Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Synopsis Five

Five Ways to Improve Your Novel Synopsis

1. Eliminate excess adverbs and adjectives: write as spare and clean as you can. When you give someone directions, you don’t tell them what color all of the other houses on your block are.

2. Create catch-phrases and buzz words: present ideas in short form as much as possible. Example: "She was raised by nuns until she came of age to inherit her family fortune" can be converted into "convent-schooled heiress."

3. Read TV Guide and movie listings: this sounds funny, but it’s an excellent way to learn how to condense. Hollywood can reduce a two hour movie into a single ten-word sentence and still make it sound exciting.

4. Tell someone about your novel: "talking out" your book with someone else can help tremendously. See if they can follow your plotline as you describe your book, and listen to the questions they ask. What they want to know should probably be in your synopsis.

5. Practice using other writers’ books: if you’re too anxious about writing a synopsis for your novel, try writing one about someone else’s book. Make it one of your favorite books and you’ll be surprised by how much you know and how easy it is to write.