Synopsis - what is it? Synopsis - examples. Synopsis - how to write


2018-03-28 14:29:15




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Synopsys – what is it and where is it used? How is it different from annotations? Why editors require you to send them the synopsis? How it correctly to make? If you are just trying to start writing books or scripts, it is helpful to understand these subtleties. But even if you are very far from the intention to become a literary worker, a critic or columnist, this article will be informative for you and will expand your horizons.Synopsys that it

A Brief history of the concept

As in most other areas of science, the concept of "synopsis" in our life we owe to the ancient Greeks. These guys loved to meet and long hours to discuss a variety of new theories. Laid on their Foundation rests the lion's share of modern science. But even more thought of ancient Greek thinkers and sank into oblivion.

Although the long speeches and discussions in the squares was one of the favorite pastimes of scholars of Greece, does not always have enough patience, detail and to get acquainted with each assumption. And so came the synopsis. What did it mean before?

The speaker in a more condensed form was present the basic idea of his theory or works. All reasoning fell. Not cited no long discourse. In fact, it is meant to cut off all superfluous, to remove the “water” and provide to the audience only the pure grain of their work.

Each of those present was to get a clear view of the main thoughts of the speaker and the logical chain that led to this. The scientist, who can so to speak, called a "forecaster".


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Who needs a synopsis of the book

a synopsis of the book

The first exposition of the idea of work in the form of a synopsis is required by the editors. Why? Yes, because of the alleged publisher just physically not enough time to read all sent them "masterpieces". And the synopsis in a concise form gives a complete picture of the work.

What is the synopsis differs from annotation

First and foremost, the recipient. And from this logically flows the difference content. Abstract the need for a potential buyer. So, it is necessary to interest and even intrigue. The editor also need a clear idea of what will happen in the piece.

If you tell the reader before reading the book, it will all end, this may discourage any desire to start reading. And the editor should know and about the ending, and important plot twist.

Synopsis script

script synopsis

Even the script of a feature film in a good synopsis would be reduced to a partial page of printed text. Here is one of the best examples.

“Time – 1945. The scene – snowy expanses of tundra in the Northern front line.

Two downed pilots – Finn and Russian - were on a deserted earth. To survive, these representatives of the warring armies must help each other. It is a hard way not only across the expanses of inhospitable territory, but the path to understanding that you are not just a faceless enemy that must be destroyed, and the man who gradually becomes a true friend.

They both share one last bullet, which they keep to when they come out to people, the one who is destined to be a prisoner, could commit suicide.

The closer to human habitation they see signs that settled here one or the other nation. And, respectively, pass each other a gun.

But when, at last, they meet the first living person, which is a local boy-shepherd, he tells them that the war was over.

Men hug each other and cry”.

What not to do when writing a synopsis

synopsis examples

It is Quite understandable desire to provide a potential publisher the most complete information about her work. However, this is one of the most dangerous traps. Overdo it with the information you can spoil the impression the synopsis. How to write briefly but succinctly?


In the box gross errors can be attributed the mention of named secondary characters. In fact, in a good synopsis without a personal name can exist comfortably even the main character. He is so designated – “main character”.

But if you really can not do without names, do not use more than five characters. Studies show that the reader starts to get confused, if they are getting bigger.

Just remember yourself. How much time passes until you start to navigate easily in the characters of another series? In their names and who is who who is? Remember, when you write the synopsis that this is the time that you do not have. Therefore reduce the number of referenced names to an absolute minimum.


We Have in mind the details that do not influence dramatically the course of the story. For example, the main character walks into a restaurant to drink a Cup of coffee with a colleague. Do I need to make it in the synopsis of the movie or novel. Possible. But only if working there the waiter tried to poison the main character of this Cupcoffee, and this action was a turning point in the story. Otherwise a description of where and what goes the main character, becomes absolutely unnecessary detail. The synopsis is sufficient to note that he meets a colleague.

Character sheet

how to write a synopsis

Do Not try to cram in all facets of your character, which, no doubt, has a rich inner world. It will only impede the perception of the editor. Limit yourself to its basic quality. However, if the story progresses timid main character suddenly starts to violently defend their rights, it's worth mentioning.

Secondary storyline

Sure, besides the main storyline, your work will take place and additional. They may occasionally overlap with the main motive and even to influence the course of its development. However, they all need to ruthlessly cut off. Anything minor has no place in the synopsis.a synopsis of the series

Time steps

Another important point to keep in mind: all events in the synopsis happen in real time. The here and now. Right, making a synopsis of the series to write that in 238 episode, the main character played the heroine, forcing her to believe that he threw the wedding ring into the sea. It is better to write: “the Main character wants to teach a lesson to the capricious bride. He throws the box with the wedding ring in the ocean. The heroine jumps overboard to save him. At this point, the protagonist pulls out a ring from his pocket”.

The End

The revelations should be included in the synopsis. What does it mean? You must announce the name of the killer in the detective, the way of committing a crime Thriller or something, will the lovers together in the melodrama. Unacceptable flirtation with the editor by type: «And this you will learn by reading my book fully”. Believe me – not read.

What will certainly learn the editor after reading?

sinopsis film

There are fundamental questions that the editor just have to get the answers by reading the synopsis. Examples:

  • What book?
  • Who is the main character (or main characters)?
  • What is the ultimate goal of the main character?
  • Why is this target?
  • What is stopping him to achieve his goal?

If you can describe in two pages of typewritten text, which gives clear answers to the above questions, not overloaded with details and at the same time not devoid of a certain artistic vitality, it is likely that you managed to write a good synopsis.

And don't worry if not everything happens quickly and smoothly the first time. Some experienced authors admit that they have one day to work on preparation of a competent synopsis. Some even said that it took them less time than writing the actual novel.

A Good exercise for gaining real skill in writing a synopsis of a work can serve as its preparation in triplicate. First, you have to put all the description into one paragraph. In the second - to have a paragraph for each part of the work (plot, multiple scene nodes, crisis, climax and denouement). And in the third to make the final version, which can be sent to the editor.

A Great help you serve the people who agree to read your creation. Listen to their evaluation. If something is not clear - change. Looking from the outside never hurts.

Take your time to honing your skill and you will be able to achieve new heights!

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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