Synopsis - The Extraordinary Tale of Nicholas Pierce

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atdeluca
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Synopsis - The Extraordinary Tale of Nicholas Pierce

Post by atdeluca » July 29th, 2010, 10:56 am

NICHOLAS PIERCE was just a young boy when his memory was wiped clean by a forgotten traumatic event. At 23 years old, he doesn’t think of his missing memories often until a locked box is delivered to his doorstep, instructing him to ask his birth parents for a key.


Due to his obsessive compulsive disorder and inability to simply smash the small box, Nicholas decides to track down his biological parents and uncover his forgotten childhood. Living in New York City, Nicholas doesn’t have a car, but his immigrant friend SERGEI TARASOV is willing to drive him upstate. They journey to a town where his research has lead him to believe his biological parents reside.



On the drive north Sergei reveals his quirks, claiming he can converse with animals. This makes Nicholas uncomfortable, as he isn’t a social person and is unsure how to respond. He puts it out of his mind until they arrive in Thousand Island Park, NY, the place where he suspects his birth parents to be.


Nicholas struggles to manage his compulsions as they ask around town for his parents, eventually being lead to a marina where they meet a woman named DONNA who knows everyone in town. A former hippie, Donna informs them that Nicholas’ parents moved away years ago to a town outside of Cleveland, OH.


Though Nicholas feels like giving up, Sergei convinces him to step outside of his comfort zone and continue his search. Nicholas, in a moment of courage, agrees to drive on to Ohio.


Losing his phone at a rest stop along the way, Nicholas isn’t in the best of spirits when they arrive at the address Donna provided him with. His discomfort is exponentially increased when he steps out of the car to find hundreds of folk-art cats in the lawn, complete with meowing soundtrack coming from unseen speakers. Nicholas is horrified, Sergei laughs.

In the 1980’s, JAMES and MARGARET WHITE are struggling with Margaret’s alcoholic sister. Once sober, she has fallen off the bandwagon again, and has the entire family worried. The couple is worried that her child could come to harm through her irresponsible behavior.


Back in present day, Nicholas and Sergei knock on the door of the unusually decorated house and meet MARTHA, an old woman obsessed with cats who happens to also be deathly allergic. Through disjointed conversion, Nicholas and Sergei eventually learn that Nicholas’ parents helped her move from New York Ohio but have since moved on. They learn that his parents are known to be drifters, moving from one town to the next, a fact that makes Nicholas question the wisdom of their continuing journey.


After staying the night, Nicholas and Sergei continue on to Iowa, where Martha instructed. Much to Nicholas’ horror, Sergei stops to pick up a female hitchhiker. JESSICA, a Latin American guitarist, refuses to reveal any of her background or history to Nicholas and Sergei , but shows a genuine interest in their respective stories. She seems nervous whenever police are near, though Nicholas and Sergei are unsure of what this could mean.


During their conversations, Sergei talks of his childhood in Russia. This helps Nicholas forge a better connection with his new (and only) friend, though he feels threatened when Sergei shows romantic interest in the strange newcomer.


Back in the 1980’s, the White’s hold an intervention for Margaret’s sister. James brings his friend, GERRY, to speak first-hand of the dangers of alcoholism. Things take a turn for the worst when a heated argument leaves Margaret’s mother in cardiac arrest.

In present day, when Nicholas and company arrive in Iowa, they are directed to house occupied by a woman named TANDI. As a devout voodoo practitioner (which has Nicholas nearly running for the door), Tandi reveals that Nicholas’ parents moved on recently to Utah, his biological father’s home state.


Though Nicholas feels disappointed, the momentum of their trip keeps him going. The three travelers decide to camp in the Great Plains in what turns into a great bonding experience for all as Jessica plays her guitar and Nicholas and Sergei observe the stars and wonder why Nicholas cannot remember his past.


The next morning, the group is driving along a highway otherwise deserted when MORMON HIGHWAYMEN rob them blind, claiming their spoils are justified as support for the Church. Left feeling defeated and hopeless, they drive on to Utah where Nicholas suspects he will have to call his adoptive parents for monetary support if they are dealt yet another disappointment.

