A Synopsis, After A Query, Starting With a Hook

Write me a synopsis. But first, write me a query. Make sure you start your query letter with a hook.

Writing about what you have written about makes as much sense as skinning a lion before it is dead.

Synopsis, Query, Hook; Oh My!

Aspiring and emerging authors alike must overcome a bounty of feats to get their work out into the world. Forget the four to five years they spent writing the manuscript. Never mind the countless hours of research and editing and rewriting to get it to a highly polished piece of literary gold. No one cares about that. Yet.

Synopsis Query Hook
Your Synopsis, query and hook, is simply writing about your book, after you write about your book. Makes sense. Right?

No, first you have to write even more. You have to take the last half decade of work and sweat and long nights and cram them into a synopsis. A brief, one to two page essay that details what your book is about. The only catch? You don’t reveal everything, you say little while simultaneously saying everything. You have basically 700 words to describe your 80,000+ word work of art to someone that has never read it, in the hopes that they will want to read it.

But it Gets Worse

Before they will ever consider reading your synopsis, which will tell them if they even want to read your book, you have to write them a query letter.

The query letter. Such a magnificent, glorious, bland piece of shit. A three paragraph short that is – you guessed it, telling them what your book is about. 250 words to accurately describe your novel. Not only that but you have one sentence positioned at the top of the query called the “hook” that makes them want to read the rest of the query. This sentence must not only introduce the protagonist, but also convey why the reader should care about him, all the while representing the voice and flow of the novel itself.

If you can do that, the rest of the query letter will be read. If the next two paragraphs are good then they will: Further explain the dilemma of the protagonist; explain the precise activities he goes through to resolve the stated dilemma; and completely entice the reader to want to read the synopsis.

One Sentence to Rule Them All

So spend five long years writing thousands and thousands of words. Edit them, rewrite them, polish them to a fine gleam. Then break it all down to 700 of the most tantalizing words possible. From there, you write two of the most sought after paragraphs known to man, all stemming from one, invariably impossible, perfect, sentence.

The only sentence no one will ever read when deciding to purchase your book from the shelf of millions. The one sentence that will haunt your dreams, make you famous, represent your life’s work, and never be written again. The synopsis, query, hook.

No pressure.

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