Oh God! It’s synopsis time! Please help!

I’ve been dreading this day. My epublisher has asked me for a blurb of up to 400 characters and a synopsis of up to 4,000 characters for The Girl with the Julia Roberts Smile. There’s nothing I hate more than writing a synopsis. I’d rather write a whole novel than one of these pesky things.

Okay, it has to be done and I’ll get on with it. The problem, from where I stand, is that any synopsis risks throttling the life out of a novel. What I must do, somehow, is 1) provide an accurate digest of my novel without squeezing the vital juices out of it 2) write it in a lively, zestful style, not one that switches readers off.

Is there any foolproof way to write a strong synopsis? Please help!


About Richard Louden

Maybe it was because languages were my thing but I loved writing at school and I've loved it ever since. Obviously, I hope others will enjoy reading what I write but, now that I am turning my hand to novels, what matters most to me is to write what, as a reader, I would like to read. As a journalist with UK papers, I've written widely on education, business, sport and law. In the creative writing field, I've written the scripts of two TV dramas (BBC and ITV), contributed sketches to TV and radio comedy shows and had short stories published in national anthologies. That doesn’t make me a novelist but I hope it gives me a push in the right direction.

Posted on July 4, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I had my editor help with mine. No way I could do it myself. If you don;t have an editor, did you have critique partners that could help?

    • Hi Stephen I had a writing mentor at an earlier stage but now work on my own. I think I’ve come up with a synopsis I’m happy with but I still won’t look forward to any I have to do in the future.

  2. Just write a shitty first draft, after that it gets easier 🙂

  3. I hate writing descriptions, blurbs, queries, and synopsis and yet everyone tells me, “you should know your book better than anyone else”, but that doesn’t make it any easier. 🙂

  4. I agree with you I think the synopsis is the hardest part of writing a novel, trying to encapsulate 80,000+ words into a paragraph or two. Unless you are lucky enough to have an editor to do it for you – or maybe a writing friend who’s read your book and can offer some helpful advice – then I think it’s the case of putting as much effort into the synopsis as the novel itself.

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