Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Amazon.com is hosting its annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest in the coming weeks. Since deadlines appear to suit my needs well, and I’m editing my 1st novel, this writing contest is just what the doctor ordered.

Now comes the even tougher part of novel writing (tougher than editing, which, as you know, I despise): choosing a 3000 to 5000 word excerpt for the contest and write a 300 word synopsis of the book.

In graduate school, I found the synopsis to be helpful and easy to write. It let you hone in on your argument by breaking it down into a few short sentences. Books are different. How do you tell your reader what your book is about without, well, giving the whole book away?

With fiction like mine that focuses on actual ideas, fiction where the story is actually the vehicle which I use to make a point, do I focus my synopsis on the point I’m trying to make? Or, do I focus my synopsis on the main character and the surface plotline?

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