Thursday, March 01, 2012

Synopsis 30

Guess the Plot


1. Bee-baw, bee-baw, WOOoo, WOOoo, WOOoo, bee-baw, bee-baw, prrruh, prrruh, woop, woop, bee-baw.

2. Jenny’s every moment on the job is calculated to move her toward a detective’s gold shield. Then the good ol’ boys controlling the department steal the siren from her squad car. To every crime scene, she now arrives last, dooming her to a career guarding the evidence room.

3. Thanks to amnesia, Rina thinks she's a typical boring Canadian, when in fact she's an evil siren. When she starts a romantic relationship with a harpist, her memory returns and she heads for the Aeolian Islands to seek salvation by committing a double murder. Don't worry, it makes sense in the book.

4. When Brent Sound discovers the remains of a famous ghost ship crashed on the reefs near the Salvo lighthouse, he loots the wreckage and burns the evidence. Now he just has to deal with the wailing ghosts.

5. Twins Bill and Tina discover their grandfather's old air raid equipment, a mysterious stairway into the ground, and finally--a survival shelter! They can't wait to party. Only, why are there laser cannons? And what does this button do?

6. Dr. Rupert Brown is Siren. Professor of science by day, vanquisher of evil by night, quite possibly the only superhero who’s yet to catch a villain in his twenty years on the job. Something seems to be tipping them off.

Original Version

Info about the book:
Thank you for the consideration of my manuscript titled Siren. This story is in the paranormal/romance genre and has approximately 75,000 word count. Based in modern times Siren takes place from the Aeolian Islands to Canada. Because of the nature of the genre, Siren has multiple book potential. [Actually, any book in any genre has multiple book potential, unless all the characters are dead, the author is dead, and the galaxy in which the story is set has been destroyed.] [Even then, you can expect prequels if the book sold well.]


Rina has no idea she is a murderer. She lives a boring and plain life after being diagnosed with amnesia. However, there is nothing ordinary about her because Rina is a siren. She is rescued among the survivors of a cruise ship accident in the Aeolian Islands. While distracted by her part in the destruction, one of her sisters attempts to kill her by pushing her off the cliff. [What cliff?] [It's never good when the cruise ship you're on is anywhere near a cliff.] [If she was found among the survivors, I assume she was in the water or on the beach, nowhere near a cliff.]

Rina is befriended by her hospital roommate, Sasha an outgoing and sweet girl, but grieving for the loss of her fiancé in the accident. Sasha takes care of Rina, brings her home to Canada, and teaches her basic living skills. [If you have amnesia to the extent you not only don't know who you are, but lack basic living skills, is a hospital going to release you? In the custody of a Canadian?] They bond and create a friendship that isolates them from anyone else.

While working and living in Canada, Rina struggles with her condition. She over examines every detail of her life looking for clues to her original identity. During the process she continually misses the fact that she has an effect on the humans. [Possibly because she's isolated from all humans except Sasha.] She has the ability to influence anyone with her voice, even heal the ill.

When she meets a local musician named Linx she discovers that she has a talent for singing and playing the harp. [She's influencing people, healing people, meeting people . . . In what way is she isolated?] By taking Rina to visit the children’s ward in the local hospital Linx teaches her to have compassion for mankind, she begins to fall for him. She holds back her emotions for Linx in fear. Fear for [of] disrupting the friendship she has with Sasha, fear that there is a husband out there looking for her, and fear because falling in love is just plain scary. [Also, fear that, by night, he is the supervillain known as The Lynx.]

When Rina finally finds the courage to begin a relationship with Linx, her reality hits, Rina remembers. She suddenly realises her previous fears pale in comparison to the truth. She is an evil siren.

Driven by guilt Rina finds herself heading back to the island, leaving the two people she ever loved behind. She is ready to kill her sisters as the beginning of a long journey to salvation. [I love you, Linx, and as soon as I finish committing double homicide I'll be ready to commit myself to you 100%.]

Upon arriving she is noticed by one of her sisters and is tricked into thinking it was the other sister that tried to kill her. [Are her sisters twins? Because a book featuring both a mix-up of twins and amnesia--two things that have happened far more often in books than in reality--is gonna be a hard sell.] Rina is taken by surprise again and her sister tries to throw her into the ocean. Rina is better prepared and clings to her arm before she could fall. The offending sister suddenly topples over Rina’s head, over the cliff and onto the rocks. [Is this the same cliff? If my sister tried to push me off a cliff to my death, no way am I going back and standing on the edge of that cliff or any cliff, with that sister, another sister, or anyone else.] The remaining sister, Acassia, saves Rina.

