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Synopsis worksheet

Has your fiction manuscript been rejected by literary agents or traditional publishing houses, and you're not sure why? Do you feel something's "off" with your novel, but you don't know what? 

Sometimes the problem isn't the writing—it's the characterization or the overall story structure. 

If you think this might be a problem with your manuscript, you don't want to pay for a freelance editor when you could fix those story elements yourself. 

The Story Sensei’s Synopsis worksheet was designed as a way for fiction writers to not only write a synopsis, but also doctor their own manuscript by utilizing a large-scale, bird’s eye view of their stories. This different way of looking at your novel can often point out flaws in character arcs, major plot points, and overall story structure.

The exercises in this worksheet will ensure that your story structure has all the vital elements, including:

- character external goal

- internal/spiritual arc

- obstacles

- conflict

- climax

- resolution

This worksheet will guide you through writing your synopsis. Don’t have a completed manuscript? No problem—as long as you’re familiar with the main points of your story, you can still write a synopsis using this worksheet. It may even help you craft your story and fill in missing pieces as you write the synopsis.

Camy uses examples from proposals for her own novels, which garnered her contracts with Christian publishers Zondervan (HarperCollins) and Love Inspired Suspense (Harlequin). There is also a special section on spiritual/internal arcs, since Christian novels tend to have strong spiritual threads in the stories. 

Even if your story is not inspirational, the internal arc section will help you outline a strong internal arc for your character or troubleshoot if the internal arc has some weaknesses.

This version of the Synopsis worksheet includes:

- Extra examples

- Tips on trimming synopses

- Exercises on chapter-by-chapter and character synopses

Also in this version is an appendix of extra articles including:

- The 50-word elevator pitch

- Story blurbs, including the ones used in Camy’s original proposal for her Inspirational chick-lit Sushi series, which she submitted to Zondervan

- The basic structure of a proposal

- The example of Camy’s original proposal for her Inspirational romantic suspense Protection for Hire series, which she submitted to Zondervan

Buy the Synopsis worksheet