I just finished drafting a synopsis of Nettie’s Books for circulation to possible agents. Writer’s Relief offers lots of free advice to emerging writers, as well as fee-for-service support. Anyway, they offer the following advice.
1) Formatting: Write your synopsis in the same format as your manuscript. Double-space, use one-inch margins, do not right justify, put a header on every page, use Times New Roman or Arial, not Courier font.
2) Begin by describing your story in 25 words or less that hook the agent’s attention. Be neither cutesy nor boring.
3) Write in present tense, and include a complete summary of your story from beginning to end. Focus on major characters and plot points.
4) Include the setting, main characters, the all-important conflict, and its resolution
5) Do tell the ending of your book.
6) Don’t ask rhetorical questions in your synopsis.
7) Proofread! This includes grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
8) Write your synopsis in third person.
9) Keep your synopsis to 2 or 3 pages, two preferred. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but briefer is better.
My synopsis is twice as long as Writer’s Relief recommends. How can I possibly do all they recommend for a 500 page manuscript in two pages? Back to the drawing board. No wonder writers hate synopses!