Acassia promises not the to hurt humans anymore and Rina lets her live. [Acassia promises? Rina's the one who's a murderer. She probably caused the cruise ship crash. Acassia just saved Rina. Acassia sounds like the only good sister.] They part ways and Rina heads home to Canada, preparing to lie to her friends about her true identity. [I think she should come clean. "You know that cruise ship crash that left you in the hospital and ruined your vacation, Sasha? Guilty. With an explanation.] With her regained knowledge she plans to use her powers to heal the ill and make up for her unforgivable actions as a siren. [Canada has free medical care. If she wants to heal the ill she should be in central Africa, not Saskatoon.]


I assume Rina was not a passenger on the cruise ship, as there would be records of who was aboard, and they would figure out her identity. On the other hand, if she wasn't on the ship, she might live somewhere near the Aeolian Islands, so if she's thinking there might be a husband somewhere looking for her, shouldn't she hang out there instead of going to Canada?

If you're gonna name Acassia, you may as well name the other sister, instead of calling her "the offending sister."

No one named Lynx plays a harp. Either change his name or change his instrument.

This isn't clear enough, and it's boring. Start with Rina's role in the cruise ship destruction. Did she do it for fun? Why did her sister try to push her to her death? Why does she set out to kill her sisters? If she's happy for the first time ever, why not stay in Canada? With some character motivation added, we might understand and care about Rina. But I doubt it; most readers of romance want the heroine to be more like Sasha than Rina. Someone they can like throughout the book, not just after she gives up her life of killing humans for sport and even postpones the romance until after she murders her sisters.

If Sasha were the main character, helping Rina recover, then dealing with the fact that Rina's an evil siren and helping her become a good siren . . .


danicapage said...

Your critique of this synopsis was very insightful. If I ever get to writing a synopsis, I'll have to keep your tips in mind.

Khazar-khum said...

Is Rina dating Andreas Vollenweider?

I am confused about the plot. Rina remembers nothing of her old life? Fine. Was she on the ship? If not, why mention it?

What happened to make her forget her identity?

EE, if you think Rina being taken in by a Canadian is bad, imagine what would happen to her if she was taken in by a Californian or New Yorker.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Before you write your synopsis, please spend some time learning the care and feeding of the humble sentence.

By taking Rina to visit the children’s ward in the local hospital Linx teaches her to have compassion for mankind, she begins to fall for him.

Rina is better prepared and clings to her arm before she could fall.

While distracted by her part in the destruction, one of her sisters attempts to kill her by pushing her off the cliff.

If you reread each of the above sentences and they still sounded fine to you, consider take a class.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

lol-- I mean consider TAKING a class.

We both should.

Rashad Pharaon said...

You know, I very much liked your idea of a siren who is capable of influencing others while not knowing she could. On a side note, I'm kind of curious how she found out about this talent? Did she experiment on Lynx's dog?

But I do like the idea, the influence and healing part. This is a good start, just needs to be tightened up. I just am a little muddled by the cliffs and fears and all the sisters. Wait. Is this about a harem?

150 said...

I thought the same thing as AK, but pulled out totally different sentences--and looking back, I notice many of them need work just to be correct, let alone elegant. Grammar will damn this submission no matter how good your synopsis gets. Take the class and scour the manuscript first.

none said...

Can she remember whether the coastguard was yelling at the captain of the cruise ship to get back onboard?

So she has autobiographical AND procedural amnesia? If you have no idea of the meaning of that sentence, please do more research.

Rashad Pharaon said...

I think the author has an interesting idea which didn't translate well on a synopsis. I know it's hard to cram a whole manuscript into a page or two. My advice is to read a book on the subject or take a class. And read all the questions posted here and do answer them. Don't ignore them. By no means am I a synopsis guru, so this is all very helpful.

none said...

I'm not convinced. Rina's story is that she must cease to be an evil siren; ie she must learn that it's for her to control men's sexual urges, not for them? Quite the story for our times. Not.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

This isn't ready. I'm worried the ms repeats the problems we see in the synopsis.

Missing fundamentals. Roll up the sleeves, cover the ground.

The premise isn't in question (except for U-Know-Whu-Old-What's-His-Muttonchops).

miles zarathustra said...

snarky comments need a spell-check: "feraturing"?

other than that, amusing and informative as always.

Evil Editor said...

Thanks. Fixed. I knew a typo would slip past me one of these years.

Other than that, a grammar check would have shown your failure to capitalize the first word of both your sentences.

none said...

EE, you forgot to hiss.