Thursday, January 09, 2014
Guess the Plot
Thoughts of Forever
1. A philosopher has a revolutionary idea to stop aging: To think is to be, so all he needs are Thoughts of Forever. Now if he can just escape the evil government agents and reach Tahiti with his hot blond assistant, he'll have it made!
2. Deep in the wilds of ... some western state or other that recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, a dude meditates on stuff that totally weirds out a dude’s brains. Like ... how high is up? Or ... when’s the end of forever? ... Or ...
3. Seventeen-year-old Kyle has never considered suicide--until he meets Cory. Together they discuss the idea that death is like entering an eternal dream. They make a suicide pact but Kyle goes through with it and Cory doesn't. It was all a trick by Cory who turns out to be Kyle's evil imaginary friend.
4. Twelve-year-old Jenny's classmates call her "Forever" because once she starts talking, she goes on and on forever. At the suggestion of her favorite teacher, she tries expressing herself through writing instead. But when Jenny loses her backpack at the mall, a desperate literary agent happens upon her diary. Soon the chatty seventh-grader finds herself the bestselling author of a memoir filled with the . . . Thoughts of Forever.
5. Johnny Dupa experiments with old adages. He's already stapled a piece of jelly toast to the back of a cat, and tossed them both in the air. Now Johnny's contemplating eternity. If an hour with his girlfriend seems like a moment, and a moment with his hand on a lit kitchen burner seems like forever--what if he does both at the same time? Hilarity ensues.
6. The wait at the Emergency Room. The span of time it takes water to boil. The excruciating delay between sugar plum dreaming and waking Christmas morning. All of these exceed the length of her last marriage, but Kim K. Is determined to be a bride again. This time, on network TV with her new reality show: Thoughts of Forever.
Kyle is a junior in high school with a wonderful girlfriend, a pesky yet loveable little sister, and parents that care deeply about their children. On his seventeenth birthday, [A quick scan down the page reveals that there's no paragraphing. This leads me to fear that the book has no paragraphing. This leads me to scrap this and move on to something that does have paragraphing. Wait, am I seriously that petty?] Kyle goes out to dinner with his family. After being seated, his little sister, Kim, asks to go to the restroom by herself, rather than being escorted by a parent. After some teasing about being so worried, their Kim’s mother Cherri reluctantly agrees to let her go. While searching for the bathroom Kim is kidnapped, and a witness immediately calls the authorities. It is while the police are questioning the woman who reported the crime that a gunshot is heard outside, and the family loses their beloved Kim. [The family vow never to patronize this restaurant again.] [Unless it's to order takeout, because hey, the ribs are to die for.] After the funeral a few days later, Kyle notices tension rising between his parents, causing him to shut down emotionally. This creates a barrier between him and his girlfriend, Elle, which she cannot break through. Cherri and her husband, Evan, continue to fight at home, and issues over responsibility of Kim’s death [Is it Cherri's fault for relenting and letting Kim go to bathroom alone? Or Evan's fault for mocking Cherri's caution until she finally gave in? Normally I'd blame Evan, but Cherri spells her name with an "i."] [Then again, Evan married a woman who spells Cherri with an "i."] and emotional vacancy drive the wedge further and further between the two. Kyle’s frustration mounts, and it is evident to everybody in his social circle. Elle is deeply affected by his sudden lack of affection and perpetual coldness, and she ends things with him. It is only shortly after this that Cherri and her husband, Evan, decide to split for the time being. In a fit of tears, Kyle hops in his car and carelessly weaves through the streets until he reaches Kim’s grave, where he goes to calm down and experience some solace with thoughts of his sister who loved him so dearly. Here Kyle meets a fellow teenager, Cory, who talks with Kyle briefly, and provides some comfort. After parting here, Kyle returns home and gets his first full night’s sleep since before all of the tragedy. Evan soon comes back to visit with Kyle and see how he is holding up, only to be shut out by his son. Kyle walks outside to clear his head where he meets Cory again, and they talk. They quickly become best friends, and Cory acts as a confidante as well as an advice giver. With Cory’s help, Kyle gets the nerve to talk to Elle again, only to be rejected. Kyle’s parents approach him with talks of a finalized divorce days later, and he again walks outside in hopes of finding Cory, who always seems to be around outside when Kyle needs it. This time Cory has a dark look in his eye, one caused by a harrowing pain that Kyle felt he could understand. Together they discuss life, and how much better everything is when they’re asleep. They fall in love with the prospect of dreams, of an escape from their realities. After a few talks of their affinity with dreams, Cory asks Kyle how often he contemplates suicide, to which Kyle reports never. Yet the idea does not put Kyle off, instead he envisions it as entering an eternal dream. Together they make a pact, and hang themselves in Kyle’s room. After not hearing from their son in over 24 hours, Evan and Cherri barge into his room only to see their son hanging in the center of the room, eyes fixated on the empty noose in front of him.
Hard to buy a guy leaving a restaurant with a hostage, and when the cops show up, presumably a few minutes later, the guy is still right outside with his hostage. And then he decides to fire a gun just in case the cops are too stupid to look around outside. Maybe he was raping Kim but you didn't include that because it would make the book seem like a downer?
Most people who read books as their escape from reality don't want to read about a family that goes through the violent death of one child, a divorce, and the suicide of their other child.
Paragraphing would make this 100% better, but it would still need a lot of work. Unfortunately, while I would prefer that it be a lot shorter, (I'd get rid of Elle for starters) there's no telling how long a synopsis should be. It should be however long the editor wants it to be. My advice is to peddle your book to someone who doesn't want a synopsis.
The lengthy section between the kidnapping and the suicide talk has a listy quality. As if you could just stick "And then" in front of every sentence. Better to choose the most important events and elaborate on them in layers than to list as many events as possible.
If Kyle somehow felt responsible for Kim's (mostly accidental) death, there'd a more interesting family dynamic. Feeling like he's to blame, and/or like his parents feel he's to blame, leading to suicide. The only connection between Kim's death and Kyle's is that Cory might not have entered the scene without Kim's death. You've made Kyle's suicide sound more like an experiment to find out if death leads to eternal dreaming than a reaction to what's happened to his family.
Who was doing the teasing? I assume the father, as he and Cherri argued about responsibility. Was Kyle joining in?