2.en.6 Writing a Synopsis

covertheblackcat     The Rats In The Walls    The five orange pips    Lamb to the slaughter

These Christmas you have read a pair of mystery stories by famous writers. After reading them you should write a short synopsis of them.

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What is a synopsis?

1) It’s a narrative summary of your story (or book) –with feeling.

2) It’s written in present tense.

3) It’s written in third person.

4) It’s written in the same style of writing your story is written in. If your story  is “chatty,” then your synopsis is, too. If your story is serious, literary, filled with dialect, or any other style, so must your synopsis be.

5) The synopsis introduces your main characters and their main conflicts, all woven together in the narrative. (It does not list your characters.)

6) Weaving, by the way, is important. One paragraph should flow logically to the next. If you are switching ideas, you need to make sure you build in a transition to connect your paragraphs.

7) You do not have to include every character or every scene, plot point, or subplot in your synopsis. But your synopsis should give a clear idea as to what your book is about, what characters we will care about (or dislike), what is at stake for your heroes, what they stand to lose, and how it all turns out.

8) You must put the conclusion to your novel in your synopsis.

Steps to Write a Synopsis (by Vivian Beck)

Step 1:  Start With A Hook.

Step 2:  Introduction of Characters. Introduce the main characters in your story.  Tell their MOTIVATION, CONFLICT, and GOALS.  Stay away from detailed physical descriptions unless this information is pertinent to your story.

Step 3:  Construct the Body of Your Synopsis. Write the high points of your story in chronological order.  Don’t give every little detail.   Remember, each scene should include, ACTION, REACTION, and a DECISION.

Step 4: Use Three or Four Paragraphs to Write the CRISIS and RESOLUTION of Your Story. Keep this simple, but make sure you show your main characters’ reactions.  Your synopsis must include the resolution to your story.

Step 5:  Rewrite your synopsis until each sentence is polished to the point of perfection.Use strong adjectives and verbs, and always write in the present tense.

If you still need help you can watch these videos:

Additional work:

1) Make a list of 20 new words you have found in the story and complete a grid including: a) word type (noun, verb, preposition, …); b) a synonym; c) an opposite and d) the quote from the text in which the word appears.

2) Find 2 examples of these type of sentences:

a) contrast; b) addition; c) cause; d) result, e) final & f) condition


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