Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE

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TheZies
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Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE

Post by TheZies » April 29th, 2011, 4:58 pm

This is kinda both my query and synopsis.

Jake Wilson is just-a-guy whose life is a lot like eating at Chili’s. Sure, there are worse places to eat and you don’t mind it if you end up there. But surely, there were better choices along the way.

Jake just wants to live his life. He is close to his sister, Michelle. And his pick-up artist best friend, Alex, tries to bring the best (or worst) out of him. And he has a job he hates only most of the time.

Or at least, he thinks he does, but last night, Jake met the girl of his dreams. He also slammed his head on the tile floor while at a fancy masquerade party. So, now a lingering concussion has him seeing masks while he chases true love and fights off the tentacles of his former flame, who he has been teamed up with on a project at work.

Lester, the red-neck truck-driving tarot-card reader, tells Jake, via a set of old beer coasters, that he is holding on to something from his past, and he will have to lose something special before he could learn from it.

Jake has been haunted by what happened between him and his father, Jim. Jake fell from a deer blind, injured a hip and lost football scholarships. He lost everything, or it felt that way to him at least.

Jake not only will lose something special, but he will come close to losing everything in his life. It is at that point --the point of absolute destruction-- that Jake must make a decision.

Give up. Or take control.

MASQUERADE is a coming-of-age story complete at 90,000 words.
Last edited by TheZies on June 7th, 2011, 5:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Meredith
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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE

Post by Meredith » April 30th, 2011, 11:44 am

Unfortunately, what you have here is neither a synopsis, nor a query.

There's not enough detail or emotion for a synopsis. A synopsis, ideally, should be something like when you try to tell the plot of a movie you really liked to a friend. Full of the conflict and emotion. Telling a good story, peppered with a few standout details. And telling the ending. Try [url-http://www.annemini.com/?cat=328]this link[/url] for more on synopses. (You'll have to scroll down and use the link to the previous page and then scroll down again to start at the beginning.)

This is way too much for the query, though. Not that much too long, just too much of the story. Too many characters. Keep it to three names at most in a query.

Try to write no more than three paragraphs giving the following:
  • Who is the main character and why should we care about him?
  • What choice does he have to make?
  • What are the consequences of that choice? What are the stakes?
Another useful school of thought is that the query doesn't need to go much, if any, farther than the inciting incident. That should be only about the first fifty pages or so.
MeredithMansfield.WordPress.com

TheZies
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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE

Post by TheZies » April 30th, 2011, 4:49 pm

Thanks for the imput. I shorted the query. The thing with my synopsis is that it is only suppose to be no more than 250 words.

Modified query.


Jake Wilson’s life is a lot like eating at Chili’s. Sure, there are worse places too eat, and you don’t mind too much if you end up there. But surely, there were better options along the way.

But when he receives a concussion while chasing after the girl of his dreams, Jake begins to see masks on himself and others around him. He must come to understand what it is that he hiding from in his life in order to discover who he truly is.

MASQUERADE is a coming of age story complete at 90,000 words.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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wilderness
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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE

Post by wilderness » May 5th, 2011, 10:53 pm

TheZies wrote:Thanks for the imput. I shorted the query. The thing with my synopsis is that it is only suppose to be no more than 250 words.

Modified query.


Jake Wilson’s life is a lot like eating at Chili’s. Sure, there are worse places too eat, and you don’t mind too much if you end up there. But surely, there were better options along the way.

But when he receives a concussion while chasing after the girl of his dreams, Jake begins to see masks on himself and others around him. He must come to understand what it is that he hiding from in his life in order to discover who he truly is.

MASQUERADE is a coming of age story complete at 90,000 words.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Neither versions is really right for a query. The above doesn't give me a sense of the plot. "He must come to understand what it is that he hiding from in his life in order to discover who he truly is." is very generic. You should start with the inciting incident -- perhaps meeting the girl at the masquerade ball -- and then move on the main conflict. Separate the internal conflict from the external conflict. What is his goal? What is keeping him from it? Growing up along the way is merely incidental -- there should be some plot arc that moves him from point a to point b.

Try reading a ton of Query Shark and check out Nathan's how to write a query letter (http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/08 ... etter.html)

Also, I'm not sure coming-of-age qualifies as a proper genre. This character sounds too old for it to be young-adult, but maybe I'm wrong. If it is YA, definitely include your character's age and mention YA as the genre.

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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE

Post by TheZies » May 6th, 2011, 4:15 pm

wilderness wrote:Also, I'm not sure coming-of-age qualifies as a proper genre. This character sounds too old for it to be young-adult, but maybe I'm wrong. If it is YA, definitely include your character's age and mention YA as the genre.
He's technically a young-adult :) he's 28.

The genre is almost impossible to pin-point. It has a commercial appeal. But it is a little more literary as it touches on philosophy, psychology and theology. So, I don't know if it's literary with a commerical appeal Or if It is Commercial with a touch of literary fiction. There is magical realism as the main character starts seeing masks because of a concussion he recieves. It's has humor in the tone of Nick Hornby. Coming-of-age is the simplest way of putting it. And I'd also say, that coming-of-age isn't just a YA type story. You have to come-of-age through out life. It's kind of a quarter-life crisis. If that is to be a genre?

