Photo credit Tim Hamilton,

Photo credit Tim Hamilton,

My work in progress is off to beta readers for the next month. I have to say, I am thrilled to take a much-needed break from editing. I plan to spend the next month working on some other elements of the writing/publishing process, including:

1. Creating a synopsis for my WIP

2. Create a query letter shell that I can use when querying agents

3. Identify what literary agents I would like to query

4. Do some research on self-publishing options

Today I am tackling item one: the synopsis.

A synopsis is a short summary of your novel. It conveys the narrative arc of your work, without covering all the twists and turns, of course! A good rule of thumb is to keep it under a page.

Here are some basics, as laid out by Jane Friedman:


  1. Give a clear idea of your book’s core conflict
  2. Show what characters we’ll care about, including the ones we’ll hate
  3. Demonstrate what’s at stake for the main character(s)
  4. Show how the conflict is resolved
  5. Tell what happens in an energetic, compelling way
  6. Use active voice and third person, present tense
  7. Show the character’s feelings and emotions

     Don’t do:

  1. Mentioning too many characters or events
  2. Including too much detail about plot twists and turns
  3. Unnecessary detail, description, or explanation; every word must earn its due
  4. Confusing series of events and character interactions
  5. Writing flap copy rather than a synopsis (do not editorialize)

These are all great tips, but they still leave you sitting down at your computer wondering where to start. How to Write a Book Now has a great resource, which walks you through seven steps to generate a great synopsis. I will be utilizing this technique this afternoon to draft my first synopsis. We’ll see how it goes!

Don't forget to grab your FREE copy of Burning Fate, my young adult fantasy romance!

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