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What Is A Synopsis?



How to write an intriguing book summary.

What is a synopsis? The word ‘synopsis’ comes from the Greek prefix ‘sun-‘(meaning ‘together’) and ‘-opsis‘ (‘seeing’). So a synopsis is literally a way to ‘see together’, in one quick read, the unique and compelling aspects of a story.

How do you write a synopsis that will hook your reader from the start to read your book?

Learn how to write a synopsis like a pro.


What is a synopsis used for?

Why should I write a synopsis?

A synopsis is a crucial component of telling readers what the book is about and if they would like to read it not. The synopsis is at the back of the cover page for readers to see and in e-books the synopsis is included on all the platforms.

Remember, your cover page and title is the first thing a reader sees. If they want to know more, they will read your synopsis. And this will determine if they will read it or not.


What should a synopsis include?

· ‘The story’s subject matter’ – what it’s about.

· Incorporate your theme, rhythm, pacing and tone.

· Conveys the narrative arc, an explanation of the problem or plot, the characters and how it all ends.

· Synopsis should include character's feelings and emotions. This drives your plot and your story.

· Include story advancement and colour.


Quick and easy tips and what to avoid when writing a synopsis.

· Don’t tell the end of your story.

· Don’t use words like "why" or "conflict" in your synopsis, show it.

· Don’t mention too many characters or events.

· Don’t include irrelevant cover material like personal information. (I was born in Cape Town and…this must be in your authors profile.)

· Don’t try to sell your book in our synopsis. Don’t go astray and write a hook to intrigue a reader to buy your book.


Best tips on writing a synopsis

· A synopsis should be simple and to the point. But, it should also be entertaining.

· A synopsis summarizes what happens and who changes from beginning to end of story.

· You don't want to tell the entire story. Just give enough detail about the plot to intrigue a reader.

· Ask yourself: Why would it motivate a person to read more?

· Make the opening of your synopsis good. Begin with a strong paragraph identifying your protagonist, problem or conflict, and setting. Give basic information: where and when does this story take place, who is the protagonist, and what is the problem they are facing.

· The second paragraph should convey major plot turns or conflicts and other characters (like your antagonist).

· Make each word count in your synopsis. Unnecessary details, explanations or descriptions must be left out.

· Gives readers a preview or your storyline.

· It must show- not tell.

· Focus on the summary of your story.

· Write clearly. Focus on clarity and avoid wordiness. Remember, less is more.

· A synopsis is not a manual to your novels plot.


Read it aloud. Ask yourself:

· Does each sentence flow smoothly with no unnecessary words or awkward constructions?

· Does each sentence communicate something that improves the readers overall grasp of what's ait all about and what makes it interesting?

· Is any part boring or irrelevant to the overall story development?

· Does it make the reader curious to know more or expand their knowledge of how the story unfolds?

· Does each word create a vivid emotional or descriptive pull?

· Is your story fresh with unique elements or predictable? Use elements that make your story a 'want-to-read'.

· Write synopsis in 3rd person point-of-view. (he/she/they)

· Write in active voice.

· Use good writing skills to attract your reader.

· Every word count: don’t say 'after the wedding there is trouble during honeymoon' but "the honeymoon is disastrous. After the newlyweds miss their flight, they wait for hours and this test their love for each other.'

Look at your favorite book's synopsis and learn from it.


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