TFTSP: The Synopsis

Posted on: August 19, 2023

Tips from the Slush Pile: I had a question asked about the synopsis and realized I haven’t had a tip about that so here ya go!
What a synopsis is:
– A short summary of your book. Long enough to include pivotal plot points, but not so long it qualifies as a chapter from your book.
– Includes all major events, plot twists, and the ending. Yes, the ending.
– 1 to 2 pages double-spaced is fairly typical (some agents want longer for more details).
What a synopsis is NOT:
– Just a copy of your query letter.
– Two-sentence summary of the basic plot.
– Includes the line “you’ll have to read it to find out!”
– A blank page (which happens far too frequently).
If your writing is good, but I’m not so sure on the story, I will read your synopsis to decide if I keep reading the manuscript. Have a cool twist coming or an intense climax? Great! I may keep reading to see how you pull it off. But if your synopsis is lacking (or missing), I may stop reading your submission. I have a hundred other books waiting for me. Don’t play coy. Tell me why I should keep reading.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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