How to Write a Synopsis: Detailed Instructions


Before creating a synopsis, it is necessary to decipher its meaning. Thus, a synopsis is a piece of writing giving a detailed summary of a specific story, novel, etc. It provides important data about the key characters and the chief points of the discussed story. A large number of students do not understand how to write a synopsis and, therefore, are afraid of such an assignment. Certainly, producing such a paper is not a piece of cake. However, if to break the process into several steps, the situation becomes clearer. When talking about the key peculiarities of a synopsis, one should remember that it is:
  • A brief summary of a story (the culminating points and ending included).
  • Produced in a neutral writing tone.
  • Organized in the same way as the explored story. In a synopsis, the events have to be presented in the same order as in the story under examination.
  • About 500-800 words long. Nevertheless, the specifications may differ. Therefore, before writing a synopsis, ensure to check the requirements.
Taking the aforementioned information into consideration, it can be concluded that:
  • A synopsis is not a succinct description of the story published at the back of a book. The book blurbs are shorter than synopses and provide just a few most vivid details about the story.
  • A synopsis differs from the descriptions of books which one may find on the websites selling various kinds of books.
To some extent, a synopsis can be called a spoiler, as it provides information about the main characters, the events described in a story, scenery, etc.

How to Write a Good Synopsis: Chief Stages to Mind

1. Start with the basic data In order to make a synopsis engaging, you need to provide basic details about the story which you are exploring. In this case, you will be able to create a complete synopsis and, as a result, interest readers in the examined work. Highlight the chief points of a plot You do want readers to be fully aware of the details of your story, don’t you? Thus, commence your synopsis with outlining the major points of the plot, namely:
  • The provoking issue – what causes the key problem of the story?
  • The rising action – what events occur in the period between the starting point and the climax? Does it cause any tension?
  • The climax of the story – this is the most appealing part of your story.
  • The ending – at this point, you should disclose the ending of the story.
When highlighting the above-mentioned points, you will be able to give readers a basic understanding of the story you are exploring. Talk about the characters’ actions Remember not to go into great detail, as there will not be too much space for it. You are just supposed to stress the actions of characters both at the beginning (to clarify the key problem of a story) and end (to justify the solution to the identified problem) of your piece of writing. 2. Point out the exclusivity of the story At this point, you have to kindle readers’ interest in your synopsis. Identify the items that make your piece of writing extraordinary. Readers as well as agents (if it goes about book publishing) have to understand what makes your literary work special. Down below, there is a list of features which you should pay attention to when producing your synopsis to make it outstanding. Tone The tone of writing plays a crucial role in preparing your synopsis. The right tone will help you convey the message of the investigated story and make your synopsis rather effective. It is necessary to admit that establishing an appropriate writing tone is quite hard, especially if to mind the small number of words which a synopsis consists of. Twists of the plot Readers are never bored with unexpected twists of the plot. Hence, if the story you are exploring includes several twists, make sure to mention them in your synopsis. Nevertheless, you should not provide too many details about those twists, as you may give readers a wrong interpretation of them. It means that your description can make readers expect the twists to be more dramatic than they really are. Providing some data about the plot twists in the introduction would be enough. Viewpoint One more item that can make your synopsis stand out is a specific viewpoint. Since your synopsis will be created in a third person, you may present your opinion about the analyzed story in the opening sentence. 3. Edit your paper Remember that a successful synopsis is a clear one. Thus, once your piece of writing is created, start editing it. Note that you may need to remove some text to make your paper comprehensible. Making your synopsis understandable In order to impress readers with your synopsis, you have to make it absolutely straightforward. This is the main rule of synopsis writing. After crafting your piece, you have to scrutinize each sentence to make sure it is coherent and grammatically correct. The beginning of your paper demands special attention. The first sentences of your synopsis cannot be the same as that of the novel you are analyzing. If you crave to create an astonishing synopsis, start discussing the main point from the very beginning. Eliminating unnecessary words If you see that your synopsis is rather lengthy, you need to scan it carefully to identify the passages that should be removed. Thus, read the written text carefully. Mind every phrase and word combination. Eliminate repetitions and redundancies. Check the subordinate clauses to ensure they take the right place and not just make your work longer. Additionally, it is required to remove the data that is of no use to readers. Here it goes about the information that does not add weight to your piece of writing. If the provided details are helpless in making your text consistent, remove them immediately. Bear in mind that your synopsis has to be informative and useful for readers. Thus, strive to make it as such by thoroughly refining the material which you have written. 4. Ensure your synopsis flows logically Your synopsis has to be read easily. Readers should not get confused about any of its points. The sentences have to be constructed not only correctly in terms of grammar but also logically. In this way, you will be able to clearly describe each of the important aspects of the content of the story you are reviewing and help readers get the point without a hassle. Ask your friends for help If you want to be confident that your synopsis is clear and engaging, ask some of your friends to read it and express their opinion about it. You have spent much time crafting your writing project. Thus, why should your efforts be vain just because of some unnoticed flaws? With the help of your friends or qualified editors, you will manage to bring your work to perfection.

Utilize Properly Created Examples of Synopses

Bear in mind that it is not worth using the synopsis samples once you start producing your paper. On the contrary, refer to professionally written patterns as soon as your synopsis is finished. Thus, you will be able to compare your project with a specific example and see whether you have learnt how to write a synopsis.
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