The synopsis has to be revealing, interesting and convey a book’s entire arc, to show what happens and to whom, and it has to reveal the ending. It will possibly be the single most despised document you might be asked to prepare and should include: plot, characters, setting, style and mood. There is no escaping this task as only the author can write the synopsis.

Writing a synopsis is easy but writing a great synopsis is hard. Keep it short and when you have finished your first draft, rewrite it then rewrite it again. Keep polishing and revising until it is exciting, engaging and a shining example of your writing style. This is your first impression, the only chance you have. Focus on what is most important, omit the overused adverbs and share the plot with enthusiasm.

The synopsis should follow the same timeline as your novel while applying emotional tone and without rambling or jumping around from event to event. Keep your synopsis short and to the point.

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  • Main character – introduction and what they are like
  • Initial conflict – must be intriguing, humorous and emotional, defining what happens to your protagonist
  • Main conflict – explain the story arc, including character emotions and reactions
  • Climax – clarify main conflict, the most exciting part of the book
  • Final Resolution – how the story ends, where characters end up
  • Provide only enough detail about the plot to intrigue the reader


  • mentioning too many characters or events.
  • extraneous details, description, or explanation.
  • outlining the plot.
  • dialogue.

“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”