Step-By-Step Synopsis Guide to Writing an Effective Synopsis – The Urban Writers

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Mastering the Art of Synopsis Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide

by The Urban Writers

Even though you might be a fantastic writer, there comes a time when you need to craft a compelling synopsis for a piece you're writing. Whether it's a nonfiction book or an adventurous and captivating novel you've taken the time to write, you will need to be able to write a synopsis that captures the essence of your book while also being interesting enough to capture the attention of your audience. In this article, we are going to dive into everything you need to know about writing a book synopsis. You will learn practical techniques and will be provided with all the tools you need to create an effective synopsis for your book. Let’s get the fun started!

Writing a Book Synopsis: Is It Important?

So, you've heard about this synopsis over and over again, but you're not sure exactly how to go about getting one done. It's important to start at the basics: What is a synopsis, and why is it so important?

What Is a Synopsis?

A book synopsis is similar to a book description in the sense that it is sort of a summary of your book. However, one of the main differences is that a book synopsis is much more detailed. The synopsis will include what the book is about, the explanation of the plot, all your characters who are involved in the story, and will also include how it ends. Of course, besides including all of these details, the synopsis needs to be imaginative, enticing, and captivating because it also serves the purpose of a marketing tool. Many publishing houses will request a synopsis from you when you send your manuscript.

Benefits of Writing a Book Synopsis

Writing a synopsis is a lot of work, and you might be wondering why it is even necessary, especially because you put so much work into writing your actual book. But there are many benefits to crafting an excellent synopsis.

  • Firstly, a book synopsis is one of your greatest tools as a writer for marketing. Because the synopsis highlights the main events of your book and also summarizes the conclusion, it provides a clear view of what your book is about and what makes it unique. Your synopsis can be used in your marketing collateral, such as on social media posts when advertising your book, or you could even use an extract of it on the back cover of your book.
  • Secondly, a synopsis is incredibly useful to your audience. The information that it provides will capture the essence of your story. This means that your readers will easily be able to see what your book is about and determine whether they want to read it or not. This can help you because it will prevent people who aren't interested in this topic from accidentally purchasing it and giving you bad reviews, and it will encourage people who like your writing to purchase your book.
  • Another reason why a synopsis would be beneficial for you as a writer is because it gives you the opportunity to connect with your basic story even after writing your draft or the complete book. Writing a synopsis helps you to see your story in perspective and gives you a better understanding of your work. This can be especially useful when it comes to press releases you need to write or answering questions about your book or your writing.
  • A synopsis is also useful when it comes to publishing. When it comes to pitching your book idea to publishers, many agents or publishers will request a synopsis. When you submit your manuscript, they will need to have a general understanding of what your story is about. Publishers often use the synopsis to see if you have a story that is attention-grabbing and to determine if readers will be interested in it, especially the audience that they target.

Now that you understand the benefits of a well-crafted synopsis and how it will be useful for you as a writer, let's dive into the nuances of creating an effective one. The next section will take you through the key elements of an effective synopsis.

Key Elements of an Effective Synopsis

Sometimes writing your synopsis is more stressful and time-consuming than writing the actual book, but to break things down and make it simple, there are a few key elements that need to be included. This will allow you to capture the essence of the synopsis easily. Without these elements, your synopsis will be incomplete. Here are the five most crucial elements to master if you want to write a mind-blowing synopsis for your book:

  1. The premise: Here you need to include the broad details of your book. This will need to encompass everything from the theme of your book to where your story takes place and what the challenges or conflicts in your story are about.
  2. The overview: You need to include an overview of your main plot here. It's important to add in the key story elements of your novel. This means that you should include what the plot is about, list your characters, the points of view, what the conflict is, the resolution, and even the theme.
  3. Subplot outline: Adding in your major subplots is important because these go hand in hand with your main plot. Including them in your synopsis will make it more well-rounded and ensure that your story makes sense.
  4. Your main characters: This element encompasses everything about the most important characters in your story. You need to make your audience develop an emotional connection with your characters, so this is where you will include your characters' struggles and what motivates them. Show your readers who your characters are.
  5. The wow factor: You need to show your readers why they should open your book, so one of the key elements for a book synopsis is to ensure that it is appealing and attention-grabbing. From your tone to your words, they all need to be aimed at making your audience care about the story you’re going to tell them.

Step-By-Step Synopsis Guide

Now that you understand what's needed in the skeleton of your synopsis, let's get to writing! Here's a step-by-step synopsis guide that you can use that will help you in your journey to mastering the art of synopsis writing.

Step One: The Premise

The premise should be the introduction to your synopsis—an elevator pitch of sorts. It needs to be mysterious and interesting; this is what’s going to grab the attention of your readers and make them want to know more about your story. A great way to do this is by summarizing the essence of your book in one simple, captivating sentence, which could look something like this: Billionaire Ryan Jacobs must disappear underground when he discovers that the person he trusted most is plotting his death—his wife. This kind of pitch brings your main character to the reader's attention. You are demonstrating the sense of danger, what the conflict is, and even the action the main protagonist takes.

Step Two: The Plot

The plot, of course, is one of the most important parts of your book since this is what the story is about. It is the next step to include after your premise, and this section will be the longest part of your synopsis as it contains all other relevant details. In this section, be sure to include your overview of the main plot and the subplot outline.

You can break this part up into separate paragraphs, with each paragraph explaining a specific point.

  • In your first paragraph, you should introduce your protagonist, what the conflict is, and describe the setting of the story.
  • In the second paragraph, discuss your major subplots and also include your secondary characters. Reveal your antagonist and any other significant characters here. You can break this down further using a few more small paragraphs, with each one describing a subplot.

Step 3: The Ending

Finally, you need to discuss how the conflicts faced by your characters are handled and resolved. An important aspect here is that you need to include your ending. As difficult as it is to give away that final detail because you want to create suspense, a synopsis needs to have the ending of your story. Here, you will have to ensure that you reveal a satisfying ending for the reader.

Synopsis Writing Techniques: The Finer Details

You've got the structure down and included all the crucial elements needed for the perfect synopsis. What should you do now? Here are some insightful tips, tricks, and techniques to give your synopsis a little extra magic.

Pro Hacks

  • Keep to the point. Ensure your writing is captivating while being as concise and clear as possible.
  • Show, don’t tell. You’ve definitely heard this golden tip before. Just as you would in your novel, use actions, senses, and movement instead of simple outright descriptions to show the reader what's happening.
  • Join the dots. Try not to leave too many gaps or inconsistencies in your synopsis. Make sure that all of your main points easily connect your plot and subplot so that there aren't any confusing introductions or twists that will leave your reader befuddled.
  • Write, write, write. There's nothing wrong with creating a whole lot of drafts. Write out your synopsis as many times as you need, then edit, edit, and edit to ensure that it is perfect before you wrap up.

What to Avoid

It's easy to let yourself slip and make some of these common mistakes, so ensure you do the following:

  • Avoid becoming too flowery with your descriptions. Add your extra details, but don't overdo it where it becomes too difficult to read.
  • Ensure you have details that are important without writing your entire story in the synopsis. Don't introduce all your minor characters. This is what the story is for.
  • Remember to format your synopsis according to the submission requirements.

Final Thoughts

Writing a book synopsis will be crucial during your writing journey. Remember to take your time to craft a synopsis worth reading. If you follow the simple steps and techniques outlined in this article, you'll be an expert at writing a book synopsis in no time, and if you get stuck, remember that The Urban Writers has the best freelance synopsis writers for hire. Good luck!

 

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