Review of Write A Great Synopsis

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“A maths teacher with OCD fantasises about one of his students while dealing with a series of prophecies and trying to take more control of his life.”

This is the twenty-five word synopsis of my WIP, The Maths Man Prophecies. Well, it’s actually twenty-seven words, but trust me, if I hadn’t read Write A Great Synopsis – An Expert Guide by the inimitable Nicola Morgan, I’d never have got it down to this succinct sentence.

In this new book – a fitting companion to Write To Be Published – Nicola takes us through exactly what we need to do in order to create the type of synopsis that will grab the attention of agents and publishers. This is not a theoretical book. Nicola provides examples of what a good synopsis should be and offers two methods for setting about the task. By the time you have finished this book you should be able to write a two-page outline, a synopsis in a paragraph as well as the twenty-five word pitch.

Nicola also generously shares the synopsis she would have written for her award-winning novel Wasted. While Write A Great Synopsis isn’t a long book, each page is stuffed full with practical advice and examples as well as what we shouldn’t be doing in our synopses.

If you are still in the process of writing your book, read Write To Be Published. If you are ready to start submitting, you can’t go wrong with Write A Great Synopsis. I’m off to read the book again and see if I can’t improve on my own 25 word pitch. I think we all know I could do better, and with Nicola’s help, I know I will.

For a chance to win a critique of your synopsis from the Crabbit Old Bat herself, read this message from Nicola:

“Surrounding publication on January 20th of Write a Great Synopsis – An Expert Guide, I will be visiting a number of blogs for a guest post, review or interview. If you’d like the chance of winning help with your synopsis, simply leave a relevant comment on any of the guest posts. (This could be a deep and meaningful comment or a plea to the gods of fortune to pick you!) One comment per post – but comment on each post if you wish. On February 15th, each blog host will send me the names of valid commenters and I will do a random selection, using a random number generator.”

All commentators to this post are eligible for entry to the competition. Good Luck!

Nicola Morgan is on Twitter  and is the owner of the very successful blog providing advice to writers, Help, I Need a Publisher. She has published over 90 books and you can find out more about her on her Author Website.

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25 Comments

  1. Elpi
    Jan 28, 2012

    Nettie,
    Writing the synopsis is my biggest nightmare. I spent days writing a 7 page synopsis for my novel. I just couldn’t get it any shorter than that. And as you know, i have attempted writing book blurbs. The problem is, they come out a little vague when they should really be arousing curiosity.
    So I think this book sounds like something I should invest in. Maybe it’ll help me write a 25 word synopsis that’s as good as yours!
    x
    Elpi

  2. Elpi
    Jan 28, 2012

    Nettie,
    Writing the synopsis is my biggest nightmare. I spent days writing a 7 page synopsis for my novel. I just couldn’t get it any shorter than that. And as you know, i have attempted writing book blurbs. The problem is, they come out a little vague when they should really be arousing curiosity.
    So I think this book sounds like something I should invest in. Maybe it’ll help me write a 25 word synopsis that’s as good as yours!
    x
    Elpi

  3. Francis
    Jan 28, 2012

    Nicola Morgan – the crabbit guru.

  4. Francis
    Jan 28, 2012

    Nicola Morgan – the crabbit guru.

  5. Cameron Lawton
    Jan 28, 2012

    Deer Nikolar.
    Thankyoo for stoppin mum shoutin at pootur cos she cant do sinopsisissis. She red yore book an now she is happi writur.

    (an she doant throw fings at me ani moar)

    Titchfield Doberman, owner uv Cameron Lawton

  6. Cameron Lawton
    Jan 28, 2012

    Deer Nikolar.
    Thankyoo for stoppin mum shoutin at pootur cos she cant do sinopsisissis. She red yore book an now she is happi writur.

    (an she doant throw fings at me ani moar)

    Titchfield Doberman, owner uv Cameron Lawton

  7. nicola
    Jan 28, 2012

    I like your 27-word pitch, Nettie – good job! And I wouldn’t bother trying to get it to 25 – that’s only an arbitrary target.

  8. nicola
    Jan 28, 2012

    I like your 27-word pitch, Nettie – good job! And I wouldn’t bother trying to get it to 25 – that’s only an arbitrary target.

  9. sarah
    Jan 28, 2012

    OK here I am again Nicola following you around on the blog tour shamelessly waving my arms “Pick me! Pick me!”. Like the kid in class with a hand in the air almost at the point of bursting, answer on the tip of thier tongue.

    Oh bother- thought I might be able to pitch a reply in 25 words, twenty words too many, am seriously in need of your HELP!!

    Thanks 😉

  10. sarah
    Jan 28, 2012

    OK here I am again Nicola following you around on the blog tour shamelessly waving my arms “Pick me! Pick me!”. Like the kid in class with a hand in the air almost at the point of bursting, answer on the tip of thier tongue.

    Oh bother- thought I might be able to pitch a reply in 25 words, twenty words too many, am seriously in need of your HELP!!

    Thanks 😉

  11. Laura E. James
    Jan 28, 2012

    Here’s a chance to learn from The Crabbit
    Excuse the familiar, but I’m going to grab it.
    Twenty five words to write a great pitch
    My total incompetence is my singular hitch.

    • Helen
      Jan 28, 2012

      There was an old lady who lived in a shoe
      She needed a synopsis but didn’t know what to do
      She bought Write a Great Synopsis, thought it was fate
      Her synopsis was in a much better state
      it all worked out thanks to Method 2
      And she moved to a suede boot of peacock blue.

  12. Laura E. James
    Jan 28, 2012

    Here’s a chance to learn from The Crabbit
    Excuse the familiar, but I’m going to grab it.
    Twenty five words to write a great pitch
    My total incompetence is my singular hitch.

    • Helen
      Jan 28, 2012

      There was an old lady who lived in a shoe
      She needed a synopsis but didn’t know what to do
      She bought Write a Great Synopsis, thought it was fate
      Her synopsis was in a much better state
      it all worked out thanks to Method 2
      And she moved to a suede boot of peacock blue.

  13. Lindsay Bamfield
    Jan 28, 2012

    I remember doing synopses at school – hated it then, but with one’s own novel it’s so much worse, because there’s more at stake than an English O’level. I need all the help I can get.

  14. Lindsay Bamfield
    Jan 28, 2012

    I remember doing synopses at school – hated it then, but with one’s own novel it’s so much worse, because there’s more at stake than an English O’level. I need all the help I can get.

  15. Bought it and read it as soon as I could…now I’m working on my pitch and expanding paragraphs into what will hopefully be a fully functional synopsis!
    Love the book and great review Nettie!

  16. Bought it and read it as soon as I could…now I’m working on my pitch and expanding paragraphs into what will hopefully be a fully functional synopsis!
    Love the book and great review Nettie!

  17. kirstyes
    Jan 30, 2012

    Hi Nettie – great pitch – you could get it down to 26 by getting rid of more but other than that I think you need everything you have there. How far along are you in your WIP? I wonder how early in the writing process you could get an ‘accurate’ enough synopsis written.

  18. kirstyes
    Jan 30, 2012

    Hi Nettie – great pitch – you could get it down to 26 by getting rid of more but other than that I think you need everything you have there. How far along are you in your WIP? I wonder how early in the writing process you could get an ‘accurate’ enough synopsis written.

  19. Niki Nikolopoulos
    Jan 31, 2012

    Wow! Reading this review of WAGS makes me WISH I had a Kindle, I will work on that, maybe Christmas? Too far away. Oh well, but seriously, great review! Thanks!

    Ms. Morgan, reading your blog, reading these other bloggers reviews of your work makes me wish I could fly across the pond and buy you a coffee to bribe you to tell me more! Thank you for all your advice!

  20. Niki Nikolopoulos
    Jan 31, 2012

    Wow! Reading this review of WAGS makes me WISH I had a Kindle, I will work on that, maybe Christmas? Too far away. Oh well, but seriously, great review! Thanks!

    Ms. Morgan, reading your blog, reading these other bloggers reviews of your work makes me wish I could fly across the pond and buy you a coffee to bribe you to tell me more! Thank you for all your advice!

  21. nicola
    Feb 17, 2012

    A huge thank you, Nettie, for reviewing WAGS as part of the blog tour! I’m very grateful to you. I will let you know if one of your readers is among the winners but I should warn everyone that there are a LOT of names to collate and enter!

    I wish you all very fulfilling and fortunate writing lives. And many thanks again, to Nettie for hosting me and to the rest of you for being interested.

    Nx

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