synopsis: flight - REVISED

Ugh. You got stuck writing a synopsis. Help is on the way.
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Joined: May 4th, 2010, 3:12 pm

Re: synopsis: flight

Post by writermorris » May 25th, 2010, 1:05 pm

Thank you guys for your incredible feedback. I've made quite a few changes thanks to lac582's most recent comments. What do you think?

“Please,” she whispered, “just watch.” And then Maria let her body relax for the first time in eight years. She released the sickening burn from its black hole in her stomach. It was almost relief to finally let go. She felt the nausea well and spill out, felt her head reel. Waves of heat rolled off her body. Her stomach heaved and her ears rang. A metallic, bitter taste filled her mouth. It was almost time.

When Maria Black experiences intense changes in her life, she grows sick and feverish until she bursts into flames. From the fire that consumes her, a bird rises, takes flight, and returns to human form. The changes manifest in her body—the color of her hair lightens, her freckles disappear. For the last 2,477 days, she has done everything in her power to avoid change and suppress the burn. That's when she met her husband, Joe Ellis. She has worked hard ever since to build a normal life and be the kind of woman he could love. She doesn’t want more pain. She doesn’t want to be a monster.

Maria’s quiet if dispassionate life is interrupted when she runs—quite literally—into the famous musician Sam Montgomery on the street and learns that they have been dreaming about each other; identical dreams in which they have a deep friendship. Without any better idea of how to handle the strange situation, they decide to get to know each other to see where it leads. But only Sam is willing to question the meaning behind their dreams. Maria is not interested in posing questions that don’t have answers.

True to their dreams and much to her husband’s chagrin, Maria and Sam become close friends. As tabloids and fans armed with cell phones dog Sam in public, they create a world for themselves in his hotel rooms and hiding places. Sam’s borderline agoraphobia, Maria’s aloofness from the world, even Joe’s hurt over their friendship don’t matter when they are together.
All of this is so new to Maria, who hasn’t let herself grow close with anyone but Joe since the early days of her becoming a phoenix, when she learned a few valuable lessons. When Maria’s childhood best friend responded to her admission with terror, the young Maria learned that people will not love or accept a monster. When she nearly killed her boyfriend, combusting after losing her virginity to him, she learned how dangerous she is to others. And when Maria’s attempts to seek meaning in her plight left her so hysterical she cut herself just to see if she would still bleed, she learned that seeking meaning or answers to difficult questions is dangerous to her tenuous hold on sanity.

In the years since, she has crafted a steady life for herself. Joe is unflappable, her other relationships without intimacy. Maria thrives on routines: wake up, go to work, chatter at the water cooler, subway home, make dinner, watch TV with Joe. Rinse and repeat. Her only haven from the monotony is her daydreams.

Neither Maria nor Sam ever learns that their dreams of each other are not unique. Maria’s remarkable powers as a phoenix also extend to projecting her daydreams into others. But she never meets Neil Gaiman for him to recognize the woman he gives writing advice to in his dreams and her brother-in-law never tells her about his dream where he walks through an art gallery with her. Thus, Sam and Maria assume theirs to be a harbinger of their friendship.

Despite all of the lessons Maria learned and all the defenses she has built over the years, she decides to show Sam her secret. Having suppressed the fires for so long, the change that welled up inside of her surfaces easily. Flames that come from nowhere burn Maria alive and Sam can only watch, dumb with horror. When the fire dies, what once was Maria is a blackened heap on the ground. One moment Sam is alone in the woods with a pile of ash and coal, the next a bird stands in front of him. He wants to scream, to faint, to shit, but can do nothing but stare. He can’t even cry. How do you cry when you watch the only person in the world spontaneously combust? Replaying the scene to himself later, Sam stumbles upon the realization that he is in love with Maria.

While Sam’s feelings might be obvious to everyone else, Maria remains in the dark. After living a lifetime without knowing why she is an incarnation of a phoenix, she is well practiced at not questioning the meaning behind anything and not scratching below surfaces. Though she remains ignorant, Sam’s best friends and Maria’s close knit circle all see that he is in love with her. Even Joe, unshakably levelheaded, grows irate when he realizes that Sam’s latest album is full of love songs to Maria.

Sam’s anxiety about the public and his privacy seems an overreaction to Maria until their photo ends up on the cover of a magazine with a headline proclaiming her to be his mistress. Joe is furious. Sam is guilt ridden. His best friend, McCellen, comes to their aid with a safe haven and sense of humor.

Soon after, a festive night ends with a drunken kiss and Sam confesses his love to Maria. She tries at first to stay away but cannot and their affair is short lived. Maria does not want to hurt Joe more and cannot handle the idea that their dreams mean her love with Sam is predestined. She would rather return to her normal, numb life than believe they are fated to be together and reawaken questions about meaning and why she burns.

Maria tells Joe about the affair and tries to explain her burning and flight. He mistakes her admission for a metaphor. Though they try to keep their marriage together, Joe cannot forget her lies. Only after he tells her he’s leaving does Joe Ellis see his wife burn.

Sam hears through McCellen that Maria is no longer married and comes running to be reunited with his best friend and lover. But Maria once again recognizes that she cannot reconcile loving Sam and her need to reject meaning. On a cold New Year’s morning, she takes what she hopes will be her final flight. She soars through the sky, desperate to leave all vestiges of her human life and questions behind.

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Re: synopsis: flight - REVISED

Post by wildheart » June 6th, 2010, 12:45 am

My biggest issue? If her running away is th ending...I don't like it. But I can tell by everything else that I would be very interested to read this book! Just please tell me this is not how it ends! Please!
A mother. A writer. A dreamer.

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