With self-publishing so widespread, you may think you can do without a synopsis. But to my mind, a good synopsis is like that perfect little, black dress you want in your wardrobe. It’s long enough to cover the basics, sufficiently short to make anyone want to see more, and keeps you out of trouble because it can help you go anywhere.

A synopsis is one of the most useful tools you can have. When you are writing, it keeps you from getting stuck. It starts you thinking about blurb and marketing copy even before the book is finished. It helps you find flaws you might have in your plot—as in maybe the conflict isn’t quite strong enough. And it keeps you from having to throw out large chunks of the story in revision.

Why is it that everyone hates writing a tool that so clearly helps you finish your work? Simple, it’s unfamiliar and requires that you see your story through a different lens. It also can be daunting to think about condensing your 50,000+ word story into a short 1,000 words or less.  So what do you truly need in a synopsis?

About our Instructor

Shannon Donnelly’s writing has won numerous awards, including a nomination for Romance Writer’s of America’s RITA award, the Grand Prize in the “Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer” contest, judged by Nora Roberts, and others. Her writing has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: “simply superb”…”wonderfully uplifting”….and “beautifully written.”

In addition to her Regency romances, she is the author of the Mackenzie Solomon, Demon/Warders Urban Fantasy series, Burn Baby Burn and Riding in on a Burning Tire, and the SF/Paranormal, Edge Walkers. Her work has been on the top seller list of Amazon.com and includes the Historical romances, The Cardros Ruby and Paths of Desire.

She is the author of several young adult horror stories, and has also written computer games and offers editing and writing workshops. She lives in New Mexico with two horses, two donkeys, two dogs, and the one love of her life. Shannon can also be found online at facebook.com/sdwriter and twitter/sdwriter.