What Even Is A Synopsis?!

I’m in the process of querying my latest, and I created a query letter I feel comfortable with and can change around as needed for each individual agent I’m querying, I’ve got my blurbs all set, I have a short personal bio, and I have the first chapter/10 pages/20 pages/3 chapters/15 pages/etc. ready to attach and/or place within the body of my emails, depending on what the agent requests.

But now I find that many agents use Query Tracker, and within the form there I am finding that there is a section for synopsis that seems to be required.


Why wasn’t I told?

Ok, so I can just create a synopsis. I can do that. I know my story in and out, I can give a… give a what? Overview? Summary? Outline? What exactly are these agents looking for when they say they want a synopsis, and how long should it be? And isn’t that kind of what I condensed down to put withing the query letter? Isn’t this duplicative?

So, striving to actually know what I’m doing and what is expected, I googled. That provided a lot of varied responses, but didn’t really provide clarity on the level I need. So, just to be sure, I even hit dictionary.com to see what they have to say. To paraphrase:


1. a brief statement giving a general view of something
2. a group of short paragraphs giving a view of the whole
3. a summary of the plot of the novel

Bingo! There it is, number 3. A summary of the plot of a novel. Er… but, I sort of did that… already. In the query letter.

Oh. So… so, um…

Where does that leave me?

Well, more googling, more research, and I basically came up with the idea that what they are looking for is the main character arc and important events that happen to the main protagonist, leaving out side details and secondary storylines unless very important.

So I set out to create this “short” summary.

What was my story about again?

So yeah… not easy. It’s like the second I decided to write this thing, my entire story flew out of my head. I know what it’s about, but the second I try to write it all out I get halfway through and go “oh, oh, but this thing that happened back five chapters ago actually was important, and I didn’t include it, and so…” you get the idea.

I’ve got a basic one ready to go, sort of. It took a lot, and I’m making it sound worse than it actually was, but it is basically ready. Like everything else, I need to edit it once more to be happy with it.

In the meantime, I’ve been sending queries to those agents who don’t actually ask for a full synopsis (bless them, every one!)

Last post I mentioned some retro computer stuff, but I couldn’t show you pics because my server was being dumb and wouldn’t let me upload pics. It’s working now, so here are the pics I talked about:

The Tandy Color Computer 2

The Tandy Color Computer 2 (Coco 2)

The external drive case I retrobrighted:

Image of yellowed drive before retrobrighting.
Image of drive much whiter after retrobrighting.

As you can see, there is a lot of difference. I was hoping for better (you can see it is still a little yellow), but this isn’t terrible.

Everyone have a good weekend!