Writing a novel synopsis for a literary book

Three shots ring out. Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake"s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. By stepping through a portal in the diner"s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke…Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life.

Writing a novel synopsis for a literary book

But there's no escape — if you want a literary agent to represent you or a commercial publisher to consider your manuscript, you're going to have to do it. Many writers find a word synopsis more daunting than an 80, word manuscript.

Here are some tips to help. This is not what happens in your manuscript, this is what it is about. You'll find an 'essence sentence' in most back cover blurbs.

writing a novel synopsis for a literary book

Consider the themes at play in your manuscript. If you're feeling stuck, try 'This is a story about He now has an agent and a publishing contract. The 'essence sentence' in his synopsis, which comes towards the end, is: This is where the synopsis differs from the back cover blurb.

But remember you only have around words. And in that space you need to introduce the key characters. Think of the key events and turning points, stripping away minor plot lines or minor characters.

David Roland's word synopsis begins: They want to know where you think your work will fit into the marketplace. Make sure you mention what your genre is, and your word length. You may also want to align your style to published writers successful ones, of course or your topic to other books available.

For non-fiction, you will need a detailed marketing proposal in addition to the synopsis — but that's another story. Be careful about pushing your work as unlike anything else published.

On the one hand publishers are looking for new voices, but on the other, there may be a good reason why work like that hasn't ever made it to the shelves! Trim away adverbs and adjectives where possible. Keep it simple and direct.

If you are an author wondering which novel writing software to use, here's a dozen writing tools used by a commercially published author, all free or cheap. Children's book author, fantasy/science fiction novelist, and literature/writing teacher Jane Yolen, who has been referred to as the Hans Christian Andersen of America, and the Aesop of the 20th century, believes that too many writers do not consider landscape in the development of their setting. That’s the framework within which you write your novel. Now, different lines may have more specific expectations than this (for example, if you’re writing a Harlequin Suspense, the editors will expect you to hit a specific word count and to have a certain type of plot) but this is where you start.

And don't, under any circumstances, write how wonderful the book is. A synopsis is not a review and the agent or editor is certainly not looking for your judgment of the work, you are looking for theirs.

Every story is different. A memoir synopsis will need a strong sense of the main character and what makes their story extraordinary. A crime thriller synopsis will need to be strong on characters.

For non-fiction you will need to explain why you are the best person to write such a book. Literary fiction writers will need to show a beguiling story line and well thought-out structure; romance writers will need to show the shape of the plot and the obstacles the characters face.

Like writing the manuscript itself, the only way to arrive at a great synopsis is to practise: You may end up with dozens of versions of your synopsis written at different stages of the manuscript's development.

The challenge of distilling your work into words is an important part of the process of understanding and shaping your manuscript. It may give you insights into what is and isn't working. Go on, give it a go.Get homework help from benjaminpohle.com Get free study guide answers, book notes including complete summary analysis, chapter analysis from all authors.

Your synopsis is there to outline your plot and to demonstrate a clear story arc, a satisfying ending. It’s your tool to make someone read on.

That said, synopses aren’t blurbs. A synopsis is your pitch to agents, who’ll pitch to publishers – the sellers.

writing a novel synopsis for a literary book

Later comes a blurb for readers – the consumers. Writing a synopsis. Writers often moan and groan about writing a synopsis. But there's no escape – if you want a literary agent to represent you or a commercial publisher to consider your manuscript, you're going to have to do it. For example, for my book that I just finished about knowing a famous writer and being thrown into the cauldron of literary New York after her death, I wrote this as a synopsis.

Based on last year's blog course, this writing craft book will show you how to go from idea to complete novel a step at a time. Available in print and ebook format! Buy it . For the Synopsis-Writing Challenged. We should be nice to our brothers and sisters with this particular "challenge." You know, the ones who can write speculative fiction like nobody's business but couldn't write a 1-page synopsis to save their life.

QueryTracker Blog: In Short: Writing a Novel Synopsis That Rocks