How to Write a Synopsis?

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Steve C

Mar 1, 2019
I am struggling with my synopsis so I could do with some help.
My novel is 105k words long after deleting almost everything irrelevant to the story so I find my synopsis equally long at 500 words.
It is also bland in that it is all telling. This happens then this etc. I can't use any show don't tell as that would make it longer.
I have ended up with what I think? may be an overlong and boring piece of writing which never the less tells the whole story.
I have read a synopsis must include everything.
I guess my question is will I be judged on it or is it purely for the agent's information?
Should I leave some stuff out to make it shorter?
Advice Please
How timely. Same problem here. I wrote half a synopsis the other day but I felt sounded like I had too much caffeine. I had it up for discussion in the Huddle, but silly microphone....

I shall watch this thread closely. Thank you @Steve C for raising it.
As a journalist by trade, I find using the same approach of summarising a series of events in a way that is interesting to read very useful when writing a synopsis. Imagine you're writing the events up for a short piece in the Evening News. What would people who have no prior knowledge of the situation need to know? What would keep them reading to the end?

You can't really avoid "telling" in a synopsis, especially if you want to keep it concise. Try and sprinkle in the occasional piece of humour or idiosyncracy to leaven it.

You could try doing a chapter-by-chapter goal/conflict/agency analysis of your novel (useful exercise in any case, often shows you where the flabby bits are in a narrative) then take that as the basis of the synopsis.

A few thoughts, FWIW. Synopses can be a real pig to write, but there are a lot of useful examples and bits of advice online.

Good luck!
Read this: Writing That Pesky Synopsis–Strategy | Advanced Fiction Writing
I don't think the 500 words is long, but this isn't something I'm comfortable with, either, so I always ask for help and feedback when doing a synopsis (to be sent out; the pre-planning synopsis will always change in the execution of the story). Luck.

Thanks for the link. It seems to say up to 1000 words would be okay for a 100k novel ie 1%. That seems far too long. In researching agents many ask for a synopsis of no more than one page. Trouble is they don't specify the line spacing. They could mean 250 or 500 words single or double spaced. I am getting the feeling I need two versions. One short one long.
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Simple & Complex

29 Writing Contests in November 2019 - No entry fees