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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > March 2016 > Under the microscope

Under the microscope

Author and lecturer James McCreet looks at a sample novel synopsis and considers the best ways to proceed

Synopsis of Dandelion Days by Susan Davy 1

It is 19842 and near the Somerset village of Cheddar3 septugenarian cheese-maker Ephraim Drake 4 makes himself a cup of heartburn-easing dandelion tea. The heartburn vanishes almost immediately, as does the pain from his arthritic hip... and his short-sightedness.5 His wife Margaret is surprised that night by the return of his libido.6

Thus begins a change in fortunes for the previously unlucky Drakes.7 Surprised by his father’s health, cheese-maker John Drake 8 finds his hayfever cured by the tea. His wife Celia, meanwhile, has started talking about having more babies and begins to ambush John in various al fresco attempts at impregnation.9 Their two teenage children, Jenna and Jacob,10 are suddenly getting top marks at school.11 That’s when Ephraim suggests putting dandelion extract in some of their cheeses.12

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Slow down! Why word counts and targets aren't always good for your writing Synopsis secrets: The single page that will sell your book Top tips for every genre:- • Crime: Perfect pacemaking • Five ways to grow creatively as a children's author • Explore the new trend for genre-blending fantasy Masterclass: Study the style and stories of Henry Fielding, James Thurber, Rudyard Kipling and Roald Dahl Star interview: Anne O'Brien, the challenger to Philippa Gregory's crown WIN! A PC worth £600

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