Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Synopsis Writing 101 - Using Your Plot Diagram

Yesterday, we discussed a simple and easy way to plot out your story. Today, we are going to take that information and put together your synopsis.

I know, I know... I mention that word and a ton of you scream in agony. Unfortunately, those of you screaming have been doing the whole "synopsis thing" the wrong way for some time and that is why it is hard. Still, a synopsis is a necessary evil in this business and really is not that hard to write.

Let me first discuss the reasons some of you have struggled. The first struggle is something only you "Pantsters" do. Because you have no clue what your story is about or where it is going, of course you are going to struggle. How can you tell me about a story you have no clue about. Again, another reason for pre-planning a little. So, now we move to the second struggle. You have written your story and now you are trying to find a way to simplify the story and "retell it." I am reminded in this case of when I did my first Masters degree and was told to write the abstract for the 300 page thesis. Um, right...

But, there is an easier way. Use that plot diagram.

Remember a synopsis is just designed to give us a sense of the beginning, middle and end of your story. It is not going into extreme detail over all of the smaller points. It only focuses on the main characters, their goals, motivations and conflict. If you think about that plot diagram, you can see how just hitting those points should not be a major issue. Telling the reader about your story in 3-5 double spaced pages is not going to be hard.

Keep is simple. Stick to the facts and work your way through the story. Tell us about the characters, which you have briefly thought out in the exposition. Highlight that moment when everything shifts and the small little things that happen until they reach that ultimate climax.

Yes, it is that simple.

This is all information and you are not shooting for mood, voice or anything. Just show us where the story goes.

Trust me. Try it out!

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