Writing A Synopsis

A synopsis of a novel is a resume of the book's story. Leading literary agent, Blake Friedmann, issues clear guidelines to authors on how to write a treatment or synopsis. They recommend that it is broken down into four sections:

1. Introduction - a brief selling statement about the book.

2. Character biographies - short biographies of all of the major characters.

3. Statement of intent - why you wanted to write the novel and whether it is based on a factual event.

4. Synopsis or treatment - a step-by-step storyline of the novel.

The guidelines explain that the synopsis conveys the emotion, not just the plot, by making it clear what motivates your characters and the impact of events on them.

Whilst all of the above information should be included, it is imperative that you keep your synopsis as brief as possible. Remember, its purpose is to capture a publisher's attention and hold it right through to the end.

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