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Synopsis for Memoir BookMemoir / Synopsis


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#1 lawoman

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:25 AM

Hey everyone, I am new to this website so this will be my first post although I'm certain it may have been posted previously!

I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on how to write a sypnosis for a memoir book detailed on my struggle with anorexia a few years back?

Although I have had short stories previously published, I understand memoir writing is a whole different ball game but feel my book is strong enough to be published yet I am having tremendous difficulty in knowing where to begin for the synopsis.

It is for a novel competition in my area and the synopsis is to be 2 pages long plus have a sample of 5,000 words from the book as well as my biography.

Does anyone have any advice or samples of a successful synopsis and how it should be layed out?

Thanks in advance!

#2 mwsinclair

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:30 AM

A novel competition accepts memoir? Sounds contradictory to me ... but anyway.

A synopsis is a boiled down version of your manuscript. In memoir, the manuscript needs to be written before it's ready to be queried, so I'm assuming you have a manuscript ready. Break it down into the most salient points and show how the manuscript moves. You're not making art. Be clear and concise. You've only got a couple pages.

I've not written a memoir, so I might be wrong on this point, but I believe the synopsis is written in third person even though the manuscript (and the query, for that matter) are in first person. If anyone can agree or disagree on that point, it would be helpful.

#3 lawoman

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:12 PM

Hi there,

Thank you for your reply. The competition accepts any genre except childrens literature so I feel it is worthwhile applying. Yes that s what I was in conflict with, my book is written in the first person yet I feel my sypnosis seems better written in 3rd. Here's a quick sample of what I was thinking for the sypnosis. Please do tell me what you think. Thanks.


54lbs. Fat bitch, she hissed. I can help you lose more though, as long as you trust me…

The memoir of LISA BOYLE, who at 14-years-old, began to create her own world – one where hunger mustn’t exist - a place where giving in to the hungers of the body is scorned at.

Having grown up in a chaotic and anxiety driven home, Lisa craves control more than anything else – making a deadly pact with anorexia to achieve it.

In order to escape her feelings of self-loathing and her inability to feel powerful, she decides to embark on a diet, with the hope that losing a few pounds will suddenly make life wonderful and lead her on the road to success.

Ironically, it only leads her deeper into the path of self-destruction - she becomes engrossed in an obsession with becoming the thinnest of them all and takes a sickening plunge into the darker side of reality.

She finds herself trapped within the hall of mirrors – where everything is dark, unearthly and tantalising.

Yet here she feels accepted - and willingly agrees to do anything she’s told to make it through to the other side.

Her body becomes the enemy and she is determined to beat the desires that the human craves. She ignores the pain, the momentary collapses, the bloodcurdling coldness, the sickening gnawing of the stomach, instead choosing to feast upon the mania that hunger brings, and the surging feeling of power that exudes her.

This memoir details a compelling and ferocious insight into the mind of the anorexic. Demonstrating just how quickly the disease can spiral, ‘STARVED’ illuminates society’s obsession with food and weight, life and death, and hunger and violence.

The book leads readers through the extreme highs and all-time lows of eating disorders and how quickly they can erode the body of life.

Flipping from real-life memories of the ravishing effects and consequences of anorexia - to gory scenes of a walking skeleton’s meltdown, when she is eventually hospitalised weighing just 54lbs, this book has no happy ever after, but merely honest portrayal of how turbulent the aftermath of eating disorders can be.

How this concludes is that although Lisa is now partially recovered, she still has to live with the voice that tells her she is too big, too worthless and undeserving.

An unflinching, alarmingly honest tale of ones battle with insanity caused by starvation.




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