CONQUERING THE DREADED SYNOPSIS
Many years ago I came across Lisa Gardner’s Conquering the Dreaded Synopsis: A Series of Ten Lectures. I was very impressed and when I was asked to do a workshop on presenting manuscripts to publishers I wrote and asked Lisa if I could use her Lectures as an example of how to write a synopsis. She gave her permission and I’m sure many people since have found her lectures very helpful.
This is Lisa's introduction to the series of ten lectures about writing a synopsis.
Synopsis writing is one of the most difficult tasks any writer faces. Most novel-length authors have an undying love for the written word. We craft wonderful 70,000-100,000 word books with beautiful descriptions, complicated plots, and complex characters. Now, we’re supposed to summarize our magnum opus in merely three pages?
It seems impossible. But for any writer serious about selling her work, sooner or later she must undergo the submission process with its boilerplate query letters and stringent length requirements. The purpose of the following ten lectures is to help guide a new writer through this complicated, formalized process. The lectures are:
“Synopsis: Introduction” ©2000 Lisa Gardner www.LisaGardner.com Page 1
Lecture One: The Market
Lecture Two: The Query Letter
Lecture Three: Synopsis Overview
Lecture Four: Short Synopsis Examples
Lecture Five: Creating a Strong Hook
Lecture Six: Identifying Plot Points
Lecture Seven: Short Synopsis Outlines
Lecture Eight: The Long Synopsis
Lecture Nine: Full Submission
Lecture Ten: Final Summary of Submission Do’s and Don'ts
The first lecture covers how to view a novel as an objective product to be marketed, versus the precious child it has become. Then we will go through the submission process step-by-step, starting with the query letter, then spending significant time on developing the short synopsis before covering the long synopsis. The lectures on the query letter and short synopsis include generic outlines for a writer to follow, as well as award-winning examples of proposals. Finally, we’ll cover the complete submission package along with proper follow up protocol as you anxiously wait for an editor to read your work.
By the end of this fifty page lecture series, you should have a good idea of what an editor expects in the submission package, as well as some best-in-class examples for you to follow.
To download all ten lectures visit Lisa’s webpage for writers and find this and many other helpful things such as The Writers Toolbox.