Writing a synopsis is hard. You have to consider numerous factors, such as how to simplify the premise of your story into a seemingly handful of words, or even which premise to present at all. Then you have to stylize it to represent the story’s writing style. You have to bake in certain keywords and phrases to attract the attention of your desired reader. You have to double and triple check if the opening line is good enough, then experiment one last time with it to see if you can make it even better.
All this is to accomplish one goal: to summarize the premise of your story in a way that entices people to read. A marketing pitch if you will. (It’s also known as the blurb, the book description, and the summary.) It goes without saying that a misworded synopsis may repel the readers you are writing for and even attract the readers you aren’t. A synopsis with poor writing or a convoluted premise will certainly alienate both. That’s why the synopsis should be looked at with the same reverence as the book cover during the publishing process. You’ve heard this advice before: people judge books by their covers.
The importance of writing a great synopsis for your story cannot be overstated. Too often do authors take great care polishing chapters yet submit a quickly written synopsis without much thought. Some of our newest stories, such as this and this, can do a much better job with their synopses. They are either summarizing far too much of the story to begin with or not summarizing their story’s premise clearly. It’s fine to tell readers some of the things that happen in your story in the synopsis, but be stingy about what you reveal, not generous.
We have few rules on JukePop about what to write in your synopsis. We only request that the first 200 characters of your synopsis engage the reader with a strong opening line. Let them know clearly and concisely what your story is about. Try to mention the central theme, character and setting. Try to excite the type of reader you think would enjoy the story. You can absolutely have a longer synopsis, but any text beyond the first 200 characters will not be visible until the reader clicks on the cover to start reading chapter one. Additionally, since stories are constantly evolving, we encourage authors to revise and update their synopsis to reflect their serial’s ongoing storyline.
Here are a couple of stories we feel have good synopses:
One final note about synopses: did you know you are able to edit your synopsis at any time by clicking “Edit Serial Details” under My Submissions? If your synopsis looks anything like the first examples, now’s the time to go fix it!
Remember, your synopsis is your first – and possibly ONLY – opportunity to let readers know your serial is worthy of their time. Think of it as the blurb on a book jacket. It is your space to capture a reader’s interest. First impressions are everything, and if you don’t catch your readers’ attention with the synopsis, they likely won’t even bother reading any further.