With luck turning their way, Nicholas discovers his biological grandparents at the address next on their list. A charming older couple with a pristinely kept home, Nicholas’ grandparents welcome them in and give the three a hot meal and beds to sleep in. Unfortunately, his parents have gone to help at a family friend’s farm up north, but the encounter is enough to revive Nicholas’ optimism that his search will be worthwhile.


In the 1980’s, James comforts Margaret after the death of her mother. She still hasn’t talked to her sister, and considers her responsible. She voices her worry that her sister’s child could be the next victim of her irresponsible behavior.


Nicholas, Sergei, and Jessica make it to the family farm from which Nicholas’ parents have just departed. Despite another disappointment, they learn that his parents decided to settle in Seattle. They decide to stay with the recently widowed farmer, JOSEPH, to earn enough money to complete their trip.


After a night at a bar where Jessica makes it clear she has no feelings for Sergei, tension grows among the travelers. The following morning, much to their dismay, they discover Jessica missing. After a heartbroken Sergei goes to investigate in town, he learns from the police that she was a convict on the run and has yet to be caught.


At a crossroads, Nicholas decides to continue on to Seattle while Sergei foolishly waits in hope that Jessica will return to the farm. The friends say goodbye and reflect on how much they have grown together.


Back in the 1980’s, Margaret decides to reconcile with her sister, the only family she has left. She invites her sister to visit, though she is unsure of her sobriety.


When Nicholas arrives in Seattle, he immediately finds the house where his parents are said to reside. His nerves building at the climax of his search, he is completely taken aback when his father does not recognize him as his son. Only when his suspected biological father introduces him to his wife as “James and Margaret’s son” does his confusion threaten to render him inert. He sits silently while GERALD, who he had thought was his father the entire journey, explains.


In the 1980’s, James takes his son Nicholas outside to play. It is the first snowfall of the year, and it is coming down heavy. As Margaret dashes outside to check the mail, James walks over to give his wife a kiss. Nicholas looks on with a smile. His mind goes blank, for although he is watching, he is unable to process what happens next. Margaret’s alcoholic sister, blinded by the snow, ice, and her intoxication, kills James and Margaret with her car, unable to stop in time as the mailbox splinters and blood splatters.


As James’ best friend, he and his wife are given custody of Nicholas, despite never truly knowing the boy. They decide the best path for Nicholas is adoption by a loving family.


Nicholas cannot process what he feels when Gerald finishes the explanation. He pulls at his eyebrows (one of his compulsions) as he thanks them for their time and exits. Only when he is on the front steps does he have a mental flash of his biological parents. His is filled with sorrow and rage and throws the box to the road, where a passing car shatters it to pieces. Photographs of his missing childhood and lost parents scatter from inside the box. As he cries, Nicholas finally feels closure.


Nicholas returns to New York a stronger person, with his disorder under much better control now that the anxiety of his missing memories is relieved. Back at the café he frequents, he stumbles upon Sergei, who returns to gather his things and move out west to help Farmer Joe. He has moved on from Jessica, who he says was finally apprehended, and is ready to continue his life. Nicholas says good bye to his friend and sits with his mug, wondering what adventures lay ahead.

Emily J
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Re: Synopsis - The Extraordinary Tale of Nicholas Pierce

Post by Emily J » August 2nd, 2010, 11:51 am

This synopsis isn't bad, but I found the transitions between present and past a bit clunky. I'm not sure if there is a way you can integrate the two timelines more coherently but I think it would read better. Right now there are a few too many "back in the present day" "meanwhile" etc etc.

And hopefully you will get some more feedback.

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sarahdee
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Re: Synopsis - The Extraordinary Tale of Nicholas Pierce

Post by sarahdee » August 3rd, 2010, 2:55 am

atdeluca wrote:NICHOLAS PIERCE was just a young boy ho young? I'd give the age here when his memory was wiped clean by a forgotten traumatic event. At 23 years old, he doesn’t think of his missing memories often until a locked box is delivered to his doorstep, instructing him to ask his birth parents for a key. So he's adopted and that's not the parents he lives with now? Perhaps clarify...


