Writing Books/synopsis



I am writing a synopsis of my novel (which I call light sci-fi) but the plot is complex with many characters being underhand. I feel the synopsis cannot portray the story well - and without knowing the full story the synopsis makes it sound 'silly'. Any ideas to improve this?  


Try focusing your synopsis only on the protagonist's story.  You don't need to explain the complexities of the plot/subplot(s) in a synopsis.  Remember, it's just a general overview.

Writing a synopsis is hard work.  But you can ease the pain of it by taking it in little pieces.  First, you need to put together a bare bones outline of what happens in your story, chapter by chapter.  Focus again only on the major events that really matter to the main storyline, not the minor stuff.

Once you've got that, you need to breathe some life into it.  You've got to make it snappy and enticing.  And you'll do this the same way you do it to any other piece of writing.  You just have to be more restrained with it.  Make it exciting, but remember you're only summarizing.

Oh, and you probably know this already, but a synopsis should be done in the present tense, e.g., "After the robbery, Bob returns to the precinct where he types up all the paperwork."

Hopefully this will help you a bit!

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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