Today’s project was a study of the synopsis. I never feel like I have synopses right. They are basically a huge pain in my ass.
I decided that in order to suck less at this particular activity, I would study synopses for some best sellers.
The goal is to make a reader want to read the book. This can be done in many ways.
The beginning can be the most important part.
Some jump right into the conflict with the first sentence.
Some set the stage first. These tended to be the books that took place in idyllic or exotic locales.
Some began by relating to the reader. They asked the “you” question. What if YOU were abducted by aliens and given an uncomfortable probe? What if YOU had to save YOUR kid sister’s pet rabbit from a burning building?
Synopses for sequels began with a quick one to two-sentence rundown of what happened in the previous installment of the series.
They go on to give useful information, such as primary conflict, personal obstacles our hero or heroine faces over the course of the story, and their name, of course.
and the vocab.
Powerful, urgent words!! The standard writing advice says show don’t tell, which means you describe what is happening in the story, rather than just spelling it out for the reader.
Instead of – “She was sad”, you write something more like, “She buried her face in her hands and cried like she never cried before”.
The synopsis seems to be the opposite, probably due to the limited space you have to convey your message to the reader.
Power words I noticed in the synopses included: gruesome, sinister, pitch-black, unstoppable, action-packed, instant, terror, explodes!!!, chaos, shocking, nastiest, madness, riveting, prevail, heart-pounding.
Hopefully I have improved my skills.
Tomorrow is guest post day! The post is written by Cindy Marie Bell and is about Haibun poetry! We all learn something.
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