What makes for a great sounding synopsis?

[size=150]Savannah and Jacob a newly married couple who are about to become first time parents. Jacob has a brother Jeremy 2 years younger whom Savannah had become best friends. They meet at Jacob’s son’s 2nd birthday party and marry 7 years later. Six months after their 8 year wedding anniversary, and after complications with the pregnancy, they realize they aren’t living in a fairy tale and soon realize the real world is a sad and lonely place. The question now is will their love conquer all as in all the fairy tales they heard as children?
Am I on the right track? Opinions and helpful hints are welcome!

For what it’s worth - which is probably not much - I don’t fully understand the question.

Are you asking: “Is this a great-sounding synopsis intended to encourage other people to be interested in reading my story?” In other words, are you saying: “Is this a great-sounding marketing document?” Or are you saying: “Is this the summary of a great-sounding story?” The two questions are different.

I want to know “Is this a great-sounding marketing document?”

I drafted this, then hesitated to post, and now I’m posting, because, well, you asked.

I’m afraid I don’t understand the relationships: if it’s Savannah and Jacob, where does Jeremy come into this? And I don’t understand the timescales: is the eight years after the seven years, or running concurrently?

Presuming it is Savannah and Jacob, I would suggest a focus on them and their ‘long-awaited baby’ issues (again, if I’ve understood that correctly).

Effective marketing documents require close attention to grammar and punctuation.

What does Jeremy have to do with anything? What’s the time line? You say they’re newly married, but then you say it’s 15 years from the birthday party until the main action of the book. Huh? And how young were they (Savannah and Jacob?) when they met, if they’re only just discovering the sadness of the real world 15 years (and at least one failed marriage?) later?

To whom are you marketing? The synopsis that you would prepare for an agent or editor is very different from the one you would use to market the published book to consumers.


I have heard two rules of thumb for crafting a “good” synopsis. They are, of course, merely guidelines and do not fit all situations – but like many good guidelines, you should not break them unless you know why they don’t fit YOUR situation.

The first is “1-2-3:” One Backdrop, Two Changes, Three Names. As in, don’t introduce more elements than that into your synopsis to avoid cluttering it.

The second is “drop the details:” there is a difference between a précis and a synopsis/summary/blurb. Your goal is to pare down to the handful of details that matter and make the reader instantly want to know more.