Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Writing Lessons-The Novel Synopsis Worksheet


1. The title of the novel is: ___________________________________

2. State the “hook” of your novel (from your hook worksheet). This hook must contain the core conflict of your novel.

3. Beginning with your main character, write a “character sketch” of each of your main characters. These sketches should concentrate on character’s motivations, especially those that bring them into conflict with one another.

4. Identify your plot highlights. Begin by detailing your beginning and ending scenes and one or two in the middle. These plot points should be ONLY those necessary to make the primary plot hang together and conclude with a logical, even if unexpected, ending.

5. (On another sheet of paper) Using the above information, outline your novel synopsis, paragraph by paragraph. You may use your own structure, but make sure all the elements of the synopsis are addressed: an opening hook, quick sketches of the main characters, plot high points, the core conflict, and the conclusion.

I personally use my plot worksheet, if I’ve kept it updated with any changes I’ve made. If not, I take the time to make a new one. That way, when critiques come my way, I’m able to take a look at the worksheet and find my page with relative ease.

There. You’re done, with another reason to use a plot worksheet. Remember the KISS (Keep it Simple, Silly) principle. You’re not rewriting your book, you’re providing a campfire tale to interest someone. All you need to do is give the highlights.

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