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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » A synopsis question I should know the answer to

   
Author Topic: A synopsis question I should know the answer to
KayTi
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But I wanted more input. I'm doing a synopsis for my latest novel, which is the first novel I'm marketing that is told in first person. Should my synopsis be in first person?

I know my synopsis should tell the major events of the story (including the ending), be written in a similar voice to the story so you get a feel for the writing. It should be written using active language, present tense. But POV?

In my case I've been given a length (one page) but I know synopses typically are 3ish to 5ish pages, maybe a bit longer for a really long novel (I write MG/YA sci-fi so my stories usually fall between 45k and 65k in length.)

I want to nail this today, any assistance greatly appreciated! (and if anyone could point me to online synopses of first person books I could glance at, that would be super awesome.)

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Owasm
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I wouldn't do it in first person. I think it's easier to talk about the flow of the plot in the synopsis if it's in present third, like you would a back cover blurb.

If you attempt it in first, I think you'll be too restricted, especially in a one-pager, to get the plot and the character interaction into that condensed space.

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genevive42
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I thought a synopsis was usually done in present tense and second? person. Isn't it usually in a language like, 'When John finds out that Mary cheated on him he flies into a spellcasting rage destroying the entire town and starting his life on the run.'

I don't believe it is expected to be in the same tone/voice as the book. Though it can't hurt to let the character's attitudes show through.

But I could be wrong.

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Meredith
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I'd say treat the pov the same as the tense. Even with a book written in past tense, the synopsis is done in present tense. I'd extend that to say, even for a book written in first person, the synopsis would be in third.

It's going to be challenging enough to do a one-page synopsis. Really. Don't make it harder by trying to do it in first person, too.

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