REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Ugh. You got stuck writing a synopsis. Help is on the way.
BethC
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Re: REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Post by BethC » July 15th, 2010, 10:23 pm

Quill,

I read the same about a long and short. If I live through the short, I'll tackle the longer version. Most agents I have on my list that ask for a synopsis, want a short one so that's where I went first. The information on writing one is so varied. I read Nathan's post on writing a synopsis and felt better. Even he admits the process is not as defined.

Penang
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Re: REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Post by Penang » August 4th, 2010, 5:48 pm

I definitely think your second attempt is much more fluid and interesting. Justa couple of suggestions to help make things clear:

How does Leo recognize her? He was only 5 when she was "killed" and most people can't remember details that clearly, is he comparing it to a portrait or to a relative she has? It was just a point in the synopsis that had me go "What?"

you say the Sentries are Scott and his dad, then say they've gone rogue, so when you mention the Sentries again I'm confused as to if you mean the Sentries playing by the books or Scott and his dad.

I think the "she promises to never let him go" is a bit to romance cliche. Even if she does it in the book, maybe find a better way to say it here.

:) Ang

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sarahdee
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Re: REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Post by sarahdee » August 4th, 2010, 11:33 pm

Hi there

Like the new version much better. Couple of teeny things...

1. Would Leo be in Victorian dress or European Hunting costume when he is Russian? Does he now live in Europe?

2. There is a lot of unnecessary detail in the first para about the cracking noises and deers...nice writing for the novel but could easily be cut here and the synopsis will still make perfect sense. Same with para 9, the only important bit is that she sees Leo in the cafe, not about ducking into the storeroom etc (just trying to help if you want to cut your word count to be able to add subplots - this is where you could shave some sentences easily).

3. The part about Scott and his dad (the secret society seems very clear to be :) ) - could you leave this out of the short synopsis as it seems to be a minor subplot - they are there, they argue, its all resolved. The synopsis still works without it..... or just really shorten it

Back in the present, they soon realize they aren't the only ones who know about the portal. The Sentries of Time, an ancient secret society sworn to preserve history by eradicating time travel, are on their trail. Two of the Sentries steal Leo's medallion necklace, which controls the portal and Leo must defeat the two sentries and retrieve the medal.

Hope that helps. Its so hard getting in everything you want to say and not writing another manuscript.....

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Re: REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Post by EvelynEhrlich » August 5th, 2010, 4:28 pm

Thanks Penang and sarahdee! These are helpful comments.

To answer sarahdee's Q about the Victorian dress - yes, 19th century Russian aristocracy were very European, esp. the nobility that lived in St. Petersburg. In fact, they spoke French as their primary language and tried to emulate their European counterparts as much as possible. It's part of a cycle throughout Russia's cultural identity/history - sometimes more "Russian," sometimes more "Western," and so on.

To answer Penang's Q about how Leo recognizes Helene as Lena, Leo has a picture of her, and he also gets to spend a bunch of time observing her (unbeknownst to her) and deciding that her personality, mannerisms, etc. are the same as Lena's. It's hard to condense into the synopsis, especially when it's not a major plot point, but I'll work on that.

Thanks again for the feedback. It's much appreciated.

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Re: REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Post by gilesth » August 9th, 2010, 3:16 pm

This sounds like a great story! And your synopsis really hypes it up in a way that makes me want to read it (and I don't read romance). My only suggestion for improvement would be to add some tension to the paragraph where the sentries are defeated. I'm assuming that in the book, there is a lot of tension and drama that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, but that paragraph in your synopsis deflates the story for me. Do they agree to peace on threat of death? Does anyone get hurt in the scuffle? Is there tension as a result of the fight? This is what I'd like to know when I read the synopsis.

Otherwise, I think you did a great job! :)

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Re: REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Post by EvelynEhrlich » August 9th, 2010, 11:25 pm

Thanks, Giles. I'll definitely work on upping the tension in that paragraph.

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Re: REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Post by sammyig » August 21st, 2010, 8:39 am

Seventeen-year old Helene Jacobsen is usually alone when she visits her I would change Mom to mother- it gives a different distinctive ring.mom's grave, but not today. I would say something about she hears something foragin the the grass and looks around, but she doesn't see anything out of the ordinary.Something stirs on the drought-plagued hill just outside the cemetery wall, but she assumes it's a deer foraging in the dead grass. When another branch snaps behind her, Helene turns around. A boy in Victorian clothes stares at her from the brush, and he smiles as if he knows her. But as soon as Helene speaks, he bolts. She tries to follow the mysterious stranger, but he disappears in the distance in a flash of blue light.

