Tuesday, November 29, 2011


When Writing a Synopsis

By Molly Noble Bull

A synopsis should begin with a hook just like many others types of writing. At the same time, it must get to the point of the story. Quick.
However, women in general have a hard time getting to the point in normal conversations. According to my husband, I have that problem in particular. How many times have I heard him or one of our sons say, "Get to the point." Or "Can we hear the short version?"  
The conversation below makes this problem clear--at least in my mind. Hope you agree. I also hope it will make tight synopsis writing easier. 

"Would you like to drive into the city?" the man asked.
“I’d have to go to Target first,” the woman replied. “No question about that. And I need to have my nails done.” She showed him her hands. “Just look at these. Have you ever seen fingernails this bad? Well, my toenails are worse, if you can believe it. And of course, I’ll have to phone Anita. I promised I would.” 
“Get to the point, honey.” 
“Oh, I almost forgot about Pretty Cat. We can’t leave her behind when she's expecting kittens. I guess we could leave her in the back seat with a window down a little.” She shook her head. “No, she could become overheated. We’ll just have to leave her at home in the air conditioning. Besides—”
“Honey, I asked you a questions twenty or so paragraphs back, and there can only be one of two answers—either yes or no. So, would you like to drive into the city?” 
“My goodness, sweetie. Weren’t you listening? I already answered that question.” 

Did she or didn’t she? You can only give one answer. Either yes or no.
Does this dialogue sound like it came from the mouth of you and your husband? It sure sounds like countless conversations my husband and I have had.
The gift for gab is fine when writing a novel. But when writing a synopsis, you need to get to the point. In other words, write it the way your hubby would.
“Would you like to drive into the city?” the man asked.

Don't forget to leave a comment. We want to hear about your "get to the point" hubby.

Speaking of getting to the point, I have another one.
Check out my first non-fiction book that I wrote with four other authors titled The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilites by Margaret Daley, Ginny Aiken, Jane Myers Perrine, Ruth Scofield and me, Molly Noble Bull.


Teresa Slack said...

I have the worst time getting to the point in anything, including this post. I think that's why most writers hate to write synopsis. It's so hard to condense our beautiful book into a few short sentences and carefully crafted phrases. In fact, instead of writing this post, I should be working on my own. So back to work. Thanks for the post.

Molly Noble Bull said...

Writing a synopsis is hard, Teresa, especially for me. As I said in my article, men would be great synopsis writers because that is the way they talk.