July 16, 2019

Fiction Synopsis Examples: How to Write Your Book Proposal

How to Write a Fiction SynopsisChuck Sambuchino at Writer’s Digest recently posted a summary of his synopsis examples for fiction titles. What is most helpful is the range of genres included and Sambuchino’s expressed self-awareness in providing examples.

My favorite synopsis (although not my favorite movie in the bunch) is “The Ides of March,” which Sambuchino calls a character-driven thriller. What this example illustrates is how to cut some characters from the synopsis and how to mention other seemingly important characters (well, important to the sub-plots anyway).

The synopsis builds a tension that illustrates the even-greater tension in the movie. It follows the main twists and turns–and this is the more important element–I want to read the entire story because this description holds my attention.

I find it helpful that Sambuchino writes synopses of films on a regular basis (his posts go back several years). Even experienced synopses writers can test and refine their craft by comparing their own summaries of movies with Sambucnino’s offerings.

Below are links from his first page:

“The Ides of March” (Political / Thriller)

“Robocop” (Science Fiction / Cyberpunk)

“Ransom” (Thriller)

“The Fly” (Horror / Sci-Fi)

“Courage Under Fire” (Thriller / Mystery)

”A History of Violence” (Thriller)

“House of Games” (Noir / Mainstream)

“Matchstick Men” (Mainstream Fiction)

“The Big Easy” (Crime/Noir)

“The Wrestler” (Literary/Mainstream)

“Spartan” Synopsis (Thriller)

The “Fearless” Synopsis (Literary Fiction)

“The Rock” Synopsis (Thriller)

The “Punch-Drunk Love” Synopsis (Literary Fiction)

The “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” Synopsis (Literary Fiction)

The “Gladiator” Synopsis (Historical Fiction)

The “Flight of the Navigator” Synopsis (Middle Grade)

The “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” Synopsis (YA)

The “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” Synopsis (YA)

The “Witness” Synopsis (Main Stream Fiction)

 

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