I'm working on an updated query. It's much better. I almost want to apologize for the previous ones ;) All of the help is appreciated!
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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE UPDATED (5/11)

Post by TheZies » May 11th, 2011, 8:09 pm

Jake Wilson has just discovered that he has been assigned a project at work with his evil, red-headed ex-girlfriend.

This is not just any ex-girlfriend. This is the ex-girlfriend. She’s the benchmark, but she also has a bad habit of showing up at the worst times … or the times just become the worst. One of the two.

Jake’s sister and his best friend know that as soon as she starts to sing her siren song that Jake will fall back into those old traps. So, in an attempt to keep that from happening, Alex, the pick-up artist, takes him to a masquerade party.

There he meets Coffee House Girl. She’s the girl he has noticed a time or twelve at the coffee house he and his sister frequent. They talk and they laugh and they exchange fake names. Jake slips on a puddle of water from an ice sculpture, and their good time is brought to an abrupt end. He leaves the party with a concussion, but without her number.

And now, he’s seeing masks. Like on his face.

Masks are fun while you’re at the party, but when they linger, it’s just annoying. Jake struggles with the meaning of the masks, the tentacles of his former flame and trying to chase down Coffee House Girl in an attempt to find true love and a greater purpose.

MASQUERADE is literary fiction compete at 87,000 words and is my first novel.
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Joel Q
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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE

Post by Joel Q » May 13th, 2011, 4:17 pm

[quote]

Try reading a ton of Query Shark and check out Nathan's how to write a query letter (http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/08 ... etter.html)

Ditto

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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE UPDATED (5/11)

Post by dragoness » May 23rd, 2011, 9:44 am

TheZies wrote:Jake Wilson has just discovered that he has been assigned a project at work with his evil, red-headed -not adding anything important ex-girlfriend.

This is not just any ex-girlfriend. This is the ex-girlfriend. She’s the benchmark, but she also has a bad habit of showing up at the worst times … or the times just become the worst. One of the two. -can be deleted.

Jake’s sister and his best friend know that as soon as she starts to sing her siren song that Jake will fall back into those old traps. So, in an attempt to keep that from happening, Alex, the pick-up artist, takes him to a masquerade party. There he meets Coffee House Girl. She’s the girl -to delete he has noticed a time or twelve at the coffee house he and his sister frequent. They talk and they laugh and they exchange fake names. Jake slips on a puddle of water from an ice sculpture, and their good time is brought to an abrupt end. He leaves the party with a concussion, but without her number.

And now, he’s seeing masks. Like on his face.

Masks are fun while you’re at the party, but when they linger, it’s just annoying. Jake struggles with the meaning of the masks, the tentacles of his former flame and trying to chase down Coffee House Girl in an attempt to find true love and a greater purpose.

MASQUERADE is literary fiction compete at 87,000 words and is my first novel.
You should emphasize what is in stake- what can he lose? Only a date? Is he in danger? How?
(His sister adds nothing here, you can delete her)

TheZies
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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE UPDATED (5/11)

Post by TheZies » June 2nd, 2011, 4:53 pm

dragoness wrote: You should emphasize what is in stake- what can he lose? Only a date? Is he in danger? How?
(His sister adds nothing here, you can delete her)
much appreciated. Will focus more on what is at stake.
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Re: Query / synopsis :: MASQUERADE UPDATED (5/11)

Post by priya g. » June 14th, 2011, 9:49 am

TheZies wrote:Jake Wilson has just discovered that he has been assigned a project at work with his evil, red-headed ex-girlfriend. you have introduced the conflict but it hasnt come out clearly: the idea of ex-girlfriend and the tension that follows is self-explanatory but there has to be an underlying cause, lets say the case is to catch a gang and that includes him endangering his life and isnt sure that the girlfriend will have his back etc.

This is not just any ex-girlfriend. This is the ex-girlfriend. She’s the benchmark, but she also has a bad habit of showing up at the worst times … or the times just become the worst. One of the two.

Jake’s sister and his best friend know that as soon as she starts to sing her siren song that Jake will fall back into those old traps what are the old traps? . So, in an attempt to keep that from happening, Alex, the pick-up artist, takes him to a masquerade party.

There he meets Coffee House Girl. She’s the girl he has noticed a time or twelve at the coffee house he and his sister frequent. They talk and they laugh and they exchange fake names. Jake slips on a puddle of water from an ice sculpture, and their good time is brought to an abrupt end. He leaves the party with a concussion, but without her number. I had to re-read this paragraph a number of times to understand what you were getting at-and at this point the introduction of this girl at the Coffee House seems a diversion from the plot- what happened to the 'project' Jake was assigned to?

And now, he’s seeing masks. Like on his face. hmmm... does that mean he is looking in a mirror and seeing a mask instead of his face? is the mask symbolic of something he is familiar with?

Masks are fun while you’re at the party, but when they linger, it’s just annoying. Jake struggles with the meaning of the masks, the tentacles of his former flame and trying to chase down Coffee House Girl in an attempt to find true love and a greater purpose. Again, i think there has been a diversion from what I assumed the story was about. is the story based on a project? on running away from the ex-gf? on finding this new love? basically, i am asking you to tell me where you are coming from and where you plan to go.

MASQUERADE is literary fiction compete at 87,000 words and is my first novel.
I hope i wasnt too harsh, look forward to seeing the next draft!

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