May 26, 2020
Writing Exercise That Could be the Key to Your Next Novel
by Samantha Hoffman
Writing guru Tim Storm says writing the back-cover synopsis for your book early on in the process works on many levels; it helps you to figure out your story, it helps you think about piquing readers' interest, it helps you test your story line...
For me, personally, it's a great exercise. I write it in the beginning and then, when I'm stuck in the process, I revise it. Later, when things don't seem to be working quite right, I revise it again. Later still, when I decide to switch gears, maybe cut some of the characters or change the trajectory of the story, I revise it again. It's a fluid process, and each time it helps me focus and move forward.
How and Why to Write Your Back-Cover Synopsis Early
by Tim Storm
Pick up a paper copy of a book and look at the back cover. You’ll find a few things there: blurbs and reviews, maybe an author bio, perhaps a tagline, and a back-cover synopsis.
That short synopsis is usually about 150-200 words, and it piques the readers’ interest and gives a sense of what the book will be about. Its job is to get readers to want to read the book.
Pull up any book on Goodreads, Amazon, iBooks, or Indiebound, and you’ll usually see the back-cover synopsis written just below the title and author. Here, for instance, is a screenshot of a Goodreads page for Megan Morrison’s middle-grade novel, Transformed:
Read the rest of Tim's article.
My name is TD Storm. I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my wife and two children (both of whom are currently running around the house shouting, “Dingo encounter!”).
I’ve taught writing and literature since 1999, both at the high school and post-secondary levels. I currently teach at the University of Wisconsin. My teaching style works for most people who give me a chance–though I admit that I thrive on face-to-face interaction, where I have better eye contact and smile more. As I’ve moved to more online instruction in recent years, however, I’ve found some ways to make it work well (video conferencing, for instance).
I write short stories and essays, with recent work at Literary Hub and Copper Nickel. I’ve been a finalist in several short story contests, and I won the Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award.
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