Scene Prompt #13: The Synopsis

We’re going back to basics here, which I was reminded of as I flipped through a book by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett.

You don’t have to just sit down and immediately start drafting “in scene”, beat-by-motivationally-reacted-unit-beat (this post is coming). Instead, you can take a couple minutes and summarize the scene to both give you an idea of what’s happening, what’s important, and keep you from veering off into conversations or actions that aren’t relevant.

I like to think of my one-paragraph scene summary as a suitcase. I take a few minutes to write my scene summary, essentially packing my suitcase. Then, with an idea of how the scene begins, progresses (maybe), and ends, I open my suitcase and start unpacking it. Unfolding the pieces, pairing up outfits, smoothing the wrinkles. Doing this breaks the scene down into even smaller chunks (some call these beats), and I don’t know about you, but smaller steps feel less pressured and I get them done faster.

So, think of the scene you want to write. Don’t worry about getting your first words about it perfect. Don’t even worry about making them “in scene.” Just write a summary, a sentence, a paragraph, something that covers the who, what, where, when, why of what happens. Then go back and unpack your scene.

Books Mentioned in this Post


Well, that’s it for me!

If you found this post helpful, please . . .

1. Like it and share it! There are share buttons below . . .

2. Subscribe to the Blog to receive the Tools in your inbox as soon as they post:

3. Subscribe to the Newsletter. It’s a monthly-to-quarterly-ish (that’s still vastly overstating it) newsletter to share news and free worksheets and whatnot. Your welcome email will include the 19-page Character Development Workbook. You can subscribe here.

4. And if you found it particularly helpful . . .

Buy Me a Coffee at

Also, people have been hiring me to review their loglines with the kind of analysis seen here and here, and I’m enjoying it. So, if you think your logline (or something else!) might benefit from a looksie and want to hire me to review it, email me at writeswithtools @ gmail dot com.



2 thoughts on “Scene Prompt #13: The Synopsis

So... whadaya think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s