The Dos and Don’ts of Synopsis Writing

Just in case you haven’t heard enough talk about synopsis writing, I thought I’d add a post on the dos and don’ts. Take a look.

Dos and Don’ts of Synopsis Writing

Do name major characters only. The first time the name is mentioned, it should be the full name (first and last) and all letters should be in caps. Minor characters should be mentioned by title. For example, if the heroine’s name is Macy, you’d say, “Macy’s brother” instead of naming him. Or you’d say, “the jewelry store owner”.

Do refer to emotional moments.

Do cover the full story, beginning, middle, and end.

Do follow format guidelines.

Don’t include scenes or large sections of dialogue, even if you’re using the story style synopsis.

Don’t refer to yourself in the synopsis. We shouldn’t see something like, “I wrote this because…” or “I made the hero fall off a cliff, because I wanted to show…”

Don’t talk to the reader. Don’t say, “This is the part where…” or “If you only knew what was going to happen next…” or “Just wait until you read the full story, you’ll see what I mean by this.”

Don’t mention other stories in the series. The synopsis is about this book and this book only.

Do you have anything to add to this list?

Lynnette Labelle

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