SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: michelle-black1 on August 09, 2021, 10:30 AM

Title: Chapter Book Synopsis Help
Post by: michelle-black1 on August 09, 2021, 10:30 AM
Hello there!

I'm currently working on getting my serial children's book ready to pitch and had a quick question about the synopsis.

Each chapter in my book is standalone so when I'm working on the book synopsis, would a publisher/agent like to see it separated into chapter by chapter or just try and make it flow into each other somehow?

If you have any examples of a children's chapter book proposal, that would also be really helpful.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Chapter Book Synopsis Help
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on August 09, 2021, 06:00 PM
Are these individual short stories or an actual novel? In general, the stories in a chapter book have to be connected somehow. Focus on what connects them as you write the synopsis. Are they all takes on a friendship? Do they have a the same characters? What's the heart that made you write this book?

Going chapter by chapter would be for an outline.
Title: Re: Chapter Book Synopsis Help
Post by: dewsanddamps on August 10, 2021, 08:16 AM
One thing that may help, too, is to read say thirty chapter books published in the last five years. You'll see commonalities, and as you think about how you'd write a synopsis of one of them, it's likely to help with writing your own.
 :goodluck
Title: Re: Chapter Book Synopsis Help
Post by: Vijaya on August 10, 2021, 09:41 AM
:welcome Michelle. You definitely do not want a chapter-by-chapter outline but the overall arc. As Debbie asks, what's at the heart of this story? Is it about sibling rivalry or navigating friendships in school? What's the unique situation your story people experience? What separates your book from all the other chapter books out there? It's always a good idea to check out some books that are similar to yours and see the flap copy or even look at reviews--so many reviewers insist on writing a summary, lol. Some of my favorite CBs (sorry, they're all a bit older): Henry and Mudge; Oliver and Amanda Pig books; Junie B Jones series; Frog and Toad; Arlo and Pip (this one is newer).

Also, in a query you are pitching, that is, a teaser, without giving away the surprises/ending whereas a synopsis has the entire arc. Good luck!
Title: Re: Chapter Book Synopsis Help
Post by: michelle-black1 on August 10, 2021, 11:06 PM
:welcome Michelle. You definitely do not want a chapter-by-chapter outline but the overall arc. As Debbie asks, what's at the heart of this story? Is it about sibling rivalry or navigating friendships in school? What's the unique situation your story people experience? What separates your book from all the other chapter books out there? It's always a good idea to check out some books that are similar to yours and see the flap copy or even look at reviews--so many reviewers insist on writing a summary, lol. Some of my favorite CBs (sorry, they're all a bit older): Henry and Mudge; Oliver and Amanda Pig books; Junie B Jones series; Frog and Toad; Arlo and Pip (this one is newer).

Also, in a query you are pitching, that is, a teaser, without giving away the surprises/ending whereas a synopsis has the entire arc. Good luck!

Thank you so much! This is sooo helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.
Title: Re: Chapter Book Synopsis Help
Post by: michelle-black1 on August 10, 2021, 11:06 PM
One thing that may help, too, is to read say thirty chapter books published in the last five years. You'll see commonalities, and as you think about how you'd write a synopsis of one of them, it's likely to help with writing your own.
 :good luck

Thank you so much. <3


Title: Re: Chapter Book Synopsis Help
Post by: michelle-black1 on August 10, 2021, 11:07 PM
Are these individual short stories or an actual novel? In general, the stories in a chapter book have to be connected somehow. Focus on what connects them as you write the synopsis. Are they all takes on a friendship? Do they have a the same characters? What's the heart that made you write this book?


Debbie, this is so helpful to me. Thank you so much! I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.
Going chapter by chapter would be for an outline.