As I work on my mystery, I’ve realized that at some point I will have to write a synopsis. In all reality, while I don’t love writing a synopsis, it isn’t the worst thing every and it just got easier. Last week, I read this post on using your story beats to create a 1 page synopsis.
The way I was taught to use the term, a beat is a unit of action. Think about the 3 Little Pigs.
- Wolf knocks on door and calls, “Little pig, little pig let me in.”
- The pig replies, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin.”
- The wolf responds, “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.
- Wolf huffs.
- Wolf puffs.
- Wolf blows said house down.
- Pigs run.
As you can see, that’s going to be a lot of beats. How can that possibly make it easier to write a one page synopsis?
Read the original post and you’ll realize that what she calls a beat, many of us were taught to call a turning point. That greatly reduces the number of things you have to include.
- The hook that pulls your reader into the story.
- The inciting incident that sets the story in motion.
- The event that forces the protagonist to take action.
- The turning point or tipping point during whicn your character crosses the point of no return.
- Character’s reaction to the tipping point.
- First pinch point or stress point. The antagonist does something that narrows the protagonist’s options. And see what this does? It brings the antagonist into the synopsis!
- Turning point at the middle of the story. This is where your protagonist quits reacting and takes charge. This is marked by a strong action of some kind.
- Another stress or point point.
- The dark moment. This leads to the climax and we wonder if all is lost.
- Your character regroups and makes a new plan.
- Climax – the big battle scene/final confrontation/maximum drama.
- Wrap up.
Come up with these points for your novel and you will find that your synopsis will be much easier to write. Try doing it for a favorite book or movie and see how quickly it comes together.