How to Write a Synopsis
Your email pings. Yes! The executive responded to your query!
You hold your breath and click “open” to find the words you’ve been praying for: “Your screenplay concept is great! Please submit the script with a one-page synopsis.”
The script? No problem. One-page synopsis?
Did I just hear you fall to the floor?
Get back up. You can do this.
Whether it’s a book synopsis or one to help with your one sheet, learning how to write a synopsis isn’t rocket science. You have the capability to narrow your story down. Trust me.
In writing a story synopsis, you simply need to reboot your mind to switch from storytelling to summarization. When reading onesheet or synopsis examples, you’ll see they’re similar to the blurb on the back of a book. The truth is, all those beautiful details you spent months putting into your story now have to be removed to condense the story down to its core. When a plot synopsis is still compelling without all the little details, that’s the test of the story’s foundation.
Challenge yourself with synopsis writing, even if the agent or producer hasn’t requested it. Look at the sample synopsis in our download, then write a one after outlining your screenplay and before the completion of the first draft. The holes in your story will pop! You can address them in draft one instead of having to hunt them down like rats in draft two.
Before writing a synopsis, research the market you’re pitching to. Study it. Know who will read the synopsis, and make certain it’s geared toward their needs. This isn’t just art; it’s a business.
Download How to Write a Synopsis to get a synopsis example as well as detailed tips for writing a a novel synopsis or a screenplay synopsis. Just enter your email below!
With a one-page limit, how do you choose what to leave out and what to keep in when writing synopsis? Think about the market, not about the story. What you leave out is just as important as what you put into a synopsis. Include the part that convinces your target audience that you can deliver what they’re looking for.
If your goal in writing is to sell your work, then you have no choice but to approach your submissions on a business level. The executive wants to represent an author who understands the market’s needs. Give them what they want, and it will sell.