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Writing Books/two page synopsis


QUESTION: One agent wants a two page synopsis with the first 10 pages. Any suggestions on how to condense a story into that space? How should it be written? I open with something like "so and so is a writer who," and then tell the trouble he gets into, but there are other characters with their own stories. Do I just tell the main characters story? Thanks

ANSWER: Hi Demetrius!

In the synopsis simply state the basic premiss of the novel. For example start with "(Name of Novel) is a story of revenge and redemption." Then give a brief description of your main character and his or her journey. Then add "along the way he meets with..." and include some but not necessarily all of the other characters.  The best way is to imagine you are explaining the novel to a complete stranger and you only have a couple of minutes to do so. Work on the synopsis until it is well polished before submitting it.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Should the synopsis be single spaced like a query, or double spaced like a story?

Hi Demetrius,

I NEVER double space - not even for a novel.  I would not do it for a synopsis.  The reason?  Because the lodging of manuscripts is done as an email attachment, the agent or publisher can open the document and space the lines in any way they like.



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Sandy McCutcheon


Author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a memoir and children's fiction.I can work with people on the process of writing, what to expect and ask for from an editor. How to work with the publisher`s marketing and publicity people. And how to survive book launches and publicity tours!


Published author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a young adult and three non-fiction titles. Visit his Moroccan blog at for a look at his blogging work.

St Andrews, Helsinki University and other institutions. Adult Educator of the Year Award, Australia

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