Thursday, October 23, 2014

Synopsis 42

On her sixteenth-birthday, Junie’s best friend Joe warns her of her gangster-leaning, hip-hop singing, driving habits, but Junie won’t listen. She ends up crashing her birthday car into a ditch, almost killing herself. [Joe was right. The accident was caused by Junie's poor taste in music.] On top of her accident, Junie is attacked by a cello-toting homeless guy named Hagi who leaves her a cryptic note. When Junie gets to school the next day, [She has a car wreck so horrendous she almost dies, yet she's back in school the next day? I'd expect at least a two-week hospital stay.] she narrowly avoids a hair-pulling, nail-scratching catfight with her school’s bully, Rebecca Umpteenth, [Umpteenth? Really?] because Viscount appears in the school office. [Was she about to engage in this "cat fight" in the school office?] [And who is Viscount?] Viscount is one of the 25 immortals, [You're assuming I know who you mean by the 25 immortals, which I do, having read the query, but I think the synopsis should work independently.] and he tells her that she is in danger and she must leave the school now and go with him. [A stranger telling a 16-year-old to leave school is like a stranger telling a 4-year-old to come with him and he'll give her candy. Irresistible.]

Junie finds out from Viscount that because of her accident and almost-death the other day, the men become aware of her presence. She is the reincarnation of a witch named Riveya, who poisoned 25 men with her love potion in order to gain control of Crown Realm. [Whoa. And she buys this? Does he offer any evidence that this isn't just a wild fantasy story he made up to get her to follow him?] Viscount tells her that some men want to kill Riveya, and since she is her reincarnation, she is in danger. When Viscount leaves to protect Junie’s parents, [From what?] Junie searches through his base and finds evidence that she cannot trust his words. [This is backwards. If someone tells you you're the incarnation of a witch, you don't look for evidence that he's lying; you demand evidence that he isn't lying.] She finds evidence Viscount stalked her far earlier than her past birthday.

Eventually, Junie decides she can no longer be normal and teams up with Viscount, transporting herself to Crown Realm [Transporting herself? What does that mean?] to discover how to end the curse. Junie has to lie to her best friend Joe, who knows something is wrong and calls her trying to find out. [Apparently Crown Realm has excellent cell phone service. I was thinking it was in another dimension or something. Where is it?] She also has to lie to Rebecca, who has become suspicious and more aggressive following her kidnapping from Tev. [Tev? What's Tev?] Plus, Junie has no idea what to tell her parents about her sudden behavior. [I thought Junie was in Crown Realm. Where are her parents?] The police tail her [The Crown Realm police?] because of her connection with Tev's actions in kidnapping Rebecca. [You said Rebecca was kidnapped from Tev. Now it sounds like she was kidnapped by Tev.] [Why was Rebecca kidnapped?]

Junie’s efforts to uncover the cure for the love potion are thwarted by another boyfriend, Aren, who has is the reigning King of Crown Realm. Aren does not want to be cured of the love potion, because he likes being immortal. Aren wants to use Junie to kill the other immortals- or rather, immobilize them by decapitation. [The king should have an army at his disposal, which would be more efficient at decapitating 25 guys than one 16-year-old girl would.]

Finally, Junie comes head-to-head with Tev, saving police officers from his destruction. She wins with no help from anyone else. Her victory is cut short when she finds out her best friend Joe has been transformed into an immortal boyfriend himself by a witch from Riveya’s plan. [A witch from Riveya's plan? What does that mean?]


The synopsis seems highly disorganized. This will convince the reader that the book has the same problem. If you're convinced this book is ready to be published, I recommend going through an agent or publisher that doesn't require a synopsis.

A better idea might be to set the book aside while you work on another project or two and then read it and decide if it's salvageable. If the synopsis is an accurate summary of Junie's story, the plot may need an overhaul.


InkAndPixelClub said...

The synopsis is disorganized. The query is disorganized. I try to work from the assumption that the manuscript is great and the query or synopsis just needs revising to reflect how great it is. What I can understand of your story sounds like it could be fun, but I am worried that the leaps of logic and lack of connection between plot points are indicative of the book.

"...Joe warns her of her gangster-leaning, hip-hop singing, driving habits..."

This is awkward phrasing. He could warn her about her driving habits, or better still, warn her that her driving habits are likely to get her in an accident.

I had no idea what purpose the cello-toting homeless guy served in the query and I still don't know. He never shows up again. You don't say what the note says or what it means. Does he belong in the book at all?

