"A word after a word after a word is power" - Margaret Atwood


A blog for readers and writers

A blog about the stories we tell each other and how we tell them...

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Writing a synopsis

Writing a synopsis of your novel or non fiction book is absolutely essential at some stage if you are ever going to come to the attention of an agent or publisher but it is hard, very hard. Most writers I know would rather walk across broken glass and that's not surprising because it is a marketing tool, not a creative activity. It has to be honest (there's no point trying to pretend it is something it is not....you will soon be found out); it has to sum up the story you're telling without detailing every twist and turn; it has to give a flavour of your writing and it has to be short. Easy peasey.  Oh, and it also has to be gripping. Of course. It's a daunting task and I think the best way to start is by summarising the book in one sentence. It can be an ugly, clunky sentence - the kind you wouldn't say hello to if you met it in the street - but it has to be a single sentence. This is for you: no one else will ever see it. Get that down on paper and and 250 words will seem like a wonderfully generous expanse. And if you can't sum it up in one sentence?  Then perhaps you haven't worked out what the book is really about yet...

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