Synopsis of nonlinear narrative

by Jean Stephanie Calinog

Question: How to write the synopsis of nonlinear narrative?

I also have two protoganists (in love with each other but has different story goal). To whom perspective will I focus on writing the synopsis?

Thank you in advance.


What I would suggest is that you first write your synopsis or outline in chronological order, to make sure the story hangs together and the arcs make sense.

Once you have done this, you can jump around in a nonlinear manner when writing the story (or perhaps create a second outline in non-chronological, nonlinear order before you begin the writing).

As long as the story makes sense chronologically and has a sound dramatic structure, readers who experience the story out of order can reassemble the story in their heads, like filling parts of a jigsaw puzzle. Once they reach the end, the entire story should be clear.

If this is a romance, it is traditional for the female character to be the main or primary point-of-view character (since the majority of readers in this genre are female). It is also fairly standard for the love interest to also be a point-of-view character. Both of their arcs generally unfold in parallel.

In the synopsis, you probably should summarize both of these characters' arcs (and their relationship arc).

If you think of dramatic arc as having four parts...

setup --> complication --> crisis --> resolution

... try to summarize the main character's arc in four short paragraphs. Same with the other character's arc.

Then four short paragraphs will do the same for the relationship -- how it is established, how it deepens, the relationship crisis (black moment), and how it is resolved.

So that's 12 short paragraphs (1-2 sentences if possible). The setups for all the arcs will make up act one. All the complications will be act two. All the crisis will be act three. And all the resolutions will be in act four.

You may need a little more than this (especially if there is an overall plot as well). But you should be able to keep the synopsis down to a couple of pages.

Best of luck.

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