Thursday, August 23, 2012

How to Write The Synopsis

A synopsis is a selling tool used by writers of lengthy manuscript to present a proposal of their work to a potential publisher. It saves both the writers and the publisher or producer time and money in submitting and reviewing the proposal. Writers need not submit the entire MS for initial review and the publisher or producer needs not read the entire manuscriptbefore making a preliminary decision on the material.

Your synopsis is a brief summary of the novel or script you are proposing for publication. It should contain certain details about your fictional work. Your synopsis can take the form of a letter to the publisher or producer or it can be submitted in the standard MS format and it should contain the following details:
  • Plot - here you must give a brief summary of the entire plot. What happens - including the climax. The outlined should be detailed enough to give the publisher or producer a good idea of the scope of your piece.
  • Characterization - here you should indicate the names and characteristics of the main characters. And your details should answer the following questions: Who are they? What happens to them? Why does it happen? The secondary characters should also be mentioned, though not in as much detail - if they provide a necessary element to the understanding of the plot.
  • Market - here you should indicate the potential market for your work like: Is it a children's book? Or is it a science fiction novel? Is it a mass market romance or a spy thriller? Is your script meant to be produced on the stage: Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional, experimental or is it intended for the screen: TV or Movies?
You should write your synopsis at least 500 words to get your point to the reader. And you should be complete in your description, yet concise in your details.
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