How to Synopsis

Like many of us, I hate writing a Synopsis for any of my stories.

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”  –Gene Fowler

After a bit of research on more than a dozen websites, I’ve narrowed it down to a fairly simple system.

First, if you’ve already created your epic story, you will have to revisit it in order to break it down into these five parts. Make just a brief note after each one to refresh your memory.

Five Plotting Moments

1 – Inciting Moment

2 – Opening Problem

  • Attempted Solution

3 – Complication

  • Attempted Solution

4 – Complication

  • Attempted Solution

5 – Climax Ending

Write the Synopsis

Once you have an idea of how your tale is structured, follow this simple three paragraph formula. If you memorize the first two paragraphs, they can become your elevator script.

Paragraph One

  • Introduce protagonist and antagonist
  • Plot point one from above list
  • Where are they?
  • When is this happening?
  • What are they doing because of this?

Paragraph Two

  • What is protagonist planning?
  • What is antagonist planning?
  • What are they trying? Use the middle three plot points
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • Try to avoid additional characters
  • IF you’re doing the synopsis to submit your tale to an agent or publisher, then you will need the following. Otherwise, stop here.

Paragraph Three

  • How does the story end? last plot point
  • Tie it back to the first plot point
  • Do not leave a mystery. Agents or publishers want the whole story

I hope this is useful. Let me know how it works for you in a comment.

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