How to write a synopsis for an article

This should be no more than one to two pages. Include a brief summary (. ‘Flying High is a book about the history of aeronautics’ or ‘My Name was Glory is the biography of Amanda Flemming, maid to Queen Gertrude and unknown holder of the Secret Chalice’) and a description of the contents of the book, with an argument for why it should be published now and why you are qualified to write it. Ideally, you should also include an overview of other work in the field, and argue why yours fills an important gap. In addition, you should include a chapter breakdown, giving a provisional title for each chapter with a brief summary (30–60 words, as a guide only) of the contents of each chapter to show how the book is structured throughout. Here also, do spell out any ideas you have about how the book might be marketed. As non-fiction markets are more specific than fiction markets, it is helpful for the author to help the agent or editor know what hooks there might be to help sell copies. As I have said, if you are lucky enough to have any guaranteed markets, such as students on a course you teach, do of course inform the industry of this.

Thank you for acknowledging the conflicting advice! I have been reading so many different articles, all purporting to be addressing the same piece of writing yet describing completely different results. It has been frustrating beyond belief trying to figure out which advice to follow. To have you acknowledge and clarify the two different approaches has been immensely helpful. Ironically, I only found your post after suffering through an initial attempt at writing my synopsis and looking for advice on formatting the conglomerate result. Now I know better how to go back and edit it. Thank you!

An agent or editor wants to know that you are a reader and aware of the business of publishing. They want to know where you think your work will fit into the marketplace. Make sure you mention what your genre is, and your word length. You may also want to align your style to published writers (successful ones, of course) or your topic to other books available. For non-fiction, you will need a detailed marketing proposal in addition to the synopsis – but that's another story. Be careful about pushing your work as unlike anything else published. On the one hand publishers are looking for new voices, but on the other, there may be a good reason why work like that hasn't ever made it to the shelves!

Write the logline and synopsis in the present tense. For example, your main character walks or sleeps, rather than is walking or is sleeping. Stick to offering names only for up to three main characters: the protagonist, antagonist and the sidekick or love interest. For the other characters, refer to them in general terms, such as "POLICE OFFICER." The first time a character shows up in the synopsis, capitalize his name. Expect to have to rewrite the synopsis numerous times. Check meticulously for typos. After you finish, get feedback from two to three writing friends, as they’ll often point out areas of confusion or any areas that fall flat. Be sure the synopsis is as strong as it can be before sending it out to filmmaking professionals.

How to write a synopsis for an article

how to write a synopsis for an article

Write the logline and synopsis in the present tense. For example, your main character walks or sleeps, rather than is walking or is sleeping. Stick to offering names only for up to three main characters: the protagonist, antagonist and the sidekick or love interest. For the other characters, refer to them in general terms, such as "POLICE OFFICER." The first time a character shows up in the synopsis, capitalize his name. Expect to have to rewrite the synopsis numerous times. Check meticulously for typos. After you finish, get feedback from two to three writing friends, as they’ll often point out areas of confusion or any areas that fall flat. Be sure the synopsis is as strong as it can be before sending it out to filmmaking professionals.

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