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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I need your help, guys

So when I opened my email this morning, I received a nice surprise...a partial request! *dances around stupidly*

I know, it's exciting, right? Who knows if it will lead to anything. But the fact someone out there liked my submission (it was a query with ch1 included) and would like to see more is great! It lets me know that I'm doing something right, right?

But, not all is good news in the email, I'm afraid. For you see, this particular person would like to see some more of my writing...in the form of a synopsis! *apologizes for no forewarning of the "S" word* Agh! I know, I hate them, too. But it has been requested, so therefore it shall be written.

But I - and I'm sure a lot of writers out there are with me - have no clue, really, how to write a synopsis. I mean, I know what it is, what purpose it serves, but as far as structure and length and the style in which it should be written is foreign to me.

So that's where I need some help. If any of you know where I can go to find some great synopsis-writing advice, could you please let me know? Maybe some examples of some good ones? I know I could just do a Google search, but I figured someone reading this out there has probably already found the gems in that Google list, so why not ask, right?

Thanks to you all, and wish me luck!!


  1. Probably the best place to look would be goodreads. Read some of the synopsis on their, maybe from your favourite books. Maybe try it out on a few bloggers when you've written it to see if the think it 'grabs the attention'.

  2. I agree - visit goodreads & read some posted there. I find their synopsis's are better than places like Amazon.

    And congrats! thats awesome.

  3. Congrats Jamie!

    Best-selling NYT author Lisa Gardner offers an entire PDF lecture on writing the dreaded synopsis. It's very informative!

    Good luck!

    Here as part of Blog Jog Day. Just a few hours late. ;-)

  4. I agree that this is a HORRIBLE thing to have to write! Recently I've read...


    And congratulations! It's very exciting!

  5. Thanks for all the kudos, guys...you rock! And a HUGE thanks for the recommendations, I'm sure they're gonna give me the help I need!

  6. Just imagine telling a friend what the book is about. Be matter-of-fact with it. This is where telling, not showing, comes in handy. Include every point necessarily regarding the main plot, how main character gets from point a to point b, what obstacles are in the way. Most importantly, make sure you indicate how the story ends.

    You've already got the agent's attention. Now they need to know precisely where you're going with this.

    Congratulations on getting your story up to partial request!

  7. CONGRATS!!!! It's hard to write these, yes, but there are lots of great places to learn about format, which is different, on writing these. I know that Nathan Bransford has a post and so do several other agents, including Natalile Fischer. Really, the synopsis goes into more detail and tells the ending, which is important because the query doesn't, right? Good Luck and don't be afraid of it : )

  8. congratulations and dont go into writing your synopsis thinking it is hard. I find it easy to do. That said Kristin Nelson's blog at Nelson Lit Agency has some sample and advice

  9. Thanks Jeffrey, Bekah and Joanna for the tips and the congrats...I'm excited!

  10. Kathleen Ortiz has some good archived posts on synopses. Just remember they don't have to be spectacular - the agent's just looking to see if you have a story that can carry through 60,000 or however-many-you-have words. You definitely need to talk about each main plot/twist and give away the ending. Good luck!

  11. 3rd person, present tense, active voice -- ALWAYS. (even if youur novel is 1st person/past tense.)

    hit all the high points and twists. Give them the end.

    good luck. I'm excited for you.

    check out my blogfest hsappening dec 12th thru 18th @



  12. Here's a great post from one of my favorite blogs with lots of details http://childrenspublishing.blogspot.com/2010/03/synopsis-another-elusive-devil.html

  13. Oh, good luck, and CONGRATS! I have advice for writing a synopsis, but I'm afraid I can't sum it all up in a nice little comment. I haven't done any blog posts about it, unfortunately. I should do that soon!

    I'm more than happy, however, to look over your synopsis as a reader when you finish it - if you'd like an extra opinion/set of eyes. Let me know. You can email me at ladyglamis (at) gmail (dot) com if you'd like.

    I think, if I can give you ANY advice at the moment, it's to focus only on the basics of the plot and ask the agent what kind of synopsis they are looking for - there are long and short and medium styles. I've written one for an agent that was 3 pages.

  14. A huge thank you to all of you for some awesome advice! I now have several places to visit and lots of info on length & content. Now I just have to get busy writing it!