Due to his obsessive compulsive disorder and inability to simply smash the small box, Nicholas decides to track down his biological parents and uncover his forgotten childhood. Living in New York City, Nicholas doesn’t have a car, but his immigrant friend SERGEI TARASOV is willing to drive him upstate. They journey to a town where his research has lead him to believe his biological parents reside.



On the drive north Sergei reveals his quirks, claiming he can converse with animals. This makes Nicholas uncomfortable, as he isn’t a social person and is unsure how to respond. He puts it out of his mind until they arrive in Thousand Island Park, NY, the place where he suspects his birth parents to be.



Nicholas struggles to manage his compulsions as they ask around town for his parents, eventually being lead to a marina where they meet a woman named DONNA who knows everyone in town. A former hippie, Donna informs them that Nicholas’ parents moved away years ago to a town outside of Cleveland, OH.


Though Nicholas feels like giving up, Sergei convinces him to step outside of his comfort zone and continue his search. Nicholas, in a moment of courage, agrees to drive on to Ohio.


Losing his phone at a rest stop along the way, Nicholas isn’t in the best of spirits when they arrive at the address Donna provided him with. His discomfort is exponentially increased when he steps out of the car to find hundreds of folk-art cats in the lawn, complete with meowing soundtrack coming from unseen speakers. Nicholas is horrified, Sergei laughs.

In the 1980’s, JAMES and MARGARET WHITE are struggling with Margaret’s alcoholic sister. Once sober, she has fallen off the bandwagon again, and has the entire family worried. The couple is worried that her child could come to harm through her irresponsible behavior.
This is confusing here in the middle of the present day story - can it be moved?


Back in present day, Nicholas and Sergei knock on the door of the unusually decorated house and meet MARTHA, an old woman obsessed with cats who happens to also be deathly allergic to them. Through disjointed conversion, Nicholas and Sergei eventually learn that Nicholas’ parents helped her move from New York? Ohio but have since moved on. They learn that his parents are known to be drifters, moving from one town to the next, a fact that makes Nicholas question the wisdom of their continuing journey. But he decides to go on why?


After staying the night(necessary?), Nicholas and Sergei continue on to Iowa, where Martha instructed. Much to Nicholas’ horror, Sergei stops to pick up a female hitchhiker. JESSICA, a Latin American guitarist, refuses to reveal any of her background or history to Nicholas and Sergei , but shows a genuine interest in their respective stories. She seems nervous whenever police are near, though Nicholas and Sergei are unsure of what this could mean.


During their conversations, Sergei talks of his childhood in Russia. This helps Nicholas forge a better connection with his new (and only) friend, though he feels threatened when Sergei shows romantic interest in the strange newcomer.


Back in the 1980’s, the White’s hold an intervention for Margaret’s sister. James brings his friend, GERRY, to speak first-hand of the dangers of alcoholism. Things take a turn for the worst when a heated argument leaves Margaret’s mother in cardiac arrest. Again, I would move this

In present day, when Nicholas and company arrive in Iowa, they are directed to house occupied by a woman named TANDI. As a devout voodoo practitioner (which has Nicholas nearly running for the door hehe), Tandi reveals that Nicholas’ parents moved on recently to Utah, his biological father’s home state.


Though Nicholas feels disappointed, the momentum of their trip keeps him going. The three travelers decide to camp in the Great Plains in what turns into a great bonding experience for all as Jessica plays her guitar and Nicholas and Sergei observe the stars stargaze? and wonder why Nicholas cannot remember his past.


The next morning, the group is driving along a highway otherwise deserted when MORMON HIGHWAYMEN rob them blind, claiming their spoils are justified as support for the Church. Left feeling defeated and hopeless, they drive on to Utah where Nicholas suspects he will have to call his adoptive parents for monetary support if they are dealt yet another disappointment.

With luck turning their way, Nicholas discovers his biological grandparents at the address next on their list. A charming older couple with a pristinely kept home, Nicholas’ grandparents welcome them in and give the three a hot meal and beds to sleep in. Unfortunately, his parents have gone to help at a family friend’s farm up north, but the encounter is enough to revive Nicholas’ optimism that his search will be worthwhile.


