Thursday, April 26, 2018

Exercise Part Two: Advice on Writing a Synopsis of Your Novel

If you played along earlier this week, you have a plot outline. Now, you can take that and create a synopsis!

Synopses can be tricky, but this article by Glen C. Strathy on "How to Write a Synopsis of Your Novel*," based in part on Dramatica theory created by Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley, has some smart insights.

A highlight:

What makes a hockey game or a novel mesmerizing is not a step-by-step description of what happens, but the emotions that accompany the actions, the anticipation, fear, hope, excitement, and disappointment at each turn of events. The elation of victory at the end, or the agony of defeat. It is the emotional twists and turns that make a novel or a hockey game appealing. Just as a good sports writer can describe a game in terms that capture the emotions, the secret of how to write a synopsis is to incorporate the emotional twists and turns of your characters – especially your main character – at the same time as you describe your sequence of plot events.
and then Glen walks us through a seven-step process (24 index cards) that sounds like not just a great way to write a synopsis, but also a pretty powerful way to diagnose what might be amiss with a work-in-progress.

It's well-worth reading, fun to try, and might help you write a synopsis of your novel.

Illustrate and Write On,

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