When/How are twists revealed in a synopsis?

I’ve already done searches on synopsis writing and gotten general information on the types of summaries, outlines or synopses sometimes asked for and how they are formatted. And I understand that a synopsis reveals all the relevant twists and ending.

But the articles I’ve found haven’t mentioned how to address plots in which a twist is revealed later in the story.

For example,

details from my plot and synopsis

if a character is introduced early in the work, but toward the end of the work he’s revealed to secretly be another character’s brother, how would that be summarized?

Would one say in summarizing the early chapter something like “They follow Julien to the brownstone of gallery owner MANDY VALOIS who unknown to them at the time is Joy’s twin brother Oizys”?

Or, would I not use his alias but write “They follow Julien to a brownstone where Joy’s brother OIZYS is living under the alias of a local gallery owner?”

Or, do I not reveal the twist until summarizing the portion of the work that reveals it. First writing “They follow Julien to the brownstone of MANDY VALOIS, whom River suspects deals in cocaine as well as art” and then later “Mandy reveals that he’s OIZYS the twin brother of Joy!”


@KaranSeraph Probably the last one. In this case, you could do something where there’s a fact that only the two siblings would know and one accidentally mentions it.

1 Like


I think part of the reason I’m so shaky on this is that not being experienced with synopses in general, I don’t have a good feel for the style/voice they are in. I mean, I kinda suspect they aren’t in POV at all, it’s like I the author am telling an editor what happens in the work.

But I could be wrong. There could still be some element of POV expected where I relate information in the order the characters learn it.


Maybe I can find more articles on how to do this.

The general take on the voice is that it needs to be in present tense and fairly neutral. however, I found that using the same tone you use in your novel makes for an extra punch. But that’s for you to decide. Neutral is safe. Using the plot points as struts for your synopsis is key.

1 Like

Hey @KaranSeraph - writing you from Wattpad HQ!
Great Q. I’ll echo @lhansenauthor in saying that using your plot points to assemble your synopsis is a great place to start. Try outlining the main points of your story that move the plot along. From there, it’ll probably be easier for you to gague how to showcase your story twists. I actually think all of your suggestions are good ones. You can allude to the idea that we’ll later discover Many is Joy’s brother, OR you can use your third option - “Mandy reveals that he’s the twin brother of Joy” - as that’s a pretty major plot point that you’ve likely slotted in in your first round :slight_smile:

In regards to what POV you should be writing from - generally, this is you as an author relaying the plot to a reader. You can match your tone to the story (if it’s a horror, use language that embodies this. If it’s a quirky comedy, you can be lighter in your own tone).

I hope this helps!

1 Like

Thanks, @Leah, and @lhansenauthor what you each said was helpful.

I’ve focused on writing within a character POV so much (especially given the amount of advice on Wattpad about making the work itself immersive and engaging) that when it came to the style of writing needed for pitch materials or a synopsis I was having trouble understanding how much it was OK to be more distant, tell-y, and summarize.

But it did clarify it for me a lot when you (Leah) said it was appropriate to treat it like I the author am relating the information, but then to use language or word choice appropriate to the genre. If as the author I omnisciently know all the details about the story, I can reveal things as they happen, even if the characters had to take chapters to figure things out.

So, I have a lot of work to do, but now have a clearer idea what I need to do. :slight_smile:

I’ve written my fair share of synopses for my novels and I can tell you, that plot twists within such a format is a matter of luck and timing. If you can lull your reader (or audience) into a situation where the premise of the story is mapped out to the mid-point of the synopsis, chances are the rest of it is going to be a cakewalk.

Because then you’ll have some idea on how to “wrap things up” on a good note and give your target audience a bone to chew on because they stuck with you this far with your synopsis.