Premise and Synopses

The Premise and Synopses section is where you pin down the heart of your novel.

It contains the following panels:

  • Premise
  • Short Synopsis
  • Extended Synopsis

As well as explaining how to use each of these panels, in this post we will also look at how you can customise your display to show and hide the various panels.

Click here to read more about how the panels work.

Premise

The premise panel is where you write the premise of your novel – a single line summary of the core concept.

There are many ways to write a premise, but we have offered guidance by using the SCOOD method. This method encourages you to consider the following five elements:

  • Character
  • Situation
  • Objective
  • Opponent
  • Disaster

By ensuring you have thought of these five key story elements, you can help be sure you have a solid story idea, rather than simply a nugget which won’t stand up to first contact with a first draft.

To write your premise, first go to the Premise and Synopses section (second option on the navigation).

Hover your mouse over the Premise panel and click on the ‘edit’ button which appears.

This will bring up an editable panel, where you can enter your ideas for the five key story elements, and weave them together into a single summary sentence.

Note – if you don’t want to use the SCOOD method, you can simply write your preferred form of premise in the Summary field.

When you click ‘save and close’ your premise will be shown in the Premise panel.

Short Synopsis

The short synopsis is a very simple text field, where you can enter a single page summary of your story.

The short synopsis panel has the Turn Back Time (or version history) feature. This means that if you decide you’d like to refer or revert to an earlier version of your short synopsis, you can access that.

Click here to read more about Turn Back Time.

Extended Synopsis

Like the short synopsis, the extended synopsis penal contains an simple, single text field, for entering your longer synopsis – which is an outline of your whole story, in as much or as little detail suits you.

Choosing which panels to display

In all the sections with multiple panels, you can customise which panels are visible and which are hidden.

To change the displayed panels, click the ‘down arrow’ button towards the top right-hand corner of the main working area.

A dropdown menu will appear, listing all the available panels.

Check a box to have a panel visible, or uncheck a box to have it hidden.

When you’ve finished, click the arrow again (which is now pointing upwards) to dismiss the dropdown.

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