What is Synopsis in Writing? What is a Synopsis Example?

A synopsis is a summary which gives readers an overview of the main points.  Furthermore, here’s an example of synopsis.  Let’s consider a short story like – Jack and Jill is the story of a boy and girl who went up a hill together.  Then they went to fetch a pail of water, but due to unavoidable circumstances, their plan failed when the jack slipped and fell, landed his head on a rock and rolled off the hill.

Now, let’s understand why Synopsis is important followed by some example

A synopsis is an extremely valuable and necessary piece of writing for authors, filmmakers, tv producers, academic writers and many more.  Firstly, it’s what helps a book get published or a tv series get made.  Having a well-written synopsis can convince the person in charge of publication or production to bring it to life.

Nonetheless, a synopsis grabs the attention of potential audiences and can convince them to read, watch or listen.

It helps researchers find what they are looking for and decide if that piece of information is relevant to their field.  To summarize, a synopsis is two-fold – getting the work made and helping it reach the right audience.

What are the characteristics of a good synopsis?

A few tips can guide us on how to write a synopsis correctly

  • Narrative Arc– A synopsis conveys the narrative arc, which is an explanation of the problem or plot, the characters, and how the book or novel ends.
  • Active Voice – Always to be using this voice tense, is what agents consider good writing skills.
  • A unique point of view
  • Story Advancement
  • Writing clearly

5 Key elements that every book synopsis should include are

  • The premise of the book
  • Direct overview of the main plot
  • A proper introduction to your main characters
  • Outline your major subplots
  • Implicit understanding of the appeal of your book

What is a novel synopsis?  

As per the Ancient Greek word, synopsis means a “comprehensive view”.  Thus, a novel synopsis must include a summary of your story’s main plot, subplots and the ending, a few character descriptions and an overview of your major themes.

Three essential Parts of a Novel Synopsis

Images

One of the hardest things you will have to do as a writer is to synopsize your novel.  Nonetheless, if this is your first time writing, you’ll be exploring story ideas, preparing for a reading, and querying literary agents, so familiarizing yourself with synopsis examples can make this process a lot easier.  So here are some necessary elements of your synopsis.

1.    The Story Characters – The protagonist and antagonist form the foundation of your story.  Make these characters strong and memorable from the outset itself.

2.    Story Conflict – Nothing but the primary tension that keeps the readers at the edge of their seats.  You can include a short description of the main conflict in your brief synopsis.

3.    Narrative Arc – This is also known as the skeleton of your plot.  You can condense this arc for your synopsis.

Let’s understand what are the five classic elements of a Narrative Arc.

1.    Exposition – Also known as the introduction of the story to the readers, furthermore, it offers background information to the prime audience for the rest of the story.  This means, the introduction of the main characters (Who), circumstances (Where) or period (When).  

2.    Rising Action – Also known as an inciting incident, the triggering event puts the main events of the story in motion.  That’s when they know what the story is actually about.

3.    Climax – Also known as the highest point of tension in your storyline, this is where all the different subplots and characters converge.  Nonetheless, it’s a point where the main character has to make a choice or an important decision.

4.    Falling Action – As a result of the protagonist’s decision, during the falling action, the conflict gives way to resolution.  Thus, loose ends are tied up and tension begins to dissipate.

5.    Resolution – This is generally how the story ends.  It closes the loop and shows how the events of the story have changed the characters and the world around them.

Many would wonder, is there a difference between a Narrative Arc and a Plot?  A plot is a course of individual events that make up your story.  On the other hand, Narrative Arc refers to a path or sequence of your plot, which in turn keeps the readers engaged at every stage of the story.

And what about, Narrative Arc Vs Character Arc, is there a difference?  If the Narrative arc is the path of your overall story, the Character arc is the specific path a character takes during that story.  This arc usually involves a character who overcomes his obstacles and changes his view of the world.  The character arc receives his moments to shine, gradually when the narrative arc begins to descend.

What persuades you to read a book?

Many people decide to read a book, based on the blurb on the back of the book or inside the book’s cover on the jacket. But is that the case for all readers?  No.  A literary agent generally wants a novel synopsis to persuade him to read the book.

A novel synopsis gives the details of the book in a one-page format itself. Take a look at a synopsis example which can help you learn to write well.

A screenplay synopsis gives the details of what the film is about on one single page. 

What does a synopsis include?

Similar to a logline, a synopsis must contain:

  • Plot points
  • Plot twist
  • Main characters
  • Setting
  • Point of view
  • Story arc
  • Ending

What is the aim of a Novel Synopsis?

A book, movie or novel synopsis is shared with the literature agent so that he can decide if he wants to read the entire manuscript or not.  It should not be too long else the publisher might lose interest in reading it.  Anywhere from 1 to 2 pages or 500-1000 words is a good enough synopsis.

Nonetheless, a synopsis can help you as a writer to determine if your story is working and suited to your targeted audience.

