Synopsis and Bio?

Questions for the resident (former) agent
Post Reply
Amanda Elizabeth
Posts: 79
Joined: May 22nd, 2012, 1:16 am
Contact:

Synopsis and Bio?

Post by Amanda Elizabeth » September 11th, 2012, 2:19 am

I've been writing and rewriting my query letter (and getting feedback in the forum) and now as I research agents I see the word "synopsis" being used. Is that really just what the heart of the query letter is being called? Also, many mention a bio...I have no background in writing or really any "qualifications"-- when they specifically ask for a bio what do they want?

User avatar
klbritt
Posts: 119
Joined: February 2nd, 2012, 11:16 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Synopsis and Bio?

Post by klbritt » September 11th, 2012, 2:58 pm

In regards to your qualifications, I think it's just fine to include in your query that "this is your first novel." No need to go into how many jobs you've ever held, what degree you have or don't, that will all come out later when you've established a relationship with an agent.

As far as a synopsis, I think if the agent specifically says: send brief synopsis, then that is what you send. But, I could be wrong.
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

User avatar
MattLarkin
Posts: 346
Joined: July 31st, 2011, 9:37 am
Location: St Petersburg, Florida
Contact:

Re: Synopsis and Bio?

Post by MattLarkin » September 12th, 2012, 10:24 am

Amanda Elizabeth wrote:I've been writing and rewriting my query letter (and getting feedback in the forum) and now as I research agents I see the word "synopsis" being used. Is that really just what the heart of the query letter is being called? Also, many mention a bio...I have no background in writing or really any "qualifications"-- when they specifically ask for a bio what do they want?
No, a synopsis is a detailed summary of the whole story from start to finish, including the ending.

Your query letter is more like a teaser, drawing interest without giving away the twists.
mattlarkin.net
larkinediting.com - freelance editing for fantasy and science fiction
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Nathan Bransford
Posts: 1380
Joined: December 4th, 2009, 11:17 pm
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: Synopsis and Bio?

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 12th, 2012, 11:15 pm

Amanda Elizabeth wrote:I've been writing and rewriting my query letter (and getting feedback in the forum) and now as I research agents I see the word "synopsis" being used. Is that really just what the heart of the query letter is being called? Also, many mention a bio...I have no background in writing or really any "qualifications"-- when they specifically ask for a bio what do they want?
Here's a post on how to write a synopsis: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2007/08 ... opsis.html

As for the bio, just give a very brief bit of background about who you are. You don't need to have previous writing qualifications.

User avatar
Hillsy
Posts: 303
Joined: December 9th, 2009, 4:33 am
Location: Gravesend, UK
Contact:

Re: Synopsis and Bio?

Post by Hillsy » September 13th, 2012, 4:46 am

I think the issue Amanda is alluding to is that the main, "meaty" paragraph of a query letter is sometimes referred to as the "synopsis paragraph".

I know that the term "one-page synopsis" threw me a curve for a few weeks before I managed to reason it out, because a query is often said to be "no longer than 1 page". If a query is a page long, and a synopsis is a page long, and a query has a synopsis paragraph that's 80% of the query, is 20% more actually saying anything more? Course in the end someone pointed out that 1-page synopsis is basically whatever you can get on a single page, so you can alter the font to get 400-500 words, rather than the usual 250 Max guidline.....but yeah there's a lot of duality of language that muddles the essential difference between Query and Synopsis.....

Amanda Elizabeth
Posts: 79
Joined: May 22nd, 2012, 1:16 am
Contact:

Re: Synopsis and Bio?

Post by Amanda Elizabeth » September 14th, 2012, 2:26 pm

Yeah, what Hillsy said. I know when they mention the "query letter" plus a synopsis they mean what was explained...but sometimes they only mention a synopsis. I need to look back a find the agents (should have written it down!) for examples.

User avatar
Nathan Bransford
Posts: 1380
Joined: December 4th, 2009, 11:17 pm
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: Synopsis and Bio?

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 14th, 2012, 9:00 pm

Amanda Elizabeth wrote:Yeah, what Hillsy said. I know when they mention the "query letter" plus a synopsis they mean what was explained...but sometimes they only mention a synopsis. I need to look back a find the agents (should have written it down!) for examples.
Oh, okay, sorry. Did you look at the post on the query letter mad lib? That should give you a start for the synopsis. I think if they are using synopsis as a synonym for "description of the work," you can just send a query. When they ask for query plus synopsis, yeah, they mean the one-two page summary.

Gatsby
Posts: 1
Joined: November 10th, 2012, 5:11 pm
Contact:

Re: Synopsis and Bio?

Post by Gatsby » November 10th, 2012, 5:17 pm

I'm going through all of this myself. Finally polished down a query letter that I'm proud of, only to discover the need for a "synopsis". Believe me, I tried to reason my way out of doing one!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest