author, creative writing, writers, writing

How to write a 300 word synopsis

Writing a synopsis is the enemy for many writers. It’s so tough to summaries your novel into a 1,000 words, or one page. What’s even harder, is when an agency/publisher asks for a super teeny tiny synopsis of 300 words. But this does happen. I once shared a step-by-step guide to writing a synopsis, but here are some extra tips to help when writing one that’s super small.

Bullet point each chapter
Start with a bullet point list for each chapter. Just a few words or a sentence of what happens in each scene. This way you’ll have an outline of the whole story, which is a perfect starting point.

Reduce your list to key plot points
While all scenes are important, a brief synopsis requires you to be brutal. Cut down your list to those really essential, key plot points. Think setup, inciting incident, important twists/revelations, the dark moment, point of no return, climax and resolution.

Write a few sentences for each point
Once you’ve narrowed down the plot points write a sentence or two for each point. It needs to sound exciting, but you don’t need flowery descriptions or poetic prose.

Consider what’s not needed
Working out what’s not needed is just as important as what is needed. You don’t need to mention subplots, side characters, back stories. You don’t need to include character descriptions that aren’t essential to the plot, or focus on each setting.

Whittle down the remaining words
Once you’ve written it, check your word count, and then keep going through and whittling down to the words until you’re t your limit. This can take several goes. In fact, it can take hundreds of read throughs. Focus on sentences that could be said in a different way to cut down the words. Eventually – you’ll get there!

Does anyone else have any tips for writing super tiny synopsis’? I’d love your advice, so drop it in the comments below.

Until then,
Keep writing,

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14 thoughts on “How to write a 300 word synopsis”

  1. I think you’ve covered all the tips, Meelie. I especially love the bullet points and writing one sentence tips. I think they’re the best way to narrow down what you need in such a limited synopsis. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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