Tense and Voice
As much as possible, synopses should be written in the simple present tense. Use the past and future tenses only when necessary. For example, the past tense may be used to describe backstory events, while the future tense may be used for questions about the future.
Synopses should always be written in the third person. Under no exception may you use the first or second person. As such, do not write commands to the reader.
The passive voice is when a recipient of an action is the grammatical subject of a sentence. Do not use the passive voice unless there is a strong, compelling reason to do so. In the vast majority of sentences, the active voice is both more direct and compelling. However, there are occasions when the passive voice may be better. This is often the case when the doer of the action is either unknown or insignificant, as in the sentences below.
- Nakayama impulsively steals the record, which sets her on a path to uncovering its disquieting origin. (Doer is both known and significant)
- Unable to abandon the child, she names him "Heart" and raises him in exile alongside her own child. (Doer is both known and significant)