What is the standard format for a novel synopsis?

I sifted through many search results and picked three that were the most helpful for me.

This first one was the best. It is the source of the information I’ve quoted below. The author is unnamed.
http://www.agentquery.com/format_tips.aspx

“What is the standard format for a novel synopsis?

  1. Word Count: 500-1000 words (approximately 2-3 pages)
  2. Spacing: One-page synposis: single-spaced with breaks between paragraphs, one-inch margins. Two-pages or more: double-spaced, one-inch margins.
  3. Tone: Regardless of the tense and point of view of your novel, your synopsis should always be written in third-person, present tense.
  4. Font: Times New Roman, 12-point font
  5. Page Numbers: upper right-hand corner
  6. Header: Last name and book title in upper left-hand corner. Steinbeck/Grapes of Wrath
  7. Content: Describe the main conflicts and plot points as they occur chronologically throughout the book. Introduce main characters and describe how their relationships grow, evolve, or dissolve from beginning to the end.
  8. Ending: This isn’t a movie trailer. Reveal the whole plot; do not finish with a “teaser” or “cliffhanger” ending”

This one by the esteemed author Jane Friedman is also good, and comes with a link to a recording of previous webinar $79.
http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/get-published-sell-my-work/your-guide-to-an-effective-novel-synopsis

The third is shorter, but also a good source. The wirter is Courtney Carpenter.
http://www.writersdigest.com/editors-picks/learn-how-to-write-a-synopsis-like-a-pro

5 comments
  1. Mary said:

    Perfect! Thank you for this informative and timely advice!
    Working on my synopsis now.

  2. This is pretty much what I have seen as well. One thing to add: I have found that some agents request only a single page synopsis while others are willing to look at longer versions. I usually recommend people write multiple versions so they can fulfill whatever requirement necessary for the submission process.

    • tyroper said:

      That is great advice. Thank you!

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