Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript – Part II

format-submit manuscriptThis week, I’ll begin a series of posts based on this resource. Even though it’s six years old, it’s still a great place to start. Since I’m a fiction writer, I’ll deal with Chapter 5: Novels. I recently re-posted from February, the first article from this resource that discussed cover letters. Today, let’s talk synopsis. A synopsis provides the main storyline of your novel. Click to Tweet #amwriting #synopsis

The publishing world has changed dramatically in the United State in the last five to ten years. As more writers are trying to get published, the competition is fierce and an agent or an editor is looking for ways to reject your work. The best way to prevent that is to make our book proposal look the way the industry would like it to.

Nowadays, two-pages are long enough (at the most) for a synopsis.

Tips

  1. The shorter the better
  2. Must be complete, with a beginning, middle, and an end (yes, tell the ending)
  3. Omit dialogue unless absolutely crucial to the understanding of your story
  4. Be concise, compelling, and complete

Synopsis tipsThe reason you must tell the ending, in others, a spoiler, is that you want this editor or this agent to sign you to a contract. If they don’t know what they’re getting, that’s a reason to reject your book proposal.

Formatting (suggestions from the book)

  1. 1-inch margins on all sides
  2. Justify left margin only
  3. Name & contact information on top left corner of the first page
  4. Genre, word count, & “Synopsis” in the top right corner of first page
  5. Don’t number the first page, but every page thereafter
  6. Center the title of your novel, in ALL CAPS, about 1/3rd the way down the page.
  7. Single-space is okay if your total synopsis is no more than two pages.
  8. Use ALL CAPS for the first time you introduce a character.
  9. Use a header on every page after Page 1. It should sort of look like this: Name/TITLE OF NOVEL/Synopsis.
  10. Page number in top right corner of header
  11. First line of text on each page under header should be three lines below.

These guidelines are six years old. If you’re submitting to an agent, check out Agency guidelines. Click to Tweet #amwriting #synopsis

This time, I’ll provide a link to Hartline Agency, because that’s who I signed with. The same is true for publishers. Here’s a link to Harper Collins Witness Imprint, an open submission page.

Next time: Synopsis Dos and Don’ts

What do you think of this resource? Leave a comment and let me know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Mickey Mindset

Celebrating the Art of Disney Storytelling

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.

For a purpose

The blog site of Rick Wade

devotions4misfits

Where it is a good thing to be an outcast.

Cracked-Pot

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; let your light shine through your cracked pot. Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in and comes out.

loon watchman

stark raving sane.

Diann Mills

Expect An Adventure

Kelly F Barr

"A story without love is empty." -- Kelly F. Barr

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Discovering the Gift

Vonj Production

Bringing you love through spirit!

A christian dad blog

Just a dad following God's path

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

Funny Dog Moments

Funny Tales of Cinnamon the Cute Guard Dog

Life Through the Big Screen

A podcast where I invite guests from all walks of life to discuss their favorite movies, and we use that film as a starting point to talk about deeper issues such as faith, politics, and social issues.

%d bloggers like this: