Editing Tip #132 – The Dreaded Synopsis

While it’s nice to think that once you’ve written and edited your magnus-opus, your editing work is done … think again.

Time to Write Your Synopsis

If an agent or publisher doesn’t get a “taste” for your writing in the query letter (which calls for a paragraph summary of your entire book and often a 1-pager to attach) or “hooked” on your story, then you’ve lost a great opportunity to have them ask for your coveted manuscript.

Now, I must be upfront with you about this: I am NOT a master of editing Synopses.

In fact, I still struggle with writing my own but I have a good perspective for books I’ve edited for my clients. I can see when they’re adding too much back story, if their hook actually grabs readers, and if they’ve left out anything important (because they don’t want to spoil the story – trust me, you have to SPOIL IT in a one-pager).

It is nearly impossible to edit your own synopsis. However, I have found that prior to asking a writing friend or colleague to peruse my offerings, if I take a look at these wonderfully succinct infographics I found online (and see how closely my copy gets to following them) as I complete some final edits, my writing/message improves.

Just make sure that you’re not sacrificing tone/style for brevity. This should accurately reflect your writing voice and not come across as generic business writing 😉

6 Sentence Synopsis One Page Synopsis infographic

Happy Editing 🙂

Categories: Editing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

29 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Nanci M. Pattenden and commented:
    Helpful hints for a difficult process.


    • I was impressed with how concise these graphics were and I’ve been using them for some time now. They’re great for reminding us of the “basics” but I would never recommend anyone starting from scratch learning about synopses to go solely from these. There’s so much more out there on how to craft your limited content and retain your voice that I’d hate to mislead anyone first starting out. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you, But different people learn differently too, and someone might glean something from the way this is set out, as opposed to just ordinary text. I’ve written many synopses over the years and find them extremely difficult to wrestle to the ground each and every time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed 🙂
        It’s not a “simple” process by any means and any way of tackling the process is bound to give a new perspective.
        Thanks so much for sharing 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on One Writer's Journey by Chris Owens and commented:
    I haven’t seen these approaches yet, I plan on trying them out.


  3. Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    Authors, need to write a synopsis? Here’s a simple, direct way to boil your book down to it’s basic points. Reblogged on Archer’s Aim.


  4. Reblogged this on From Fan to Pro and commented:
    Great practical advice for facing the brain-draining process of synopsis writing.


  5. Great step-by-step advice for facing down this monster.


  6. Great advice! I’m bookmarking this for future reference.


  7. Reblogged this on Writer's Treasure Chest and commented:
    The book blurb already scared me. I felt like standing in front of a wooden 200-year-old bridge over some exotic canyon, deep deep down…
    Now I’m standing in front of the Himalaya… the synopsis. Thank God there are experienced writers being able to help us. Here a blog post, written by M. J. Morres, which might help, not only me, but many of us! Thank you for this great post!


  8. Timed to perfection, I’m struggling with this right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you 😉


  9. Reblogged this on S C Richmond and commented:
    We all need a little help.


  10. Valuable information. Precise, concise, and helpful. Thanks.



  1. Editing Tip #132 – The Dreaded Synopsis | S C Richmond

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: