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Synopsis (version... 4?)

Hi All,

If anyone has a few minutes, I'd be very grateful to get your views on my amended synopsis. I'm happier with my query letter, but the pesky synopsis is where I'm struggling the most. I've got this down to 501 words (including the title), and it's currently 1.5 spaced, which is why it's over 2 pages (it fits on just one when I use normal spacing).

This is version 4 now. V1 was not quite right. Version 2 I binned straight away. Version 3 completely lost the voice of the character, so for V4, I first of all wrote it as my character, which I found really helpful.

Anyway, enough rambling - any feedback is most appreciated.



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Replies (12)
  • Definitely a step up from the previous version (or was that the two before…?)

    A few tweaks still needed - grammatical messes (last few words of para 4) and there are a bunch of filler words (adjectives like "very") and other superfluous detail (the Geoff is "in a hospital" doesn't add anything, so could go). Also, the opening paragraph is internally confused; it implies Kelly is getting the devices to track the things already stolen, so it needs mentions that those two aren't the first, and that she tracks other new items.

    Besides that, I believe (L. correct me if I'm getting this wrong) synoses are generally written present tense, even if the book is written past tense. It makes it stronger ("She did not expect it to work. But it did." v. "She does not expect it to work. But it does.")

    The biggest thing, though, is the second paragraph.The order of those first three sentences is wrong. What you've said is "The finlter happened. Backstory to the filter happening." That needs to be rearranged into chronological and consequential order. "humans and magicals struggled to get along, humans became combative, magicals cut the humans off."

    That will at least get to an overall shape that works, which can then be refined and tightened.

    I'll also repeat one thing from the last version, which is some of the terminology, "Magical Folk," "Shadow," and "Queen of the Fairies" are generic names that imply a much younger audience than you're going for. There are equally generic but more mature terms you could use (e.g. Fey/Fae), and the antagonist needs a real name - probably the one Geoff gave his "imaginary friend" when first encountered, as a child, because that's how he will still refer to it, so something grossly innocuous. (Personally, I would have it hate the given name with a vengeance.)

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    • As ever, Rick, thank you for the detailed post. Glad it reads better than the last version (whichever one that was). Yep, the second paragraph proved tricky (as did the first) so I shall go and work on them a bit more. I hear you about the tense, too. I did look at that precise bit and think it was wrong, I shall correct now.

      Thanks again. 

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    • I know nothing about synopses but I think your book is going to be a fantastic read.

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      • Thank you so much!

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      • Hi I hate synopsis writing, its a nightmare. This book sounds fabulous. I'm no expert but as a reader here's a few comments. 

        I had to read the first paragraph a few times because at first I thought mug meant her face disappeared.  A quick shift changed this. Plus its future mysterious things not these that have already gone missing.  No need to state without any reason because you have already said its a mystery. 

        KELLY’S brand new pens disappear in a locked-room mystery at work and her favourite coffee mug meets the same fate at home. More than a bit miffed, Kelly (drunkenly) orders some tracking devices, to keep tabs on any future strange happenings. It leads her to make the most important discovery of her life: Magic is real. 

        The second paragraph is more telling us the background of the story than what actually happens next. I think you need to look at that again, sorry.

        Hope this helps even a little

        Good Luck

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        • Caron, thank you. Synopsis writing is just torture, isn't it?

          Thank you so much for your comments. I'm mostly happy with the later bits, but you're completely right, the first and second paragraphs aren't there. Thank you for your suggestions, they are most helpful! Fingers crossed....

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        • I'm not going to add much as Rick and the others have given you some solid advice. But it really does sound like a great read! Can't wait to see how you handle the Fae 😊

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          • Thanks Lynn! I'm in the middle of the second edit, but I think my first 3-4 chapters are about there (famous last words) so I'm looking at entering them into the Lucy Cavendish. I have absolutely no expectations with that, but why not? Hence trying to get the synopsis nailed.

            Thanks for having a read :) 

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            • That's brilliant! Sent my submission yesterday. Best of luck with it 🤞

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              • Oh exciting! Everything crossed for you. Best of luck to you, too :) 

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              • Hope I'm not to late to give you some feedback! :)

                As far as I can tell, I think the synopsis is done well (But I for one also struggle with them, so what do I know? 😅😂). But wow your story overall seems really intriguing! I love how not only does she have to deal with her new ability to see beyond the filter, but she works as a psychologist! Haha That can probably lead to some creepy or humorous scenes in your story, depending on which route you take it. Honestly this is set up to be interesting! :D

                If you wanted to make your synopsis even shorter, some rephrasing can get rid of a few words, but that's only if you wanted to do some slight trimming lol.

                "Increasingly, she feels there's nothing worth living for..."

                Instead of the word increasingly, I think gradually would work better. :) Or you can even choose to omit the word completely, as the sentence still makes sense without it.

                But overall I think you did a really fantastic job on this!!! 😁 I'm sorry I couldn't offer more advice. I'm still learning how to write a synopsis myself. 😂

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                • Thank you so much for your lovely words!

                  Glad you find the idea intriguing, if agents think the same, then hopefully I'll be able to hook one of them.

                  I've reworked it a little since I posted this, based on the feedback of others, but I like the 'gradually' versus 'increasingly' is a good swap!

                  I've shortened it slightly and cut out a few bits, although I wanted to keep it around the 500 word mark (it's slightly under that, now).

                  Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

                  Good luck with yours, it really is a monumental task! Of be happy to return the favour.

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