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How To Write A Synopsis For A Movie

How To Write A Synopsis For A Movie

You may find it difficult or unnecessary when you finish the screenplay to write a synopsis too, but it’s a necessary marketing tool for selling the script. The reader, producer, or studio exec wants to read the subject of the screenplay then decide to read the full script or not. The synopsis gives an overview of the story and its composition, defining main points and factors like genre, style, character, or theme. Generally, a movie basis on a screenplay’s story and its purest form is called a movie synopsis.

You need to write 400 words or one-page synopsis to convince the reader it’s worth their valuable time. It would be best if you are skillful in writing a synopsis of the movie.

What Is A Movie Synopsis?

The movie’s synopsis summarizes the completed screenplay’s core concept, theme, character arc, and plot lines. A screenwriter primarily tries to convince film industry higher-ups to read the full script by their synopsis known as a one-pager.

How To Write A Synopsis For A Movie

When you write a synopsis of the movie, you better understand the formatting; it is shown below.

-Write a header

Start writing a synopsis; write the title of your story, your name, and contact information to make the reader understand it’s your synopsis, not someone else’s.

-Write a logline

Write a logline just before the first paragraph of the story to tell the reader what it is about.

-Summarize your screenplay

You should write the synopsis in the third person present tense as if your screenplay follows the traditional three-act structure then split it into three paragraphs. So one act for each section and summarize your story.

-Keep it short

The synopsis should have a standard length of the screenplay, one page, so it takes less time to read if the material speaks to them.

Why Should You Write A Movie Synopsis?

In the film industry, especially Hollywood, people don’t have enough time to read the whole story at first glance, so the synopsis is there to tell them what it is about. A professional screenwriter’s script may not even get read by the producers and pass the level. Still, entry-level screenwriters who need to email several producers would need to focus on a synopsis.

There is another reason too and that is that a script synopsis provides you control over how your script is perceived. You have the chance to present your idea and showcase your writing ability.

5 Tips For Writing A Compelling Movie Synopsis

Here are few helpful tips for writing a compelling movie synopsis for your screenplay.

Tip # 1. Stick to the main characters and plot point

Do not write unnecessary things while writing the synopsis; only tell the ground story and write the script’s main characters with the plot of the story.

Tip # 2. Write in the style of the movie’s genre

You may have seen many websites with movies where you can find the synopsis of the movies, so get the guideline and use language that explicitly associates with the tone of the screenplay’s genre. Such as if it’s comedy, drama, or thriller.

Tip #3. Create narrative propulsion

It shouldn’t feel like the missing or incomplete format, such as every beat must continue in the next moment to have a narrative purpose and launch the same beat.

Tip #4. Emphasize character development

You can hit the plot points in the synopsis and make sure the main character’s motivations are clear and throughout the summary. The main character must stand out from the other characters and not give details about them.

Tip #5. Spoil the ending

Do not spoil your script’s ending, but a satisfying conclusion to tie all loose ends should be introduced in the synopsis. Most people ruin the synopsis by adding unnecessary details and unfinished synopsis end spoiling the movie’s screenplay.

Synopsis Writing As A Selling Tool

When you finish writing the screenplay, you can now breakdown the story into prose to write a synopsis as a selling tool. It will help you market your script. It is typically one page or less and, for this reason, is called a one-pager. It can be either sent to the producer with query letter or left behind after a meeting hoping the industry will oblige your efforts by reading a well-written synopsis.

Synopsis Writing As A Story Tool

Synopsis writing must work as a story tool before starting the script/screenplay, attempting to tighten up the story on page to attract the reader. If the synopsis is good, the reader will read the whole script of the movie.

Synopsis, Logline and Treatment

You may have confusion in mind about these three terms, so you must know the difference between them because people may confuse loglines and treatments with the synopsis. These are similar terms though logline is one sentence script summary, the synopsis is a one-page summary, and treatment is a more prolonged scene-by-scene breakdown of the story. So do not confuse and write the synopsis according to the film story.


When you fully understand the requirements, formatting, and tricks of writing a synopsis, then it’s time to work. You can practice it with your fav films first and learn how important it is to tell the whole compelling story in 500 words. You can then apply this technique to your own story for a movie and write and rewrite the synopsis until you get the desired one.

Hopefully, you now understand how to write a synopsis for a movie and all the skills and formats of writing, do your best to carve the art. If the synopsis is attractive and easy to understand for the reader or producer, they will read your whole story; otherwise, never mind. So write it a better way, proofread it, check it twice, and then send it to the concerned person.

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