SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: crystal205 on August 10, 2018, 05:40 PM

Title: Amount of pages for a MG synopsis
Post by: crystal205 on August 10, 2018, 05:40 PM
Hi. I'm trying to write a synopsis for my MG novel and I'm wondering how many pages it should be. It seems to be getting around 4 or 5 pages. Does this seem okay? I see some agents and editors aren't specifying how long the synopsis should be in their guidelines so I guess in this case I could give them a 4 or 5 page synopsis. Do you agree or is this too long? I've seen some conferences state when submitting for critiques that you need a one page synopsis which is going to be a trip to do. Can you please give me some advice? I appreciate it!
Title: Re: Amount of pages for a MG synopsis
Post by: Vonna on August 10, 2018, 06:14 PM
Unless otherwise specified, a 1 page synopsis is what is typically required. I know, it's a bear, but you can do it.  :hug

Title: Re: Amount of pages for a MG synopsis
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on August 10, 2018, 08:49 PM
What Vonna said: one page unless longer is asked for.
Title: Re: Amount of pages for a MG synopsis
Post by: Vijaya on August 11, 2018, 07:13 AM
Yup, 1 pg single spaced. You can do this. Stick to the main plot. Hack away at any and all subplots. :goodluck
Title: Re: Amount of pages for a MG synopsis
Post by: Melody on August 11, 2018, 09:46 AM
Agreed. One page. What helped me slim down the pages was to think of another story. Lets look at THE WIZARD OF OZ. This can be summed up quickly.

Dorothy's house is swept away during a tornado in Kansas. She lands in a magical world full of good witches, bad witches and munchkins. She wants to get back to Kansas. Glenda, the good witch, tells her to follow the yellow brick road to Oz. Along the way she meets a tin man, a scarecrow and a cowardly lion who join her in her travels. Etc.

I left out the part about landing on the witch. But as you do a rough skeleton, you will see what needs to be added and subtracted to tell the BASIC plot of the story. This is just a rough draft. But do this first to get down to a page or less and then you can spruce up the wording.
Title: Re: Amount of pages for a MG synopsis
Post by: jodi-cardillo on August 18, 2018, 05:37 AM
Chiming in here to agree with the one pager. I just accomplished this feat, too. It IS do-able!!  Stick to your main character and their arc.

I found this website enormously helpful to boil things down to the most important elements. It's a series of questions you answer, and then put together.   

http://www.publishingcrawl.com/2012/04/17/how-to-write-a-1-page-synopsis/

The only thing I would vary is the first setting component. Yes, it needs to be in the first paragraph, but up front you should tell us about your protagonist. ie:  Twelve-year-old, city kid....

Good luck! You can do it!
Title: Re: Amount of pages for a MG synopsis
Post by: crystal205 on August 20, 2018, 10:32 AM
Thanks everyone!
Title: Re: Amount of pages for a MG synopsis
Post by: Marcia on August 23, 2018, 02:59 PM
Hope you were successful in bringing your synopsis down to one page. If you take each paragraph of your five page synopsis and tighten it down to a line or two each, that might work. Good luck!