How to Write a Novel: Step 5

Write an Extended Synopsis

This article is available in video format!

Like a short synopsis, but without the reins.

The next stage is to take your short synopsis and expand it to about four or five pages.

After writing your short synopsis you'll probably be bursting with ideas, and getting new ones faster than you can jot them down - but because of the foundation work you’ve done, these ideas can be fitted into a robust structure, rather than just being an incoherent spaghetti mess.

This is a really fun time, because you can let your imagination loose and start adding the detail that will make your story delicious and compelling.

The point of this is to allow your creative juices to pump, so don’t be dogmatic about anything. If it turns out to be ten pages - that’s fine! Don’t worry if you feel you’re deviating from the structure, or if your characters are doing things you weren’t expecting – give them the wheel.

Let the story flow out of you and onto the page.

Then, once you’re done, take a little time and give it a little space.

After a week or so return to your extended synopsis and compare it to your plot outline.

Where has it majorly deviated? Are there some sections which seem to be taking a disproportionately large amount of the story, where others are rushed through? Also, do you notice any plot holes or inconsistencies?

Go through making tweaks until you feel that the extended synopsis is a good summarised representation of your image of the story.

This high level overview can be extremely useful for spotting problems in the story and fixing them before you’ve written ten chapters that need to be scrapped.

Your Task

In the Novel Factory, go to the Premise and Synopses section, and click the Extended Synopsis panel. Expand each paragraph of your Short Synopsis. into a longer Extended Synopsis.

Or, you can use the PDF Extended Synopsis worksheet available here.

This article is available in video format!