The Synopsis

These pages of prose, when perfected, will be known as your synopsis for your screenplay. A synopsis should be not less than one page and not more than five pages. It should tell your complete story in prose from beginning to end. Many times a production company, studio or network will only ask for a synopsis before they decide if they want to read your entire script. 88

You can see why your synopsis must be an exciting piece of prose. You want to give the broader story in a synopsis, rather than a detailed description of everything that happens. This would make your synopsis too unwieldy and too long. You want to use broad brush strokes when you write your synopsis, revealing just enough to titillate your reader. A well-written synopsis is important in that it can create interest in your script.

Writing a synopsis helps you get your story down as best as you can before you begin your outline. It is written as you would write a short story, in present tense prose, and helps give you an overview of your script. It is less structured then an outline and often accompanies a feature length script or teleplay. This occurs when the producer, director or publisher don't want to read your entire script or manuscript and ask you write up a synopsis. Sometimes this is very difficult, especially after you've completed your script, because they might only want to read a one page synopsis.

Here is an example of a synopsis of a recent screenplay that I wrote with Brenda Krantz my collaborator. "Stingers" is a horror script and this is our synopsis.

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