Writing Books/Synopsis


I have written a two page synopsis, but at two pages, I could only focus on one part of the book. (Let's say it's like  writing a "The Godfather" synopsis, but writing only Michael story). There are other characters with different stories and this had to be omitted. Not only because of the page length but I belive it might be confusing if the side stories were included. But some exciting parts are left out as well.
Should the synopsis be informative as I have it or in describing scenes, making them exciting?

Unfortunately, the two page synopsis has to tell the ENTIRE story, not just on one part of the book. It's fine to focus on one character, but you have to tell his story completely--and through him, the entire plot, including the resolution of the main plot thread. Subplots that don't involve him don't have to be included, but if he has a part to play, it should also be included.

Synopses are tough. No question. It's something we all struggle with. If you want to take a look at some synopses that SOLD an author's book, I made up a thread on a writer's website where I hang out where published authors posted up their selling synopsis. Now, they're romance novels, but ignore the content. You're looking for the construction. What goals are included? What conflict? How are the characters "brought to life" on the page?

It might help to see how different people approached their synopsis in entirely different ways.

Hope it helps!



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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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