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How to Write a Novel or Memoir Synopsis?

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  • February 16, 2024
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  • 7 min read


When you write a synopsis, you summarize something, like a movie or a book. It’s like a sneak peek that tells people what the whole thing is about without giving away all the details.

Why is synopsis writing important? Well, imagine you’re deciding whether to watch a movie or read a book. You probably want to know what it’s about before you invest your time, right? That’s where a synopsis comes in handy. It helps you decide if something is worth your time or not.

So, what’s the purpose of a synopsis? It’s to give people a quick idea of what to expect. It covers the main points of the story without getting into every little detail. Think of it as a trailer for a movie – it teases you with just enough information to make you interested.

Key Components of a Synopsis:

A synopsis is like a mini-preview that helps you decide if you want to dive deeper into a story or not. It’s a valuable tool for both Book Writing Founders and consumers of stories alike.

A synopsis is a summary of something, like a movie, book, or research paper. Here are the key components of a synopsis:

  • Identifying Main Characters: This means introducing the most important characters in the story. Who are they? What role do they play? Readers or viewers need to know who the story revolves around.
  • Establishing Setting and Atmosphere: This involves describing where and when the story takes place, as well as the mood or atmosphere.
  • Highlighting the Central Conflict: Every good story has a problem or conflict that needs to be solved. Also, this component of the synopsis explains what that conflict is.
  • Plotting the Narrative Arc: This means outlining the main events of the story in a logical order. What happens at the beginning, middle, and end? How do the character’s actions and decisions lead to the resolution of the conflict? Autobiography writing services help in Plotting the narrative arc and give the synopsis structure and coherence.

Different Approaches for Novels and Memoirs

When it comes to synopsis writing for novels and memoirs, there are some differences in approach:

1- Novels:

Character Development: While you should still introduce the main characters in your novel synopsis, you might not delve as deeply into their backgrounds or motivations as you would in a memoir synopsis. Instead, focus on how they drive the plot forward and interact with each other.

Themes and Messages: Novels often explore broader themes or messages. Therefore, your synopsis should touch on these themes and give readers a sense of what the story is about beyond just the plot events.

2- Memoirs:

  • Personal Journey: Memoirs are typically about the author’s personal experiences and reflections. Also, your synopsis should highlight the central themes or events of your life that you’re exploring in the memoir.
  • Emotional Arc: Unlike novels, memoir writing insights often emphasize the emotional journey of the author. Therefore, you’ll want to convey the highs and lows of your experiences and how they’ve shaped you.
  • Character (You) Development: In a memoir, you are the main character. Your synopsis should focus on your personal growth, struggles, and insights throughout the narrative.
  • Authentic Voice: Memoirs often succeed when they have a strong, authentic voice. Your synopsis should reflect the tone and style of your writing, giving readers a taste of what to expect in terms of your narrative voice.

How to Structure Your Synopsis?

Structuring your synopsis effectively is essential for conveying the main elements of your story or memoir clearly and engagingly.

Here’s a recommended structure of synopsis writing:

1- Introduction:

Start with a brief introduction that includes the title of your work and your name (if you’re the author). Therefore, this sets the stage and lets readers know what to expect.

2- Overview:

Provide a concise overview of the story or memoir. This should include the central premise or theme, the main characters, and the setting. Therefore, keep it brief but informative, giving readers a taste of what’s to come.

3- Main Plot Points (for novels) or Central Events (for memoirs):

Outline the main events or key moments in your synopsis writing. Focus on the most significant plot developments or personal experiences that drive the narrative forward. Therefore, be sure to include the central conflict (for novels) or the central themes/events (for memoirs).

4- Character Introductions:

Introduce the main characters in your book writing journey or memoir. Provide a brief description of who they are, their motivations, and their role in the narrative. Focus on the characters that have the most impact on the story’s progression.

5- Conflict and Resolution:

Describe the central conflict or challenges that the characters face. Explain how they attempt to overcome these obstacles and resolve the conflict. For novels, include the climax and resolution of the story. Therefore, memoirs highlight the personal growth or insights gained from overcoming challenges.

6- Conclusion:

Wrap up your synopsis by summarizing the overall message or takeaway of your story or memoir. Reflect on the journey your characters (or yourself, in the case of a memoir) have undergone and the significance of their experiences. However, leaves readers with a sense of closure and a desire to learn more.

7- Additional Information:

Depending on the specific requirements or preferences of the recipient (such as memoir writing services, publishers, or contest organizers), you may include additional information such as genre, target audience, or any unique elements of your work.

Dos and Don’ts of Synopsis Writing

Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when writing a synopsis:


  • Be Clear and Concise: Keep your synopsis brief and to the point. Therefore, stick to the main plot points or key events without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.
  • Highlight the Main Characters and Conflict: Introduce the main characters and the central conflict or problem they face early on in your synopsis. This helps readers understand the core elements of your story.
  • Follow the Narrative Arc: Structure your synopsis to follow the natural flow of your story, including the introduction, rising action, climax, and resolution. Therefore, this makes it easier for readers to follow along and understand the progression of events.
  • Capture the Tone and Voice of Your Work: Try to convey the tone and voice of your writing in your synopsis.


  • Include Every Detail: Avoid including every minor detail or subplot in your synopsis. Focus on the main plot points and key events that drive the story forward.
  • Introduce New Characters or Subplots: Stick to introducing only the main characters and central conflict in your synopsis. Avoid introducing new characters or subplots that may confuse or overwhelm readers.


Synopsis writing of a novel or memoir is both an art and a skill that requires careful attention to detail and storytelling prowess. It’s your chance to distill the essence of your work into a concise and compelling summary that captures the attention of agents, publishers, or readers. Don’t be afraid to revise and refine your synopsis until it shines. Ultimately, a well-crafted synopsis can be the key to opening doors and garnering interest in your literary masterpiece.

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