Home » Advice for Freelance Writers » Synopsis Paralysis

Synopsis Paralysis

I’ve been asked to make a submission of my work for a writer’s clearing house where they attempt to connect writers with agents. For whatever reason I could not sum up my plot and main idea of my novel in 200 words or less. I was suffering from what I call synopsis paralysis. So in order to get my submission done I did a little research on what makes a good synopsis and this is what I came up with. A good synopsis is between 150-200 words and answers the following questions:

  • What is the main conflict?
  • Who is the main character?
  • What is at stake for your main character if they don’t resolve the main conflict?
  • Where is the story set? (if the setting is important to the story)
  • When does the story take place? (if the year or decade is important to the story)

Remember the synopsis is like the back cover blurb and so you don’t want to give away every plot twist or the ending. Give enough information to make it interesting and then leave the reader curious to find out what happens. I’m still working on the synopsis for the submission that is due on Wednesday but at least now I have moved past paralysis and have a good draft that is right at 200 words that I can continue to tweak for the next two days.

Because I would like this blog to be a place where ideas about writing can be shared freely I open it up this week for your comments.  If you have any tips or resources you’d like to share with me or the other followers of this blog don’t hesitate to comment. Also feel free to make suggestions as to what topics you would like to read about.

Until Next Week,

Nicole D.P. McLaughlin


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