Synopsis. It’s a word which can strike fear into just about every writer’s heart. How do you put everything from your story into between two and five pages? The simple answer is you don’t. There is only one thing to focus on. The emotional journey between your hero and heroine.
Wikipedia’s definition is a brief summary of the major parts of a subject or written work or story. It goes on to say ‘condensation of a work’.
What to include in a synopsis?
The purpose of a synopsis is to show how your story is to go from the beginning to the end and the emotional journey or arc of your characters. It needs to show the voice or style of your book and be in the third person.
The first thing you need to do is introduce your characters and their main conflict. Then you need to show all the plot points they will encounter, their emotional journey and how they will reach their happy ever after.
Think of it in parts. I usually use five.
- Introduce your hero and give a little background information on what has made him the man he is as the story opens.
- Introduce your heroine and again, give a little background information on what has made her the woman she is as the story opens.
- Set out the story opening. What is the event which has brought them together or reunited them?
- Show the emotional journey the characters are to go on and the main plot points which occur during that journey.
- Set out the black moment and how this leads to the happy ever after.
What not to put in a synopsis?
The synopsis is not a place to info dump the entire back story. Any important elements about a character’s past should be included in their introduction. Neither do you need every plot twist and turn or to introduce of every minor character. The synopsis is not the place to raise questions like will they ever reach their happy ever after? Keep your cliff-hangers for the story itself.
How long should a synopsis be?
The answer to this is a long as it needs to be. Check your submission details for this information, but once you have your synopsis you can either enlarge it or cut it back to suit a particular submission.
A Child Claimed by Gold (One Night with Consequences)
A scandal of their own making
Nikolai Cunningham has kept his family history secret for seventeen years. So when photographer Emma Sanders is granted exclusive access to his childhood home, he returns to Russia to ensure it stays hidden.
Though she tries to keep her eye on the story, Nikolai’s potent sexuality proves too much for Emma’s untouched body to resist! But, convinced she only wanted a scoop, Nikolai casts Emma out, unaware she’s pregnant!
When the consequence of their recklessness is revealed, Nikolai will legitimize his heir—with a gold wedding ring!
Enter to win signed copies on Goodreads.
I love escaping to distant shores with my characters, entering their glamorous world and feeling all the emotions they experience as they discover their love for one another. A love so strong it will overcome all obstacles eventually, leading to that promised happy ever after.
Connect with Rachael Thomas on the web: