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Writing a YA synopsis 101

August 17, 2016

Hello students!

In my years as a passionate reader, I've come across many synopses and I like to think I've become an expert in the matter. Therefore, I will be sharing my knowledge with you so that you, too, will be an expert in the art of writing synopses.


I have developed a technique called NOWQ that's very simple once you get the hang of it. Here's how it works.

  • N is for normal.You want to start with one or two pretty generic sentence introducing the age of the character, its gender and how ordinary his/her life is.
  • O is for Oh no! You want to state the crisis as dramatically as you possibly can.
  • W is for Watch as I tell you how it's gonna go. Explain how the character will try to resolve the conflict, all the while introducing one or two side characters.
  • Q is for question. You want to end with a really cheesy question that will basically give away the ending.

Bellow are three examples to illustrate different types of books.

The contemporary book
Sixteen years old Uniquegirl had always been content with being the shadow of her popular best friend.That is, until a party and one too many drink throws her in the spotlight she never wanted. W Now the center of the school's gossip, Uniquegirl will find an unusual ally in Dreamyboy. Q Is Dreamyboy only looking for a good time or does Uniquegirl really have a chance at a silver lining?

The adventure type
N Sixteen years old Uniquegirl had always been content with being the shadow of her brother, who was heir to the throne. O That is, until her entire family is murdered, making her queen of Thebestland. W Determined to avenge her family, Uniquegirl will embark on a journey to Theworstland to find their murderer, with her childhood male best friend as her only companion. Q Will the love of those around her be enough to keep her from succumbing to the darkness of her heart, or will Uniquegirl be strong enough to become the queen she was always meant to be?

The fantasy series (because we all know fantasy books are rarely standalones)
N Sixteen years old Uniquegirl had always been content with being the shadow of her magically gifted sister. O That is, until her sister loses control over her powers and becomes a threat to Magicalkingdom. W Being the only one with a strong enough connexion to her sister, Uniquegirl will embark on quest to fin the Reallyimportantartefact that will save them all. Q Will Uniquegirl find the Reallyimportantartefact in time to save Magicalkindgdom?

Students, you have officially graduated from this class. Now, it's your turn to write something  that will make me proud!

Professor Sophie