How to Write a One Page Synopsis

Yes, it's 1:45 AM, I'm wide awake, drenched with sweat, perfectly miserable as my AC tries to keep the house at 76 degrees. All I can think of is that the poor evacuees have it so much worse, and I can't sleep, even in my own bed.

Plus, my feelings are hurt because my principal removed a child from my class because the parent didn't like me. She met me twice, didn't give me much of a chance, had him removed based on the child going home and complaining about me. Now you know there's two sides to every story. I wasn't allowed to give mine. I know, I should be glad not to have to deal with that parent anymore, but instead, my feelings are hurt.

My story may not need as much work as I thought. I finished the scene cards last night (is it last night if I haven't been to sleep yet?), and I'm thinking of the work I need to as pushing the story out on all sides, making it three dimensional. I hope I'm up to it. I think it has emotion in spades.

AND, I got an email from an agent asking for the complete of Hot Shot. Yay!

So, in my years in the cyber-writing world, I've come across some ways to write agood short synopsis. I thought I'd share them, since they're very helpful in contest synopsis writing.

First para: hook
Second Para: hero/heroine intro
Third Para: hero or heroine intro
Fourth Para: conflicts to be overcome
Fifth Para: resolution


Who are you writing about?
What happens to them?
How do they affect one another?
What threatens their happily ever after?
How do they overcome it?

OR, from

What is the dramatic issue at the core of the story?
First sentence of synopsis identifies what is at stake in the story.
The characters manifest the story.
Characters are described in relationship to what's at stake in the story.
Commuicate what is dynamic and engaging about your story.
Choose opening sentence that communicates purpose in th strongest, most
engaging language.

Right. Like it's that easy.

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Anonymous said...

I can't believe your principal is such a wuss that he'd listen to a parent that way. Our principal would never let a parent jerk him around. He doesn't change schedules to accomodate a child's wishes, period. The kid doesn't know what he/she is missing out on. Their loss. But hugs!!

Thanks for the one-page synopsis tips! And wtg on the agent request!

MJFredrick said...

I love my principal, I really do, but she's famous for bowing to parents. Last year I got 3 students from other classes, and already this year, I've gotten one. I have to weigh it against my old principal, who wouldn't have done what the parent wanted, but would have chewed my butt. I guess I'd rather it be this way ;)

Hey, I thought I was going to have to add a lot to Hot Shot before I sent it out, but I have 350 pages. I had no idea it had gotten that big!

Peggy said...

I think your principal is doing you a favour! Screw the parent! Obviously one of those clingy-my-kid-is-superior type! Good riddance!

Mary, you are smoking! Congrats on the agent request!

Sam said...

Hi Mary, Nice blog!
Congrats on the request - that is soooo great!
That is weird about changing the kid from class to class - but probably better for everyone in the long run. No stress of trying to please a kid and his parents.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the request, and {{{HUGS}}} for getting your feelings hurt.

And the one page synopsis thing? For me it's easier said than done. But I'm still keeping the link and I'll give it a shot. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

Hugs on the school thing, but congrats on the request!!!

Thanks for the synopsis tips! I need all the help I can get with those. :)

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Sorry, you got bummed about the parent. It's hard to take when someone thinks you did something wrong.

But cheer up with the agent full request!! YAY!!

And I suck at syns, no matter what length!!! ;D

Toni Anderson said...

Gosh--to move the kid after one class you must have stuffed him in a cupboard and beat him!! Talk about overreaction to what should be a settling in period LOL. Hope it goes better now and good luck with the bloody synopsis!!

MicheleKS said...

It goes to show that being a parent doesn't mean being endowed with good sense.

But I like the scene synopsis thing. Who, what, when, where, why, how. The basics.

Amie Stuart said...

Mary Congrats!!!!!!

My advice? Single space it baby =)

I just had to do one (supposed to be 1-2 pages but it was 2.5 --double spaced--oh well)

Trish Milburn said...

Mary, I know it was probably hard, but don't worry too much about the parent. There's just no pleasing some people. Focus on the positive things that are going on right now, the requests for mss.

MJFredrick said...

Peggy, I've come to the same conclusion about the principal doing me a favor. Plus, I got a new student today - a girl. She's low, but at least now I have more of a balance, boys to girls. Thanks for the congrats!

Hi, Sam! Thanks for visiting! You're right - I would have started second guessing everything I did if the boy had stayed in my room.

Thanks, Lynn, Tori, Michele, Trish and Kelly!

Toni, lol about locking him in the closet. There's another kid in class I'm tempted to do that with...

Cece, yep, I totally agree with the single space bit!

Anonymous said...

Oh lord. My old principal used to be the same way. ((()))

Congrats on the agent request!!!! YAY!

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, Kendra!


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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