Nineteen-year old I think when you post a character's name fo rhte first time, it should be in all caps.Leo Andreyev, a Russian prince from 1860, can't believe who he's just seen on the other side of the time portal. The girl looks exactly like Princess Lena Dashkova, his childhood best friend and the girl his parents had arranged for him to marry. I think I want some clarification on how he recognized her- she's going to look pretty different compared to when she was three. Maybe give her some sort of stand out feature, like her hair being an unusual color of gold, etcBut Lena vanished fourteen years ago, when she was only three, and everyone assumed she was dead. And it had been Leo's fault.

Helene doesn't see the mysterious boy again for months, and she wonders if she imagined him. After all, who goes hiking in an old European hunting costume? But as soon as she gives up on seeing him again, Leo reappears and invites her to a picnic in the park. I think I want something more here. This just feels too simple to me.

One date leads to another, and another, and another. The anothers and then following it up with other in the next sentence was distracting to me. You might want to change it to: After repeated dates, they begin to get to know each other and helene mentions she wa adopted at age three.As they get to know each other, Helene mentions she was adopted at age three. She doesn't remember anything before that. But Leo is convinced that he does. He whisks her through the time portal to St. Petersburg in 1860 and reveals to Helene that he's a Russian prince. She recognizes his palace without knowing why. He tells her it's because she's been there before. She's Princess Lena.

They still don't know how Helene ended up one hundred and fifty years in the future, but Helene and Leo begin to untangle their histories as they fall head over heels for each other.I want to know more about the plot here.

Back in the present, they soon realize they aren't the only ones who know about the portal. The Sentries of Time -- an ancient secret society sworn to preserve history by eradicating time travel -- are on their trail. Two of the Sentries steal Leo's medallion necklace, which controls the portal. Then Helene discovers, to her dismay, that the Sentries are her close friend, Scott, and his dad.I like this paragraph.

They are rogue members of the Sentries. Instead of trying to destroy the time portal to protect history from being altered, Scott and his dad want to use it for their own purposes, namely, gaming the stock market. In a heated discussion, they try to tempt Helene and Leo to join them, to no avail. The Sentries scuffle briefly with Leo, but he's an officer of the Russian Imperial Army, and they're no match for him. Defeated, they return the medallion and agree to leave Helene and Leo alone. You might want to try to combine this paragraph with the sentence about Scott and his dad from the earlier paragraph.

At the same time, a raging brush fire threatens the portal. I want to know where the fire came from and how it got started. Since this is a major focal point, I would describe it in more detail.Helene and Leo must decide whether to stay together in the past or the present. Leo is willing to leave everything behind. But having read his biography, Helene knows he is destined for great things, and that Russia needs his leadership. She can't abandon her family, but she won't let Leo sacrifice his country for her sake, either. So she tells him she loves him and shoves him through the portal, only a moment before it bursts into flame.

Alone again, Helene resigns herself to moving on. cutShe's lost important people in her life before, and heartbreak is a lot like mourning, in many ways.cut A week after the portal crumbles to ash, Helene is back at her afterschool job at the café downtown. After all the customers leave for the night, she ducks into the storeroom to retrieve some spare light bulbs. When she returns to the main room of the café, Leo is there. He found another time portal, five hundred miles away. Helene leaps into his arms, and she promises she will never let him go.

You have an interesting story here. I hope my comments help!

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oldhousejunkie
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Re: REVISED Synopsis - Timeless (YA Paranormal Romance)

Post by oldhousejunkie » September 2nd, 2010, 1:22 pm

First off, I <3 time travel love stories. I am a huge fan of that Meg Ryan/Hugh Jackman film "Kate and Leopold" that came out a couple of years ago. I started writing a time travel story myself back in high school, but it never stuck.

I'm not going to do a line-by-line edit because that's not my thing, but I did want to make a few comments.

First, is there any particular reason that Lena was abducted so early in life? Maybe ramping up her age might help with the whole recognition thing. But then again, you could stick to a character defining feature.

The other thing that leapt out at me is the friend Scott and his dad wanting to play the stockmarket. That just sounds really weak to me...I think my reaction was "Seriously?" Maybe stealing relics from past times to sell for money or something? That seems more sinister than playing the stockmarket, but that's just me. And what happens to them? They are in violation of their duty, shouldn't they get in trouble?

And the whole scuffle with the Time Sentries just seemed a little too neat. They agree to leave them alone? Maybe the other Time Sentries should get involved....they intervene because Scott and his dad are rogues. But before they go, maybe they should extract a promise from Helene and Leo that they quit going back and forth or one them needs to stay in the other's time zone, or something. I visualize the Time Sentries as being almost like the bad vamps in Twilight (for some reason). They are willing to leave Bella and Edward alone as long as Ed agrees to turn Bella. I think this whole scenario could take the place of the brush fire. That just seems random to me. They could abduct Leo and force him back to 1860. That just seems better than Helene not going with him because she can't leave her family (who hasn't been mentioned until that moment...beyond the dead mom). And that way when he comes back, it has to be forever.

In any case, I'm super excited about your project. Let us know how it goes...I would certainly pick up a copy if it gets published. Best of luck to you.

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