Below are examples of a short synopsis of the plot.
Compare the following:
The novel I’m going to write about is ‘The Cone-Gatherers’ by Robin Jenkins. It is set during WW2 and takes place on a Highland estate. Two brothers are sent to the estate to collect pine cones for the seed to re-establish the forest after it is felled.The plot revolves around the relationships between the brothers, one of whom is mentally disabled, a hunchback, and is the subject of a hate campaign by the local gamekeeper, who is himself increasingly unstable.The story also shows the class system that was in existence at the time and how people lived and worked in a remote area which causes more stresses amongst them.The plot has three main turning points including a deer hunt, a storm and the final tragedy, when the disabled brother is shot and killed by the now deranged gamekeeper, who then kills himself with the same gun.
This provides a summary of the central concerns of the text, but it is too long and detailed to act as an introduction to an essay.
Now consider this one:
Robin Jenkins’s ‘The Cone-Gatherers’ is a moving story about endurance and human suffering. Set in WWII in the Scottish Highlands, it focuses on a series of events that occur between two brothers, who are sent to collect seed cones to replant a forest after it was cut down. Duror the game-keeper, a central protagonist, harbours a destructive hatred for the cone-gatherers, particularly Calum, and as the novel unfolds we see how damaging such feelings can be when left to grow unchecked.
This is concise and to the point, and it introduces the central elements of the story.