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Have you been asked for a short synopsis of your novel?


Mike Wells (American bestselling thriller & suspense author and teacher in the Creative Writing program at Oxford) has developed a “Secret” Formula for Creating a Short Synopsis for Your Book.

It’s not a secret of course and is similar to the ‘blurb’ screenplay writers invent for those few characters available in the television or movie review magazines – the chance you get to decide whether you are going to watch the television programme or movie in around two sentences or 200-400 characters. It is a plan or method that is too easy to forget, so here is the moment for your revision.

His article is extremely helpful for new writers to bring their masterpiece manuscript from 80,000 words to less than four hundred.

Mike explains:

Each and every story is composed of the same five basic elements. If you can identify them in their purest, simplest forms, you will be well on your way to writing a good two-sentence synopsis of your book, regardless of its length or complexity.

The five elements are: a
(1) hero who finds himself stuck in a
(2) situation from which he wants to free himself by achieving a
(3) goal. However, there is a
(4) villain who wants to stop him from this, and if he’s successful, will cause the hero to experience a
(5) disaster.

If you are stuck with bringing your words down to just a few, use this method and you’ll have the back of your book blurb written in minutes – or hours after considerable tried and tested editing.

How did your short synopsis work out for you?

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