How To Write A Synopsis – short and sweet from Drew Chial website

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Yet another method to get you a great-sounding synopsis! Enjoy! – Dan

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Rather than write an abridged version of each of your chapters, start with a basic framework and build outward. I try to write one sentence for each of these story beats.



Who is the hero, what’s their lot in life, what’s their drive, and what makes them sympathetic?

What breaks their routine? What goal does that leave them with?

Who or what is in the way of their goal?

What’s the situation surrounding the events? What’s the setting, and the time period?



What’s the hero’s point of no return?

What is the hero’s quest teaching them? How are they starting to change?

How do their alliances shift?

What’s the hero’s lowest moment? Have they learned their lesson? Do they get their goal only to realize they wanted something else all along?



What’s at stake when the hero nears the climatic confrontation? How do they use their new knowledge to resolve it?

What’s the resolution? Does it set another story up?


Your story will have more to it than this, but you should focus on this barebones structure if you want to fit it all on one page. It’s possible to be accurate while omitting your favorite part. This is no place to include quotes, editorial commentary, or flowery description.

If you’re posting a synopsis on Amazon, treat it like a trailer. Give the audience enough information to make them curious about how it ends. You can make vague allusions to everything that happens beyond the midpoint. If you’re submitting your story to agents and publishers then you should include spoilers.

What do YOU think? Let me hear from ya.

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