The Eeee-ville Synopsis

When I made the decision to leave The Widows of Wyatt Abney as it is I didn’t know exactly what I would do with it. It’s word count is at a whopping 45,500 words – give or take a few. Several people encouraged me to publish it as a novella, but it wasn’t until Staci gave me a nudge that I seriously considered it.

I’ve been working on the synopsis for the past couple weeks and it has been one of the most challenging writing endeavors I’ve ever attempted. How are we supposed to boil down each chapter, that consists of thousands of words, into just a few sentences? Whoever came up with this concept must have been a monster. I feel kind of like Gingerbread Man in Shrek and I’m being tortured by Lord Farquaad.

For the record: synopsis
1611, from L.L. synopsis “a synopsis,” from Gk. synopsis “general view,” from a stem of synoran “to see altogether, all at once,” from syn- “together” + horan “to see, view.” 1

So, I’ve learned that a synopsis must be written in 3rd person, present tense. For each chapter you clarify the point it’s making and you must identify the most important thing that happens. Once you’ve done that, you distill the essence down to one or two sentences for each chapter then string them together. Really?

It must be possible because writers have been doing it for quite some time now. I’ve decided it isn’t my favorite part of writing. Queries are no fun either.

I’m learning about the elements of a submission package at a time when I thought I’d be mourning for the characters and story of my first novel. My brother used to say, “expect the unexpected.” I should have took that advice to heart.

What about you? Do you have a favorite or least favorite element of submission packages?


1. “synopsis.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 28 May. 2014. .

  • Elena Dillon

    I hate synopsis with the fire of a thousand suns!! I think it’s one of the reasons I decided to self publish. They are the worst!!! Uggghhhh! so glad to hear you are moving forward. It’s a great story and should be out there for others to read! I’m getting ready to publish a novella this summer in Breathe series. They work and people like them. Go you! =)

    • Hi Elena! I’ve noticed an upswing in novellas recently. Could be because of the self-publishing niche. Good luck with yours and don’t be a stranger. I’ve missed talking with you. 🙂

    • Hi Elena! I’ve noticed an upswing in novellas recently. Could be because of the self-publishing niche. Good luck with yours and don’t be a stranger. I’ve missed talking with you. 🙂

  • Elena Dillon

    I hate synopsis with the fire of a thousand suns!! I think it’s one of the reasons I decided to self publish. They are the worst!!! Uggghhhh! so glad to hear you are moving forward. It’s a great story and should be out there for others to read! I’m getting ready to publish a novella this summer in Breathe series. They work and people like them. Go you! =)

    • Hi Elena! I’ve noticed an upswing in novellas recently. Could be because of the self-publishing niche. Good luck with yours and don’t be a stranger. I’ve missed talking with you. 🙂