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Our fees can be found hereand submission guidelines here. Client feedback can be found here. If you want your manuscript to be given serious consideration, a good synopsis is a crucial part of your submission.
The same applies to literary agents. To put it simply, the sample chapters are to show how you write, and the synopsis is to tell the reader what happens when they have finished reading them. Then, if they do want to read more, they will ask you. So, the bottom line is this — if you want to have your manuscript read in its entirety you must invest time in getting your cover letter and book synopsis right.
I know from my experiences at TLC that many writers can get disconcerted and nervous by having to produce a synopsis and there are usually two reasons why. First, a writer might have an unwieldy story that they themselves are not per cent convinced by, or a non-fiction project that they do not really know enough about.
If this is so, summarising can be difficult because the level of thinking through and planning of the project has not been done in the first place.
In this instance, I would urge the writer to question why this process is so difficult. If tips for writing a book synopsis is because the story is insufficiently clear, persuasive or gripping, then more work needs to be done to get the manuscript into the kind of shape that would persuade an agent or editor to consider it further.
Second, a writer might genuinely be able to write a good book but not be experienced in the art of summarising a work in an effective manner.
A few might even consider the act of doing so demeaning. If this is the case, I would urge you to think not of yourself, but of the reader, and treat the project as a literary exercise which you should try to enjoy: It might help to refer to book blurbs, or plot summaries in reference books such as The Oxford Companion to Literature, or online, for example in Wikipedia.
In addition to letting a professional reader know what happens in your manuscript, the synopsis will also let them know at a glance if you have thought about how your work fits in to the market.
This is critical in non-fiction, less so with fiction, although with fiction awareness of what genre you have written in is vital. But before writing either of these, you must clarify which genre your work fits into. The most important thing to realise about fiction in respect of how you present it to representatives of the publishing industry is that it breaks down into different types, or genres.
Some of these dramatic forms are familiar and others not. There are always more genres being invented or cross-fertilised. It can be difficult to keep up! The most popular genres today are, broadly speaking: Classifying your novel within a genre can be a challenge. This is largely because when most people start to write a novel they do so without having studied the genre they are writing for.
Although, when you start to write, you feel free to explore, practise and experiment without thinking in terms of the defining limits of a genre, by the time you come to submitting your work to be published, it is very important to know which genre your work fits into. A good starting point is to read books you consider similar to the one you are writing that are already published, and note how they are classified on the back cover.
By reading, and sometimes studying literature and writing through other routes, you will also learn the possibilities and limits offered by your chosen genre.
Writing a brief summary Having made it your top priority to identify what type of novel you have written, you can make a start on your all-important synopsis.
For example, had you written Pride and Prejudice today:Useful writing tips and advice that help you discover how to write short stories, win short story competitions and have your work published. Learn more. Christopher Fielden Short Stories, Writing Competitions, Writing Tips, Publishing Advice & Free Writing Resources.
I'm a writer.
I use my published short stories as case studies in the hope that the information and advice provided might help other writers become published authors. The dictionary definition of ‘synopsis’ (derived from the Ancient Greek meaning) is ‘a brief description of the contents of something’.
The purpose of a synopsis is to inform a literary agent or publisher of the type of book you are writing/have written in a concise, appealing fashion, conveying that you are in command of your subject matter. Click here to download a free PDF of the 37 tips plus the infographic.
Synopsis Here is a list of 37 tips to help the person that is going to be writing the foreword for a book. Here’s another example of a fiction synopsis. This time it’s THE WAY, WAY BACK (), and, yes, the synopsis below has spoilers.
If this were a book, it would probably span the bridge between young adult and middle grade. Writing a Synopsis for Your Novel: A Scary But Useful Exercise. Writing the synopsis of that novel-in-progress took me a week and left me parched, diminished, and terrified.