View Full Version : First full request. What now?

12-12-2018, 09:22 PM
Really excited, just got my first full request, and the agent has also asked for a synopsis. While my manuscript is polished and ready and I can send it immediately, I've seen a wide range of advice regarding synopsis, and the length of the synopsis in particular. Do agents in general prefer a certain length (1 page, 2 pages, etc?). I've also seen advice such as 1 page for every 35 pages of my manuscript (upto 8 pages max). Also, how soon do agents expect the manuscript, after a full request?

cool pop
12-12-2018, 09:27 PM
The answers for these questions varies and depends on the individual. If the agent didn't specify the length of the synopsis than a 1-2 page synopsis is usually common. But, again if they didn't specify in the first place then you aren't held to any specific length but you don't want the synopsis too long. Many authors try to keep it to a page so it mainly like a longer query.

Agents have tons of submissions on a daily basis as well as assistants and all these other people the submissions go through so the agent isn't waiting for a specific book to get back to them. They are too busy and just get to things as it passes their desk. It's the assistants handling the submissions. Most agents don't even know who you are if this is a mid-size or big agency and most likely the first time they hear of you is when you send the full in. It's the assistants who read the partials, queries and tell their bosses about them. You're one of many, many submissions and requests they shell out on a daily basis unless the agency is teeny tiny. You have time to send it in but if it's ready send it now.

Good luck!

12-12-2018, 09:50 PM
I would move some mountains and try to keep the synopsis no more than 2 pages. Without a length specified I'd maybe allow myself up to 4, but 8 seems far too long.

12-12-2018, 10:25 PM
Thanks for the advice, 1-2 pages suits me fine. I have a 2 page synopsis ready so fingers crossed!

12-12-2018, 10:27 PM
Good luck! Go forth and kick ass!

12-13-2018, 12:42 PM
Congratulations, that's great news! And I'd also go with a 1-2 page synopsis unless they specifically asked for more. Good luck :)

12-13-2018, 04:10 PM
Incredible job! Best of luck with it all ;)

12-13-2018, 07:55 PM
Congratulations!! And Good Luck!!

Carrie in PA
12-14-2018, 08:07 PM
Congrats! I, too, have a 2-page synopsis that I use whenever length isn't specified.

12-18-2018, 06:22 PM
If I can piggyback on this question, I have a similar situation occurring. Out of respect for the time of the staff working on it, should I be straight to the facts and write a snippet as to what goes on during the entire manuscript, enough so they know what goes on? Or should I flavor it up like I did during the queries in order to sell?

Carrie in PA
12-18-2018, 07:05 PM
It's pretty much a "just the facts" sort of thing. The great Jane Friedman has an excellent article here (https://www.janefriedman.com/how-to-write-a-novel-synopsis/).

12-18-2018, 09:15 PM
What Carrie in PA said. The synopsis is there just to give an agent or editor a road map of all the major plot points in your story. It's not supposed to give them a taste for the writing itself, it's just supposed to give them a quick overview, so that if there's anything seriously problematic in your novel, plotwise, they'll see it before they have to read word-by-word to get to that point.

12-18-2018, 11:11 PM
Thank you both so much for your insight.

12-23-2018, 08:59 AM
Some interesting advice that I found suggested rereading each chapter of your manuscript, and condensing them into a 1-2 sentence description. This formula should result in a 1-3 page synopsis, with 3 pages being the VERY max. I tried it myself and condensed a 160,000 word manuscript into 3 pages...I felt like it worked quite well!

Congratulations on the full request and GOOD LUCK!