Tag Archives: synopsis

The Perils of Summarizing an Incomplete Manuscript

Laura Ayo

Here’s my take on how to write a novel synopsis for a work in progress (and an explanation for what I’ve been doing earlier this week.) Enjoy.

Middle-aged author wannabe Laura can’t wait to attend a writing conference to learn more about her craft. After discovering she must bring a synopsis of her work in progress with her, she struggles to summarize her book because  she isn’t really sure yet how her novel will end. Fueled by a deadline for when the summary must be turned in, she digs deep to get to truly know her characters and understand their goals and obstacles to achieving them. Along the way, she discovers a group of fellow writers struggling to write their own summaries for the conference. Together, they bounce ideas off one another, lending advice and encouragement to each other as they work to finish their pieces. Though riddled with interruptions by the demands of her career and family, Laura completes the synopsis before the deadline only to learn it can be no longer than 250 words long. Hers clocks in at 282 words. As she rushes to edit the summary with the deadline looming, she discovers she has mad editing skills. She turns in the summary with 50 minutes to spare and celebrates with her writing friends. Bolstered by a newfound belief that she may just have what it takes to one day become a published author, Laura decides to share in a blog post her insights about what she learned about synopsis writing in the hopes of inspiring other aspiring authors.

Practical Prompt 6-17-19

This week, write a synopsis of your novel. Start with only three sentences, one for each act. Then, flesh out the major plot points until you get to 250 words.

Getting back to Neverland (or whatever your world is . . .)


Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

 Being away from my work for an extended time messes with my head. In the not-so-distant past, I can remember a time when I was writing several days a week, on target, and totally immersed in the story. Now, I can’t seem to get back to that space. I write. It fumbles about. The plot wanders, and the characters have all been dosed with Valium behind my back. They’re dead weight that I have to lug forward instead of brilliant sprites running headlong into the story so fast that my fingers can barely skip across the keyboard after them. Continue reading

Synopsis Nightmare

Stacey Kite

Stacey Kite

For the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling, and I do mean struggling, to write a one page synopsis—and going insane. Though I knew distilling my story’s plot down to five hundred words would be challenging, I had no idea what a frustrating and confusing exercise it would turn into. Continue reading