Writing the Fiction Synopsis

Writing the Fiction Synopsis cover

Writing the Fiction Synopsis
A Step by Step  Approach
Pam McCutcheon

ISBN 0-9654371-1-4


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Walk through the process of writing a synopsis of your book, from targeting your market, to adding tone, to tightening by choosing just the right words.   Learn how to write the synopsis to develop your book’s theme, determine what elements of plot and character should be included, choose which method to use to begin your synopsis, and format it properly. 

Using movies as examples, the author provides preliminary, plot development, character development, and story outline worksheets.  Learn how to complete the blank worksheets for your book, complete the checklist to ensure you have included the necessary elements in your synopsis, and study the long and short sample synopses provided for each movie discussed.

What a synopsis is and why editors want one
What to put in your synopsis, what to leave out and why
How to include plot and character development, including resolution, in your synopsis
Learn the key to a good synopsis
Fill out the worksheets to write a synopsis of your book

Table of Contents


Chapter One
Getting Started

Chapter Two
Knowing Your Characters

Chapter Three
Understanding Your Plot

Chapter Four
Filling in the Gaps

Chapter Five
Writing the First Draft

Chapter Six
Pulling it All Together

Appendix A
Blank Worksheets

Appendix B
Sample Synopses (Long)

Appendix C
Sample Synopses (Short)

Top   About the Author

What others have to say about Writing the Fiction Synopsis:

“Bravo!  Pam McCutcheon has decoded the synopsis!  Writing the Fiction Synopsis is packed with useful information helpful to both the professional and novice writer.  I wish I’d had this informative book years ago.  Writing the Fiction Synopsis is a must-have tool for all writers.  Pam McCutcheon has given a writers a cure for the synopsis headache.”

Maggie Osborne
Award-winning author of more than 40 books

“I’d been to Pam McCutcheon’s online workshop on synopsis and found it really helpful, so I bought this book, too.  (Watch out everyone, I’m going to gush.)  This is by far the best book I’ve ever seen on writing a synopsis!!  And like you and many others, I’ve gone nuts trying to get my synopsis to say what it needs to say in an interesting and concise way without making it a yawner.  I’m also one of those authors who writes a rough synopsis as a road map after I’ve written about 3 chapters of a book to keep me on track.  This book makes it so easy.  I have all three of the books at Gryphon along with a whole shelf full of reference books and I tell you, the Gryphon books blow the others away.  If you buy one book on writing a synopsis, buy this one.”

— Lisa Mondello

Writing the Fiction Synopsis is destined to be a classic!”

— Karen Fox
RITA-nominated romance author

“Pam’s clear, logical style helped me fashion a winning contest entry with my very first, book-length manuscript.  Not only does she teach how to write a winning synopsis, but her insights into plotting and characterization are a winning combination.” 

Carol Umberger, Golden Heart Winner

“Though I am published in poetry, I have never written anything ‘book length’ because the prospect was just too daunting.    Pam’s class on ‘How to Write a Synopsis’ broke down the elements of plot and character into manageable chunks.  Her teaching style was fun, clear, and well thought out.  I left the class inspired to write!” 

— Wendy Grace Wolf

“After several years of classes and lectures on synopses, I was totally confused.  When Pam McCutcheon taught her method of writing the dreaded synopsis, it all came together and I hit the ‘aha’ response.    Ms. McCutcheon makes synopsis writing easy!  Every writer will benefit from this book.” 

— Kathleen Wells, Ph.D.

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Pam McCutcheonPhoto CreditABOUT THE AUTHOR

After twenty years of gallivanting all over the world with the Air Force as an engineer, Pam McCutcheon decided to leave and pursue her longtime dream of writing.   Luckily, the synthesis of these two disparate careers hasn’t made her schizophrenic, but instead has given her an unusual combination of logic and creativity and the ability to speak from both sides of her brain.

Fond of incorporating humor in her books and classes, Pam is a popular writing instructor and an award-winning author of ten novels for Dorchester Publishing, Harlequin American, and Kensington Ballad.  She has also written two novellas and three short stories (some under the name Pamela Luzier).

She can be found in beautiful Colorado with her dog or on the Internet at http://www.pammc.com/.  And check out her other nonfiction book for writers, titled The Writer's Brainstorming Kit, Thinking in New Directions with Michael Waite!


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