Write a Great Synopsis: Nicola Morgan knows how!

Nicola and her dog Amber

The Background

When I got the chance to review Nicola Morgan’s Write a Great Synopsis I was delighted. Nicola is the author of more than 90 books – covering both fiction and non-fiction. Her novel Wasted (which I absolutely loved) was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and her guide for writers Write to be Published has been much acclaimed. Like many writers, I’ve been daunted by having to write a synopsis. Having read Write a Great Synopsis I’m so sorry I didn’t have it the last time I wrote one and delighted that this time round I’ll be able to put the advice into practice.


The Book

What grabbed me straight away was Nicola’s no-nonsense but wry approach that’s familiar to me from her terrific blog on publishing. You know from the off that Nicola is going to tell it like it is, she’s not going to pretty it up or soft soap you but what she tells you is going to get you where you want to go. Her advice is direct and realistic, it is also very straightforward. Reading her step by step methods (she gives two alternatives) for writing the synopsis I could feel myself already becoming more relaxed about the process. She tells us the specific things we need to do, what is required within the synopsis and what isn’t and alleviates all the other worries about synopses that circulate the writer’s brain. She answers commonly asked queries about how to deal with complicated plots, several points of view or many themes. Nicola even suggests ways you might phrase elements of the synopsis to sidestep convoluted explanations. The book also includes “Synopsis Spotlights” – a synopsis clinic if you will on some real examples of synopses. If you are engaged in a novel or have reached the stage – like I have – where you will soon be writing a synopsis, Write a Great Synopsis is everything you need to know, put simply. It’s certainly made me feel more confident about the steps I need to take to write a synopsis that says just the right amount about the story in a way that will interest the agent or publisher. I highly recommend this book for any novel writer.

For more, check out the video trailer!

The Barking Mad Special Offer

Nicola Says: I have a crazy price promotion until the end of January: Write a GREAT Synopsis and Tweet RightThe Sensible Person’s Guide to Twitter will each be stupid cheap on Amazon. I’m aiming for 99p, but VAT and currency fluctuations, along with Amazon’s naughtiness, are making that hard to acheive. So, forgive me if it’s £1 or even – gasps – £1.02.

But only till the end of January. So hurry!
Write a Great Synopsis on Amazon UK – for Kindle AND laptops/ipads/etc if you download the FREE Kindle app

Tweet Right on Amazon UK – as above.

For non-UK purchases, please see the Amazon.com site and do a search for the titles.

The Brilliant Comp

If you’d like the chance of winning help with your synopsis, simply leave a relevant comment below or on any or each of the guest posts. (This could be a deep and meaningful comment or a plea to the gods of fortune to pick you!) For details of all the posts you can comment on (for your best chance) see Nicola’s blog (panel to right).

Prizes: 1st prize – a critique of your synopsis, at a mutually convenient time; plus a signed book of your choice, if available. 2nd prize – a critique of your synopsis. 3rd prize – a signed book of your choice, if available.


  1. I bought the book yesterday and will be writing a review on Amazon today. I was not only paralysed with fear but throwing temper tantrums all over the place at the thought of writing a synopsis … my family would like to thank Nicola for the tranquility that has returned to the household.

  2. Cameron – tranquility? Is that what you call your raucous behaviour at the #WAGSparty last night?? It’s been nice “meeting” you. Good luck with your writing. And with your entry to the BIG WAGS comp 🙂

    1. Heh heh heh – that was nothing – being the “new girl at school” I was being very good, only crawling under the tables to pick up the peanuts a certain lady had thrown in the air like confetti … Thanks for good wishes 🙂 xx

  3. Okay rushing off to buy it as we speak. I am in desperate need of some of the tranqullity Cameron talks about. Writing a novel is short walk through a park with birds singing in comparison to the hike up Everest, with aching feet and shallow breath that is putting together a half decent synopsis.

  4. AH, I have written dreadful synopses (pl ?) from over-glib half-page teasers to minute examinations of every plot twist and minor character. I NEED HELP. Glad that there’s something out there that might save me from myself next time!

  5. Have just downloaded a copy which I’ve skimmed and will study in depth. Would love to have had the treatment on any of my many synopsis drafts. But will have a go at a new approach, Many thanks!

  6. My copy of WAGSynopsis has a severe case of yellow highlighter measles. My copy of Write To Be Published is a hedgehog of post-it notes. Now all I need is (a) talent, (b) perseverance, (c) humility and (d) a book called something like “Dear Agent X…”. Please?

  7. I bought the book yesterday. And read it yesterday. I’m at that point – synopsis writing point. So, yes, please pick me for a freebie…pretty please?


  8. After reading this book I came away wondering what all the fuss was about… not the fuss about the book (that is more than deserved), but the fuss about writing the damn scary synopses. Key piece of info I picked up: it’s the writing that counts – the synopsis is just a tool to show that you can think an idea through. Bloody obvious really! Wish I’d know this earlier. Thanks Nicola, and thanks for a great review, Alison!

  9. @Cat – Mine too! Post it notes all over the place 🙂
    I cannot stress how much I love the abbreviation of ‘WAGS’… Wonder if any footballers wives wannbes will buy it by mistake? 😉

  10. The synopsis spotlight was great. I’ve said over on another post that I’m putting off reading the Wasted synopsis until I’ve read Wasted. I may try writing a version and then seeing how it compares.

  11. Hello, Alison and everyone. Now that the tour is over, I’ve come to say a big public thank you to Alison for hosting the stop on the WAGS tour, and to you all for commenting/buying/being interested. Thank you!

    I’m gathering all the names to put into a random generator and as soon as I’ve done that I’ll let Alison know if any of you were winners. Good luck! There were a lot of entries so this may take some time…

    Meanwhile, good luck in your writing lives and may your muses always stay strong and true, dishing out the occasional square of chocolate 🙂

    And thank you, Alison, again.

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