What are the key points I should keep in mind while writing a Novel Synopsis?

If you are a new writer, it would be better to first learn what a synopsis is.  Practice writing summaries of your story, by reading stories of other successful writers.  Below are some pointers on how to go about writing your novel synopsis.

1.    Start The Synopsis  – All synopsis must start with the protagonist, describing the character’s intentions and mindset.

2.    Body of The Synopsis – After the characters and the inciting incidents, each paragraph can highlight the outline of the key scenes a reader can look forward to.  Main conflicts, plot twists and turning points are to be included.  Depending on how many characters your story contains, you can introduce maybe a few more, not all.

3.    End The Synopsis– The document is not designed for readers’ sale.  Moreover, it is to convince the literary agent, to read your entire manuscript, so don’t forget to include how your story ends.

4.    POV of the Synopsis – POV or Point of view is what writers use in the third person. Their tone is present tense.

5.    Capturing the Right Emotion in the Synopsis – Though short, the synopsis should contain the emotions of the character, avoid overstuffing words and don’t make it too dry which will put off your clients or publishers.

6.    Complexity in the Synopsis – Make sure you highlight any complex historical or fancy setting at the beginning of your synopsis.  The synopsis should benefit the reader from the beginning itself if you have done the settings right.

Some Examples of Synopsis:

synopsis example

Tips on writing a Good Summary to a Story

  • Focus on the main idea.  Focus only on the important points to communicate to the reader.
  • Keep it short and to the point.  Always remember, it is a short summation of your original content.
  • Write fearlessly, without viewing the on-coming judgements.
  • Keep the flow going smoothly, from beginning to end.

Some common mistakes that most writers make while writing a synopsis, keep your focus on this to make your writing stronger.

1.    Firstly, always remember that you need to keep your synopsis as simple as possible.  Do not add too many specifics.  Make it as thorough as possible.

2.    The main character’s backstory plays a vital role in your synopsis.  Giving too much additional information about other characters can change your agent’s mind about reading your manuscript.

3.    Dialogues are an important part of any book.  So try and include some dialogues when writing.

4.    This is no place to ask questions.

5.    Adding some emotion could make your synopsis sound more lively.

How can I give a good summary of my synopsis?

Proper summarizing and presenting your work to the literary agent, could lead you to have your novel published quickly.  Nevertheless, to make it look like a worth-reading manuscript, get your points in order – the main point, the plot progression of the book with emotions and the climax.  If an agent identifies these points in your synopsis, he will surely give you a green go-ahead for publishing your book.

What Synopsis format do publishers expect?

Query Letter 

This is used to pitch article ideas or book ideas, to publishers and agents.  It is a one page letter, used to get an agent interested in his write-up.

Purpose of Synopsis

The book synopsis invites agents to read the entire manuscript.  This will contain things like the main plot, outlining the story arc which includes the character arc and reveals the ending.

Format your synopsis

Elements like length, writing style, formatting, and edition are key aspects of formatting your synopsis.

How to write your synopsis

Start from the basics, add an emotion.  A good story engages and makes readers feel good. Your synopsis will help bring the story to life.  Nevertheless, always present factual content and make sure their feelings about the story are evident. 

What is Creative Writing?

It is an expressive form of literature, in which you can use your creativity, imagination and story to convey a particular message, emotion or plot.  Furthermore, it defines the traditional bounds of other forms of writing and is subjective to your preferences and experiences.  The different types are:

1.    Poetry

2.    Plays

3.    Movie and television scripts

4.    Novels Fiction Writing

5.    Speeches

6.    Memoirs

7.    Personal Essays

Why is Creative Writing important?

Creative writing helps us explore the human experience, share new ideas, and advocate for a better society.  There are four main types of writing, each having its distinct aim – Expository, Descriptive, Persuasive, and Narrative.

Henry Harvin For Creative Writing Course

synopsis example

Henry Harvin education is an online platform which provides a wide variety of courses, you can access from anywhere you are.  One such course included in their portal is Creative Writing Course.

This course is ranked #1 in India.  It will guide you to create an unusual and unique story, from fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry and more, and achieve your dream of becoming a flourishing writer.

Key Features include:

  • Ranked at #1, Henry Harvin Certified Creative Writing Specialist (CCWS) in the industry.
  • Provision of experimental learning using GCAO pedagogy, the oldest content writing training provider in South Asia.
  • Using LMS to access unlimited webinars, class recordings and more on the go.
  • Guaranteed internship, live projects, boot camps, and many more career-oriented services.
  • CCWS certificate is recognized by the American Association of EFL, UK, UKAF and many more.

What you will learn:

  • Initiating creative writing
  • Literary elements as well as techniques
  • Creating stories
  • Fiction writing, Script writing as well as poetry writing

Other courses you can opt for:

Some more institutions you can consider for Creative Writing Course

  1. Sri Aurobindo Center for Arts and Communication
  2. British Council – Creative writing in India
  3. Xavier Institute of Communication
  4. IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University)
  5. Writers.Com
  6. Writer’s Digest University
  7. Udemy
  8. The Writers Bureau

What are the processes of Creative Writing?

