Writing Tools


A synopsis covers the story narrative in broad strokes. There are specifics but no details. I don't have my original synopsis for the development of "No Fat," but since many people ask what a synopsis is, I wrote this one after the script existed so you could see what a prototypical example might look like.

When you write a synopsis of your story, as I suggest in The TV Writer's Workbook, it won't be as tidy and perfectly on story, because, of course, you won't know your story yet. Your synopsis is a developmental tool to help you create your story. When your script is finished you may write a new synopsis that will accurately reflect the final version and you can use that synopsis to interest someone in reading your spec--two very different purposes; and therefore, two very different synopses.

"No Fat"

Ray's favorite meal of the year, Thanksgiving is threatened because Marie has changed her cooking to health food only. When Ray discovers that she is planning a tofu turkey, he secretly orders a traditional feast from a restaurant, which gets delivered just when they are all confronted with the disappointing meal Marie has made. Marie, humiliated and hurt disappears into her kitchen. Ray feels horribly guilty, but not so guilty that he won't eat the good stuff. Debra supports Marie's efforts and shames Ray into apologizing to his Mom and eating the meal she prepared. They all finally do have a happy (yummy ) Thanksgiving later that night when Ray catches Marie sneaking the restaurant turkey out of his refrigerator.