So you've spent time polishing your pitch, what's next? Time to write that synopsis - your story's summary that will excite an agent to help you sell your book.
First, go back and re-read your manuscript. While you're reading, jot down these things: the inciting incident, climatic moments and theme. Consider making a story board (maybe you already have one). Visualize the key elements of your story. Your synopsis should read like a movie trailer. Like your pitch, it needs to sell your story.
A synopsis is a summary, but it's not a retelling. It's the highlights of your narrative. It needs to wake up the reader and make them say, "Hey, I want to read this story. I want to know more about this character." It is written in third person, active voice.
First, a primer.
Next, as I've done before, I refer you to Pixar. Their writers operate from "22 Rules for Storytelling". I find Rule #4 an easy place to start.
Use these sentence starters, and see if you can complete them with the details from your own story.
Storytelling Rule #4
Once upon a time there was ______. Every day _____. One day _____. Because of that, _____. Because of that, _____. Until finally _____.
Finally, now that you're prepped, try it. Begin with the Pixar frame and go from there. Here are some thoughts on how to fill in the blanks:
If each of these elements is about a paragraph, you will have a nice two-page synopsis to share with an editor, agent or publisher. Remember, you want them to help you sell this story. They need to know how it ends. The trick is to infuse some mystery by leaving just enough of the middle out.
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