View Full Version : Synopsis Length

09-25-2015, 07:37 AM
Hey everyone,

I'm in the process of sending query letters to agents, but something I'm struggling with is the length of my synopsis. Most agents seem to be looking for a synopsis about a page long. Mine's about 860 words (or a little over two pages). Is that acceptable, or is such a long synopsis a deal breaker?

Thanks for your time.

09-25-2015, 05:11 PM
I don't know about "deal breaker," but if what they want is a page and you can't give them that, it's a big negative, isn't it?

When you've been here long enough to amass 50 posts, see if we can't help you boil it down to the length you want. (You do know that the synopsis can be single-spaced, right? So you might get something like 500 words on that single page.)

In the meantime, consider scrapping it in its present form and starting over from a new tack: Who is the main character, what happens which creates a new goal/desire/need, what keeps him or her from getting it, and what's at stake if s/he doesn't?

Maryn, who hates synopsis writing nearly as much as queries

M.S. Wiggins
09-25-2015, 05:18 PM
Maryn, who hates synopsis writing nearly as much as queries

Amen, sista'!

09-25-2015, 05:31 PM
I had to do a synop last week and yes they are ghastly. But if they ask for a page, give them a page. Learning to cut two pages down to one is a valuable skill :)

09-25-2015, 07:12 PM
I got an agent with a synopsis that was 1,500 words - but I agree that if you can get it down to 1 page (single-space) then you should.

Aggy B.
09-25-2015, 07:47 PM
When I was querying I had three synopses. I started with one that was long - about 5-6 pages - then cut that down to one that was just over 2 pages and one that was 1 page. (I cut down the long version by going through and first eliminating every bit that didn't have my MC in it, then filling back in a couple of places that were necessary for flow/comprehension. Then I took that version and condensed individual plot points into plot events. It was annoying, but there were agents who wanted a very short synopsis.)

I also had a three paragraph version that was my query pitch/summary.

This way I had a synopsis of pretty much any length an agent might ask for - the 5-6 page version for anyone who asked for a "detailed" synopsis, the 2 1/2 page version for those who wanted a synopsis, and the 1 page version for those who asked for a single page.

It's worth doing ahead of time so you don't find yourself rushing to put together a shorter/longer version if you get a request from an agent.

Best of luck!

09-25-2015, 11:48 PM
My synopsis being single spaced helps, but I definitely still need to cut it down considerably. I think what set me back is that different authors and publications have asked for so many different things. There was a publication that asked for a point-by-point synopsis that could be anywhere between 5-10 pages (mine ended up being 8), then there are some agents who seem perfectly happy with 2 pages, and others want a write up that's something between a synopsis and blurb. I think what you did, Aggy, is spot on. I'm going to do that next time.