Resources for Synopsis Writing

I'm currently writing a synopsis for a manuscript critique, so I sent a query out on twitter asking for good synopsis resources.  People responded with lots of helpful replies. As per @suelder's request, I'm posting them here.

Updated 3/16 to include comments:

  1. Screenwriter's Bible via @WhenDovesCryAA
  2. How to write the synopsis , youtube video from Bob Mayer
  3. The Sell Your Novel Toolkit via @amithaknight
  4. Helpful tweeps for synopses:  @bubblecow and @nicolamorgan (via @alisonwells and @dirtywhitecandy)
  5. Post from Nathan Bransford via @lindakay_astray
  6. Post from Writer Unboxed via @swinglet
  7.  Post from Scribechat via Jane Friedman's  Best Tweets for Writers
  8. Post from Natalie Whipple via Lady Glamis
  9. Post from Caro Clark via Simon Larter
  10. Post from Gina Ardito via Jordon McCollum

If you know of any other sources, please post them in the comments!


  1. One of the best resources came from my friend, Natalie Whipple. You can find her post here.

    Thanks for the other links, and good luck! Writing my synopsis was really difficult, but I tend to make things more complicated than they should be.

  2. This one's awesome, with examples:

  3. I liked this one:

    And about balancing foreshadowing: toughie. Have you taken a look at what other cues those particular people pick up on, and what they don't see?

    I had a reader (a professional book reader for a publisher, actually), who thought that the twist ending to my mystery was unfulfilling because it came out of nowhere. (Personally, I find mysteries unfulfilling when I have the answer worked out 200 pages before the stupid protagonist does, and I had several scenes built for the precise purpose of foreshadowing that reveal

    However, it also took this reader some 30 pages past the point to where any reader paying any attention would have put together the clues in a smaller mystery, so I think I'll have to take her advice on foreshadowing with a grain of salt.

    With hinting at growing attractions, I like to use two or three odd "moments" between the characters—so the moments themselves are very clear, but spread out. They're strong enough that the characters are left thinking about them long afterward, too.

  4. Great list, Livia. I follow your blog, and have garnered much useful information and advise. This is just another great example. Writers, like myself, who are trying to bring attention to their work, and are new, truly appreciate support from those more experienced like yourself.
    Thanks again.
    Jeanne E. Rogers