  19. This is very interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your
    feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post.
    Also, I've shared your site in my social networks!

    Here is my blog ... Air Max Pas Cher

  20. Pretty! This was a really wonderful article.
    Thank you for providing this info.

    Here is my blog post :: Sac Louis Vuitton Pas Cher **

  21. It's actually a nice and useful piece of info. I'm happy that you
    simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay
    us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Feel free to visit my page: Wholesale Jerseys

  22. Thanks for every other fantastic post. The place else may anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect manner of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.

    My web page: Air Max