Writing the Synopsis

Each time I attend a writing conference I’m reminded that one of the trickiest things to do correctly is write a synopsis. And yet the synopsis forms the basis of a query, so the more powerful you can make your synopsis, the better your query.

I’ll post on queries soon, but I’d like to give you a worksheet on synopses here. This worksheet will hopefully guide you through the steps you need in order to craft the strongest synopsis of your work.

Keep in mind that much of what drives your story lies deep inside you, so don’t try to do this simplistically. Get to the heart of your story, and not only will you have a better synopsis, you’ll discover things that will inform all your work. And it follows that a great synopsis – which is ideally a paragraph – will contain the nuggets of that most precious of all sentences, the logline. And the logline will arm you for the elevator moment. (More on queries, loglines, and elevator moments -check here.)


You’ll be able to download this as a pdf file. Happy writing!

And to read about crafting loglines, see next post here.

4 Responses to “Writing the Synopsis”

  1. Annie

    Oh yay! I have been struggling with my synopsis. It’s certainly much better than it was because I finally got to the heart of the story. Instead of just listing the physical events, I’m focusing on the MC’s motivation. Writing a synopsis really does hone the work itself.

    Thanks, Janet!

    • Janet

      Exactly right, Annie – I use it to deepen my understanding of my story and MC, too. You are welcome!