Monday, September 17, 2012

The Proposal, part four

Today we are going to be discussing the "S" word.

NOT that "S" word.

But this one: Synopsis.

Every good proposal needs to have a good synopsis. Remember that this is likely the first of your writing that anyone will ever read. It needs to be concise, it needs to be catchy and it needs to be interesting.

How's that for pressure? ;)

The most important thing to remember about synopsises (synopsi?) is that you need to tell the whole story. The ending and all. I know as writers we like to hold our cards close, but when it comes to editors, they like to know all. And you have to give them credit for that - they don't want to sign a 70,000 word book and then find out after all is written and signed that the ending is awful or predictable.

That being said, you can keep a few surprises. If you are like me, I don't plot out my books before I write them. I start with a very basic paragraph of what I want to write about and then go from there. So, I try to make my synopsis as basic and detail-free as I can. I don't want to spoil the story for myself either. ;)

Your synopsis should be two to three pages and introduce the main characters and detail the main plot. You can hint to the subplots, but don't feel the need to wrap those up in the synopsis - those are fine to leave hanging.

Any questions? Leave a comment! I'll try my best to post an actual proposal that I've written at the end of this little series!!


  1. Synopsis's are a little scary. 2-3 pages seem like a lot. I haven't done the best planning out my stories or their endings. Maybe as I improve I'll get better at it?!

  2. I don't like to plot our my books either. My characters just form and their lives happen - and they often surprise me along the way! Interesting how that works out. Good post though - has a lot of things that is important to remember!

  3. Practice definitely helps! They DO get easier the more you write them and the more you learn your own writing style (and trust it!)