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How to write the dreaded synopsis

Writing a one-page synopsis for my fantasy novel has been more challenging than writing the synopsis for my memoir. Some of the questions I’ve had include how much of my fantasy world do I describe? How much of the plot should I cover? Should I include any of my protagonist’s subplots?

Maybe you’re facing this challenge too. I found helpful posts from other fantasy authors to share:

How to Write a Fantasy Trilogy Synopsis by Glenda Larke helped me realize that my fantastical bits weren’t going to make much sense in a quick summary, so I decided to focus more on characters and less on world-building.

Writing the Dreaded Synopsis by Hilari Bell isn’t geared specifically toward fantasy, but she did answer my question about how much of the plot to include.

And, then, just for fun, you can take this Fantasy Novelist’s Exam to see if you pass or not. Fortunately, I didn’t answer “yes” to any of the questions.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thanks for this! It’s always great to access conscise advice from people who have ‘been there, done that’ 😀 Thanks for the links!

    February 4, 2013
  2. I did the fantasy novelist’s exam too. I think they’re a little harsh in some places, I think some fantasy concepts that have been used before can be used again to good effect provided it’s not too over-done or used as a story-telling get out. But I should probably be pleased I didn’t answer yes to a single question!

    February 4, 2013
    • Congrats! And, I agree with you. I’ve heard over and over from great writers that there are no “new” ideas but that doesn’t matter–because it’s all in the way we tell our unique story that makes it fresh and intriguing. But it’s still a fun quiz. 🙂

      February 4, 2013
      • It definitely is and it does make some valid points! The tone was hilarious too.

        February 5, 2013

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  2. A dire dingo ate my baby. How DO you create a fantasy world, anyway? | Write on the World

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