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Help Please SS - Synopsis

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Carlos View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 Jan 2023 at 6:27am
Hi all, I'm new here. 

I entered the 2,500 short story comp and now looking at submitting it. 

1. Do I have to include a synopsis? Or is it optional?

2. Does anyone have an example doc I could look at from a previous comp? 

Like, will it be page 1: Title and underneath it the synopsis? Or on separate pages. 

Any help much appreciated, thank you. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote slinkylink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2023 at 9:07am
Originally posted by Carlos Carlos wrote:

Hi all, I'm new here. 

I entered the 2,500 short story comp and now looking at submitting it. 

1. Do I have to include a synopsis? Or is it optional?

2. Does anyone have an example doc I could look at from a previous comp? 

Like, will it be page 1: Title and underneath it the synopsis? Or on separate pages. 

Any help much appreciated, thank you. 



My understanding is that it is not optional. 

Here is mine from R1 last year. I got 2nd place: 

A horticulture heiress must decide between a tractor mogul and a seed store clerk. 

I put the title and synopsis on one page (center and middle) and started my story on the second page. 

If you want to see several examples go to the last year's results page, and you can read every winning story title and synopsis.




Edited by slinkylink - 25 Jan 2023 at 9:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carlos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2023 at 9:09am
Very helpful, many thanks. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slinkylink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2023 at 9:15am
Sure! My opinion on writing the synopsis or logline (the screenplay equivalent) is don't overthink it. Be succinct but also specific enough so that when the judges try to remember which story is which, they can scan through the synopses and be like, "Which one was the seed store clerk story? Oh right...Royal Radish." 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deschain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2023 at 12:56pm
is it supposed to be in teaser format ("The Johnson family vacation takes an unexpected turn...") or full summary format ("The Johnsons crash their car on the way to Disneyland and end up vacationing in The Everglades...")?

Edited by Deschain - 25 Jan 2023 at 12:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WhistlerCrowe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2023 at 9:49pm
Originally posted by Deschain Deschain wrote:

is it supposed to be in teaser format ("The Johnson family vacation takes an unexpected turn...") or full summary format ("The Johnsons crash their car on the way to Disneyland and end up vacationing in The Everglades...")?


So for my challenge 1 and 2 flash fiction stories from this year, these are the synopsis' I wrote for each. I really think you can go either way with it. 
Horror | Roadblock | Wedding Cake.
"Blood Covenant
A girl’s moonlit pilgrimage to lay her mama to rest is halted at a drunk driving checkpoint set up by a group of backwoods cops."
Mystery | A taxidermy shop | A Beanbag.
"The Eyes are Dead
A string of ritualistic murders arrives at Homicide Detective Laroy Cromartie’s doorstep. Will he find the killer or only be left asking more sinister questions?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2023 at 11:25pm

Here is one I would not recommend; it was for the movie "White Noise"

Dramatizes a contemporary American family's attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love,
death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote happywriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2023 at 7:57am
The synopsis is a max. of 2 sentences.
One is better.
I find the formula 'This is a story about 'x' who does 'y' useful.
ie. x =character
    y= action [including internal] by the character.


@
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NYCNewbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2023 at 11:05am
Originally posted by Carlos Carlos wrote:

Hi all, I'm new here. 

I entered the 2,500 short story comp and now looking at submitting it. 

1. Do I have to include a synopsis? Or is it optional?

2. Does anyone have an example doc I could look at from a previous comp? 

Like, will it be page 1: Title and underneath it the synopsis? Or on separate pages. 

Any help much appreciated, thank you. 


All the forum stories from previous competitions are here on the forum and in the forum archive, so you could check out a few of those. 
The likes of Blake Snyder advise that a logline/synopsis should contain 3 things:
  • Your Protagonist
  • Their goal
  • An impediment to that goal - complications.
Good luck! 

ETA: 1st page has title and synopsis (Do a page break here)
Page 2 onward is your story



Edited by NYCNewbie - 26 Jan 2023 at 11:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slinkylink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2023 at 11:51am

Originally posted by happywriter happywriter wrote:

The synopsis is a max. of 2 sentences.

One is better.


I agree with this. The only exception I found in my NYCM synopses was for my Political Satire flash because it had an unusual premise that needed explaining. So I used line #1 to set up the premise and line #2 to give the story synopsis.


With the passage of the Post-Living Personhood Act, dead citizens, known as Reborns, have secured the right to vote. Presidential hopeful Gwen Parsons has her fingers on the pulse of the dead and knows all the tricks to secure their votes.

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