Example of a Synopsis for Bonnie

Hi, Bonnie. Sorry this post took so long, but I was down and out with a cold last week. No pep at all.

Okay, here’s how I did the short synopsis (not the one I worked from, that was a chapter by chapter one that was very detailed, this was the one I had to prepare for Mr. Lucas to read) for The Paradise Snare.

I separated out the Background from the Story because I was dealing with an established universe, and in order to get approval for the novel, the Powers That Be had to be very clear about when it took place in their universe, who was involved, etc.

Okay, here goes:

Background: (to be covered in brief flashbacks):

Young Han Solo is desperate to escape the cruel traders that have been the only “caretakers” he has ever known. Transported through the galaxy aboard their huge, ramshackle space barge, the child Han was forced to beg in the streets of many planets. As he grew older, he learned other skills: picking pockets, burglary, and conning people.

Han never knew his real name until he was about ten, when he befriended an elderly Wookiee widow of one of the smugglers, Dewlannamapia (Dewlanna). The next time they were on Corellia, Han ran away and tried contacting his Solo relatives. He was rewarded with an encounter with Thracken Solo, who hid him, tormented and beat him up, then, when the older boy tired of hiding Han, turned him back over to the traders.

Han tried repeatedly to run away, but was caught and viciously punished each time. Finally, having learned the bare rudiments of piloting, he decides to stage one more break.

Time: About a decade after the Clone Wars. Emperor Palpatine is still attempting to consolidate his grip on the former Old Republic, but there are so many star systems, and the spirit of freedom has not yet died.

Story: It is “night” aboard the huge space barge that is the nomadic trader colony. Han sneaks down to the kitchen to bid goodbye to Dewlanna, promising to contact her when he reaches (he thinks) safely on Ylesia, a religious colony that offers pilgrims sanctuary from their pasts.

Han and Dewlanna are interrupted by the cruel, drunken trader leader and his henchmen. During the melee that follows, Dewlanna is blasted when she leaps in front of Han to shield him. Outraged, Han shoots the leader.

He flees, and, donning a spacesuit, slips aboard the robot cargo ship bound for Ylesia. It is a dangerous trip; Han’s oxygen nearly runs out, and he manages to crash the ship when he tries to land it in Ylesia’s treacherous windstorms.

Ylesia is run by a religious hierarchy in alliance with the Hutts, who use the colony as a front to supply them with glitterstim and docile slaves. The Ylesian “priests” are a race from Nal Hutta who have honed their ability to project “feel-good” emotions in order to keep their pilgrims-turned-slaves happy and productive.

(Note: This projection ability is a by-product of an ability these males use to attact mates — it is NOT the Force.)

Han discovers that he’s jumped from the frying pan into the fire, and realizes that, in order to escape he’s got to steal a ship and be able to pilot it effectively. The Ylesian priesthood is in desperate need of pilots, so they are eager to hire the young Corellian and provide him with pilot training.

(and so forth, continuing through the entire book. DO tell the ending!)

Okay…get the idea?

I hope this has been helpful!

-Ann C. Crispin




  1. I know you weren’t doing the synopsis for me, but it was like…an out of body experience…I was wondering if I’d been blogging in my sleep….or sleeping in my blog!

  2. Thank you for sharing this! It’s great to find tips and guidelines for writing a synopsis, but being able to read a real one makes a huge difference.

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