Even if Junie is gullible enough to buy the "I'm one of your 25 immortal boyfriends from a past life" story, no school staffer would.

What is Crown Realm? You keep introducing people and places without any explanation of what they are. Presumably, Viscount tells Junie what Crown Realm is, so you need to let us in on that conversation.

Juniw goes straight from uncovering evidence that Viscount is untrustworthy to teaming up with him. "Eventually" is not a good word to have in a synopsis. An agent or editor is going to want to know what happens.

What's so bad about having to lie to Rebecca? All we know about her is that she almost had a huge fight with Junie, she's the school bully, and I guess she was kidnapped at some point? Who cares if Junie lies to her?

"...who has become suspicious and more aggressive following her kidnapping from Tev."

The same problems I mentioned before. There's the awkward phrasing, which led to EE understandably thinking Tev was a place that Rebecca was taken from. You introduce Tev without any explanation of who or what he is. Rebecca was apparently kidnapped and either escaped or was released at some point before this, but you didn't think it was necessary to mention it until now. This is making it very hard to tell what's important in your story or how it all fits together.

"...Junie has no idea what to tell her parents about her sudden behavior."

Junie can have a sudden change in behavior, but her behavior itself can't be sudden.

"...Aren, who has is the reigning King of Crown Realm"


"Finally, Junie comes head-to-head with Tev, saving police officers from his destruction. She wins with no help from anyone else."

This means nothing to me. I don't know who Tev is, what he can do, or why Junie is up against him. It seemed like you were setting up Aren as the antagonist, since he has a motive to stop Junie from finding a cure for the love/immortality potion and an evil plan. But he just shows up and disappears. I also don't know who I should have expected to help Junie, or why they didn't. Viscount the lying stalker? Nerdy buddy Joe? Mom and Dad?

So the end is that Junie beats the mysterious Tev for reasons unknown, but discovers that another witch has turned her friend immortal? Is this a happy ending or a sad one? Are you trying for a sequel?

If the manuscript makes sense and all of these plot elements connect up in a logical, easy to follow way, you need to sort out what's missing from the synopsis. What is the absolute simplest way to explain your story and still have it make sense?

If the synopsis is indicative of the state of the manuscript, then you need to edit at the very least. Give yourself some time if you've just finished writing it, like maybe a month or two. Then take a serious look at everything from your word choices to your plot and characters. At this point, you could probably lose four characters without sacrificing anything that looks crucial to the synopsis.

Anonymous said...

I'm still having trouble with the fact she's got 25 Immortal boyfriends whose health and well-being depend on her but she's been reincarnated, which means she died ... and nothing happened to them?

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

First, never write a synopsis unless you have to.

Second, understand why you're writing a synopsis. Usually (but not always) the purpose of a synopsis is to save people the trouble of reading the book.

A synopsis does not need to snap or sizzle. Synopses usually plod. Plodding is fine.

Synopses absolutely must tell us clearly what happens in the book, however, from start to finish. Rewrite this one in simple sentences so that it does that.

Anonymous said...

Hello, all. I am the author of this story. I wanted to thank you for your critiques; they will improve my story. I assure you that I will go back through and make certain all of the questions are answered satisfactorily in the manuscript.

Most of the people who beta-read for me were strangers and probably had no idea what a query or synopsis was. They were mainly 18yearolds. I gave them a draft and asked for their feedback. The consensus is that the book is entertaining and enjoyable, but a lot going on. For agents- one upgraded me to a full request after reading query plus first 50 pages, but that's most of the luck I've had with agents, which is why I've come here. I now see my query and manuscript with new and more professional eyes.

I was going to put up a long explanation (already 3 pages long) for all of the questions, but I think I'll just spend the time editing certain parts of the manuscript/query/synopsis. I've been spending the week thinking about bettering my query.

Thank you for the advice and feel free to offer more. I tweak things based on feedback. I believe in this story.

Cil said...

Hi Author,

My original comment got lost. There is a cello toting homeless guy/ vampire in blood+ (anime) named Hagi. I would change the name of the character and possibly the instrument just to avoid similarities.

Anonymous said...

That's quite a coincidence!

InkAndPixelClub said...

Given that Blood+ is about a teenager with a centuries long past she doesn't remember and several men who are bound to her, you probably want to avoid anything unnecessary that sounds too close to it. It's not so similar that the whole story is questionable, but someone who Googled the name Hagi might start worrying that it's a not too well reworked fanfiction.