Writing a longer version of a synopsis is much easier than the shorter version. When an agent asks for a synopsis they usually want something between 8 – 12 pages, but of course, always make sure.
With this longer synopsis you can introduce more characters, expand on your plot points, and go into greater detail. Also, you have to include the ending. In a longer synopsis you don’t have a choice; it’s just how it’s done. Here are some tips.
1) Always write your synopsis in third person, present tense. Even if your manuscript is first person past tense.
2) Go through your manuscript chapter by chapter and outline all the major events. This will present you with a sketch of a synopsis. This will also help you see themes and connections that you weren’t aware of before. (Believe it or not, it happens.)
3) Weed out minor characters that don’t need to be in your synopsis. Focus on your main character and a few essential supporting characters. My longer synopsis mentions (by name) seven characters. The first time each character appears, highlight them and make sure you’ve introduced them into the storyline properly. That way, the reader (agent or publisher) can quickly glance back through and reference any character.
4) Focus on the major plot points. This is an opportunity to showcase all the exciting and important events in your novel. Make sure events flow in your synopsis; you don’t want to get stuck on unnecessary information.
5) Pay attention to style. You want your synopsis to read well and be interesting. It’s a representation of you and the way you write.
6) Don’t waste words. In a synopsis each sentence needs to count. This isn’t the time for flowery writing or drawn out scenes.
7) End with the ending. This may seem like a no brainer, but a lot of people feel like they should end with a cliff hanger…maybe in a query but never in a synopsis. The agent or publisher needs to know what happens at the end.
These are my suggestions. Any others? I’m working on a two-page synopsis for books 2 and 3 of my series, so I’ll do a post about that next week.