According to reports, the writing process can be broken down into seven stages listed as:

1.    Planning

2.    Drafting

3.    Sharing

4.    Evaluating

5.    Revising

6.    Editing

7.    Publishing

Creative writing is a process which expects the writer to think carefully, about his purpose of writing, and plan out what he has to say, and how he has to say it.  Nonetheless, he needs to understand what the reader needs to know.  All in one, the writer needs to know his purpose of writing. 

Identifying the correct audience and penning down the purpose of your writing are key points to good writing skills.

Creative writing can be in the form of – fiction or nonfiction, short stories, poetry, lyrics, plays, tv or film scripts as well as memoirs.

What are the benefits of a Creative Writing Course? How can it benefit your career?

Creative writing course helps to strengthen your observation skills, helps you deal with writer’s block, and helps you think of various niches you can write on.  Based on your interests, your writing skills for different genres can be polished via learning this creative writing course.

In short,

  1. Improves in observation and ideation – The best way to find your niche is by observing your surroundings.   
  2. Enhance your research skills – Every niche that you choose, requires a thorough research to create the main character of your story.  Researching helps make the topic more interesting as you are going to put in accurate data, to make it more creative.
  3. Helps polish your communication skills – Reading, writing, listening, understanding as well as interpreting your content, in various genres and languages, helps you polish your skills.  This course enables you to proofread your work, structure your content, and keep writing more everyday.
  4. Vast career options to explore from – You get to learn to create content for various genres like fiction, non-fiction, screenplay, scripts, advertisements and more.  Therefore, this helps to broaden your scope of job options in the market.  
  5. Enhance memory and creativity – Writing has always been considered as one of the best stress busters.  Nevertheless, this is because it boosts your memory power, enhance creativity with all the new technology in today’s world.  Moreover, it lets you express your thoughts in an easily-understandable manner, and in a well-structured format.

Few tips to help you write more creatively

  1. Learn from the best, but do not be a copycat.
  2. Look around, and develop your character based on someone you know or have seen.
  3. Use the brainstorming tool as much as possible.
  4. Find a good place to grow your thoughts into creativity.
  5. Freestyle writing is the best option when you are first starting to write.

How can I make money as a Creative Writer?

Using certain guidelines can take your career to becoming a successful Creative Writer, getting you monetary benefits.

  1. Creative writing contests are one of the most used options of earning money, by showcasing your writer’s skills.  If you have a competitive approach, and can take up the challenge, this is a good option to begin with.
  2. Grow your blog into a business.
  3. Publish an ebook on amazon.
  4. Medium.com is an option where you get paid when readers read your content.
  5. There is a demand for copywriters in many companies today.  So copywriting for advertising is important.

To summarize – Synopsis Example

As mentioned earlier, a synopsis is the most vital part of any book marketing plan.  If you have a good synopsis which can convince your agent to read your entire manuscript, most of your work is done there.  It gives the readers a glimpse of the entire story in a mere one page. A writer pens down his thought and ideas in the form of words, by creating a new world with its characters, their struggles, and a vital message to conclude.

Likewise, it is an important writing tool, which helps verbalize the idea of the paper, and at the same time, makes it more concrete.  It helps you focus and structure your ideas accordingly.

Recommended Reads

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1. Why is it important to have a synopsis in any book?

By far, the most important tool for a book’s marketing, it gives the readers a glimpse of the story in a mere one page. Sharing the main important character, his emotions and struggles and providing the climax, is important for writers who intend to get their manuscripts to read and published.

Q.2. Where should a synopsis appear in a novel book?

In a novel, the synopsis generally appears in a letter form which you will be sending to potential literary agents and publishers.

Q.3. What are the key factors which should be included in a book synopsis?

Key elements like the premise of the book, a direct overview of the main plot, an intro to the main characters and an outline of subplots followed by the appeal of your book should be pointed out in the synopsis.

Q.4. What tones should be used while writing a book?

Tones would vary based on the target audience, the mood of the book, and basically a clear indication of emotions.

Q.5. What is an example of the synopsis?

An example of synopsis basically means a short brief of the story, mentioning the character, story with emotions and result.

Q.6. What is the difference between a Book Blurb and Synopsis?

The Book blurb gives you just enough information to entice you to buy the book.  In other words, it is the teaser of the book.  Furthermore, a Synopsis will be part of your press kit, for literary agents, editors and publishers.  Nonetheless, it summarizes the twists, turns and conclusion of your story.

Recommended videos for you

Join the Discussion

Interested in Henry Harvin Blog?
Get Course Membership Worth Rs 6000/-
For Free

Our Career Advisor will give you a call shortly

Someone from India

Just purchased a course

1 minutes ago