Ah, the dreaded synopsis.

If you haven’t already read Susan Dennard’s now classic article on writing a 1-page synopsis, I’d highly recommend that. The goal of a synopsis is to succinctly map out a story from start to finish. Usually, they only run 1-2 pages, but they’re tight: maybe 4-5 characters max are named, subplots are only very briefly included if at all, and they explicitly state the ending.

Unlike a query, a synopsis isn’t supposed to hype you up to read the entire manuscript– it’s to prove to the reader that your story is a logical, potentially interesting progression of events from start to finish. The main keys here are escalation and precision: you want to show the stakes getting higher as the protagonist moves toward the climax, but at the same time you also want to keep this as slim as possible. If a book is a body, then the synopsis is the skeleton: it’s not often pretty, but it shows the viewer basically how things function as a whole.

With this critique, I’ll show you where you can trim down extra information and add more depth to your synopsis and give you some suggestions for moving forward. Like the query critique, this is often most useful if I’ve had a chance to read your story in full so I know how it ends, but it’s not necessary.

Price: $40 for first round, $15 each round after

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