In the 1980’s, James comforts Margaret after the death of her mother. She still hasn’t talked to her sister, and considers her responsible. She voices her worry that her sister’s child could be the next victim of her irresponsible behavior.


Nicholas, Sergei, and Jessica make it to the family farm from which Nicholas’ parents have just departed. Despite another disappointment, they learn that his parents decided to settle in Seattle. They decide to stay with the recently widowed farmer, JOSEPH, to earn enough money to complete their trip.


After a night at a bar where Jessica makes it clear she has no feelings for Sergei, tension grows among the travelers. The following morning, much to their dismay, they discover Jessica missing. After a heartbroken Sergei goes to investigate in town, he learns from the police that she was a convict on the run and has yet to be caught.


At a crossroads, Nicholas decides to continue on to Seattle while Sergei foolishly waits in hope that Jessica will return to the farm. The friends say goodbye and reflect on how much they have grown together.


Back in the 1980’s, Margaret decides to reconcile with her sister, the only family she has left. She invites her sister to visit, though she is unsure of her sobriety.


When Nicholas arrives in Seattle, he immediately finds the house where his parents are said to reside. His nerves building at the climax of his search, he is completely taken aback when his father does not recognize him as his son. Only when his suspected biological father introduces him to his wife as “James and Margaret’s son” does his confusion threaten to render him inert. He sits silently while GERALD, who he had thought was his father the entire journey, explains.


In the 1980’s, James takes his son Nicholas outside to play. It is the first snowfall of the year, and it is coming down heavy. As Margaret dashes outside to check the mail, James walks over to give his wife a kiss. Nicholas looks on with a smile. His mind goes blank, for although he is watching, he is unable to process what happens next. Margaret’s alcoholic sister, blinded by the snow, ice, and her intoxication, kills James and Margaret with her car, unable to stop in time as the mailbox splinters and blood splatters.


As James’ best friend, he and his wife are given custody of Nicholas, despite never truly knowing the boy. They decide the best path for Nicholas is adoption by a loving family.


Nicholas cannot process what he feels when Gerald finishes the explanation. He pulls at his eyebrows (one of his compulsions) as he thanks them for their time and exits. Only when he is on the front steps does he have a mental flash of his biological parents. His is filled with sorrow and rage and throws the box to the road, where a passing car shatters it to pieces. Photographs of his missing childhood and lost parents scatter from inside the box. As he cries, Nicholas finally feels closure.


Nicholas returns to New York a stronger person, with his disorder under much better control now that the anxiety of his missing memories is relieved. Back at the café he frequents, he stumbles upon Sergei, who returns to gather his things and move out west to help Farmer Joe. He has moved on from Jessica, who he says was finally apprehended, and is ready to continue his life. Nicholas says good bye to his friend and sits with his mug, wondering what adventures lay ahead.
Its good, I agree about the time lines though, bit confusing as it is.....

atdeluca
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Re: Synopsis - The Extraordinary Tale of Nicholas Pierce

Post by atdeluca » August 3rd, 2010, 9:23 am

How do you think I should include the flash-back timeline? In the book it is dispersed throughout and builds suspense and I've been told by all my beta readers it definitely works like that.

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sarahdee
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Re: Synopsis - The Extraordinary Tale of Nicholas Pierce

Post by sarahdee » August 3rd, 2010, 10:13 am

I have the same problem, mine is also set in present with flashbacks to the past. Feedback on mine, from here and other people, have lead to my most recent version starting in the past and doing all that in chronological order, and then the present. Not sure if thats best or not, I've struggled with mine for ages.

Good luck.

Emily J
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Re: Synopsis - The Extraordinary Tale of Nicholas Pierce

Post by Emily J » August 3rd, 2010, 10:35 am

That is a conundrum. From what I've read about synopses, they are suppose to reveal information in the same order as the novel.

Just a suggestion, but perhaps italicize the flashbacks? It might help differentiate between the two timelines and also hopefully alleviate some of the transitions. Not sure if it would work or not.

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