Guess the Plot
Will to Live
1. A man named Will has lost the will to live, but botches his suicide attempt. He moves in with his brother's family even though he and his brother hate each other, and finds meaning in life by watering sunflowers. Yes, it's litfic.
2. Grandma Gretchen has spent the last ninety years tormenting her offspring and their offspring by adding and removing them from her will. Now that they have the opportunity to pull the plug, are their names in or out?
3. In a world where death only happens to those who want it, Levi Young has the unique job of an assassin. Yet what should he do when his next target is a small girl that already has lost the will to live yet still cannot die?
4. Princess Fywa is beset by many troubles. The National Bank refuses her deposits because the vault is full of her gold already. The Royal Architect informs her the new palace construction is delayed by a shortage of brass and he must substitute silver. And the Borgos, her nation's arch enemies, demand they be permitted to surrender unconditionally. Can Fywa reach deep within herself and find the will to go on?
5. Multi-billionaire octogenarian J. Frothingham Eveready has a gold-digging wife and five wastrel sons, yet writes a new will splitting his fortune among them. His beneficiaries impatiently await his demise, unaware of an obscure codicil he negotiated with the devil that provides him with decades of amusement as he keeps going, and going, and going...
6. After more than ten years of reading query letters, a famous editor decides to bag it all and move to Saskatchewan. It's either that or kill yourself when you've lost the . . . will to live.
Hi there EE, two versions of a synopses, unfortunately I'm not up to writing things consicevely yet. Hopefully you can tell me what to cut out of the first synopsis presented so i can fit the whole plot within your 400 word count because I had to cut it off to fit it in the 400.
The title I have right now is "Will to live" and it's a awful pun because it's about a guy called Will who keeps thinking about killing himself and has to find himself reasons not to do it, day to day.
Will was always good at getting things ‘right’. Some people thought right was boring, be [but] he didn't mind. He’d scored high in his CPA; the right marks. He made the right money, worked for the right agency, and secured the right property for the right price with the right fiancé on his arm– but when until the most important piece of the equation walks walked away on her own two feet, apologising as though unfit to perform a duty, his touch begins to evade him.
One lowly night Will tries to kill himself, but these days it seems he can’t even carry get that out right, and the attempt fails. He’s just thankful that his whacko mother Gwendolyn is deemed unfit to be his caretaker after the attempt. He can only stomach so many chocolate-cream pies and the woman’s cloying attempts to settle his hair for him with a set of old, false nails. He eats too much crap already.
He knows his self-apathy had everything to do with Elise’s decision to leave him.
At a young-minded eighteen, Kaylen Piper fled his childhood home as well as his stepmother Gwendolyn, along with her psychos by-proxy. He’d had stubble on his chin and carried little more than the two hundred dollars that were folded crudely into the seams of his wallet. There was an overwhelming feeling of lightness as he left.
His half-brother William had been the good son, the favourite, the one that could play Mozart and Bach. Perhaps more Most importantly than anything else he Will was the legitimate son of their father’s marriage, and his arrival had put Kaylen into an eternal shadow he could not escape, no matter how hard he tried to do things "right".
Kaylen hasn’t spoken to his snobby little brother since leaving home - discounting the forged and awkward “Hellos” that were necessary at his stepmother’s gaudy Christmas parties back in the days he kept contact- But when the cops call on account of Will’s suicidal condition, the risk of another attempt places a heavy burden on Kaylen’s conscience. Will begrudgingly moves in to learn his brother is married with two young children, two innocents, to step around. Kaylen’s ferocious manager-wife pushes the brothers to resolve their past differences after years of estrangement, but they only seem to grow more hateful with all that was left unsaid. Will’s solace comes in the form of a child untainted by any knowledge of what is happening – Sylvia, his four year old niece. He watches her water the sunflowers in her quiet garden around the side of the house, sees her draw humorously grotesque caricatures of her unhappy parents with bitten-up Crayola’s, and he catches her dancing to the wiggles when she thinks no one is there. Her cautionary attitude towards her sad, quiet uncle gives way to an eagerness for friendship when they water the sunflowers together, and when he begins to teaches her lots about the bugs in her sunflower patch. When he was four, he liked learning about bugs, too.
I have a short earlier version of the Synopsis that includes the whole plot here, but it's less thought out. Please compare them:
Will just tried to kill himself, but he couldn’t even get that right. He is thankful that his mother is deemed ‘unfit’ to be his caretaker after the attempt. He can only stomach so many chocolate-cream pies and the woman’s cloying attempts to settle his hair for him with a set of old, false nails. He already eats too much chocolate, anyway.
Kaylen has not spoken to Will, his little brother, in years. But when the cops call the risk of another attempt places a heavy burden on his conscience. Will moves in to find that Kaylen is now married with two young children. His ferocious manager-wife calls Will a drunk and pours all his wine down the sink. She pushes the brothers to resolve their past after years of estrangement, but they only seem to grow more hateful with all that was left unsaid. His Will's solace comes from watching his four year old niece Sylvia water her sunflowers in a quiet garden, or seeing her dance to the wiggles when she thinks no one is there. But Sylvia’s shyness gives way to an eagerness for friendship when he begins to teaches her lots about the bugs in her sunflower patch. When he was four, he liked learning about bugs, too.
Will’s boss finds him so invaluable to his business that he can’t allow him more than a few weeks off. Actually, Will’s boss just doesn’t want Will to get any worse, and knows that a part of Will dies whenever he isn’t being useful to the needs of other people. Will’s boss has a cousin visiting from London. She is fond of wine, spontaneous holidays, one-night stands, and other hastily-made half-baked decisions. She is also fond of her cousin’s chubby accountant and his sarcastic, self-depreciating [deprecating] humour. She is nothing like his sweet ex-fiancé, and Will only ever wanted to get married, have children, and buy a house miles away from everyone else’s house. Still lost after the slow decay of his failed engagement - and with a four year old’s friendship his main comfort - he prepares himself for an entirely different kind of romance with the hedonic [hedonistic] Ada that is sure to end in complete disaster.
The second version is better, because if you're not going to tell us what happens in your book, you may as well not tell us in as few words as possible. The second version also brings in Ada, who is presumably a key character in answering the questions: What happens? Why are we reading about this? What decision must Will make that will affect the future? What are the pros and cons of each option? What events most profoundly influence the characters' lives?
The first version can be reduced to: After a failed suicide attempt, Will Piper moves in with his brother Kaylen's family and forms a bond with his four-year-old niece Sylvia.
The second version at least has a hint that something will happen with Ada, but neither has enough of the plot. A synopsis should summarize the key plot points. Start over.