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December 2, 2013

How to Write a Synopsis

Worried about trying to write a synopsis of your middle grade or young adult novel?
The most important thing to remember about a synopsis is—

It should not be a summary of the whole novel. A synopsis should be a summary of your main character’s story and how he or she changes. The paramount thing is the story arc of the main character. What does your character want at the opening of your story? Where is he or she emotionally? Is she wanting to accomplish something very badly? Does he have a dilemma to overcome or a mystery to solve? Is he in a situation from which he must escape?

A synopsis should be a direct account of the main plot, but it should not be dry. Do not include minor plot lines or how secondary characters grow and change. Do reveal several major plot points. Show how the plot points obstruct your character reaching his or her goal. (They must cause a problem for your character.)

Finish by showing where your character ends up, especially how he or she ends up emotionally. (Character must have changed in some way.) An editor wants to be convinced that your story will grip readers, so write a synopsis that shows how you will keep them turning the pages.

For more tips on writing a page-turner, please check out our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks.

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