Many Literary agents/publishers prefer that Novel Queries contain a short (one page) Fiction Manuscript Synopsis. There are some authors that cringe at having to cram the storyline of an 85-95 thousand word manuscript into several single spaced pages which is the more typical long form Synopsis.
Now, Goldilocks you say that in order to give agents a single page short form Synopsis that contains around 500 words, I have to chop down the long form version in order to get there! There are some writers that find it easier to create the long form first and do the chopping to get it drilled down to one page. On the other hand, some find it less of a task to start with the shorter version and add/expand the copy to a length of several pages.
Since you don’t know which version of this manuscript Synopsis will be requested, you should have both prepared ahead of time and set to go because one agent may want the longer one and then some will want the much shorter version.
That’s right, a synopsis can be an easy endeavor, relatively speaking, if you have taken the time to plot out your story arc (outline).
Goldilocks finds it a lot easier for her to come up with her story arc if she imagines herself as a screenwriter. All dramatic movies and TV shows follow a similar structure that is five or six stages that lead viewers from the opening scenes to the final climax and resolution. Nail down these segments with your own novel, including the turning points that transition one to the next, and you will have the structure of your story.
Here’s a quick list of each of the stages and plot turns in a typical story…
“MC” Represents the Main Character
- Opening set up: The MC is introduced in the “normal world”
- Initial challenge: The problem the MC needs to solve
- Reaction or new scenario: A new scenario occurs for the MC as a direct result of the choice the MC makes regarding that opportunity.
- Mini Crisis: An event occurs that changes everything and a new goal is made
- Edge of Adventure: The MC works towards his new goal
- Point of no return: The MC fully commits to achieving the goal to his journey
- Complications: The MC is tested and the stakes are raised as new issues arise
- Despair: As there is a setback in The MC’s plans, the MC becomes very upset
- Transformation: The MC regroups and faces the final obstacle in reaching the MC’s goal
- Climax: The MC faces the final obstacle standing in the way as the MC’s goal is reached
- Resolution: The outcome of the final confrontation
Now that the stages are clear, go through your story and write a sentence or two for each of these sections of your manuscript.
Goldilocks knows that you probably need more hand holding so hop over to her Methodology/Process Webpage showing the construction of a longer manuscript synopsis. Characters, plots, settings, conflicts and other elements of a Synopsis are explained in greater detail there. Just follow Goldilocks now…
Now, if all of this just seems overwhelming and you need Goldilocks to coach you along the way, then reach out to her. If, in the end, you just want her to compose a novel Synopsis for you, just send her a note and connect with her to get started.
E-Mail her: email@example.com
Pick up the phone: 914-944-1474
Goldilocks Wishes You Success with Your Fiction Book Query Submission!