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SYNOPSIS: Prince of Trouble - alt history/sci fi

Posted: July 13th, 2011, 10:12 am
by retrorocket
I received an interesting rejection from an agent last night. He praised my alternate history setting and my alien world, but he felt there wasn't enough plot twists to keep things interesting. I was pleased in many regards to get the feedback, but my synopsis may have cut my legs out from under me, so to speak. I recently updated the synopsis but I would really like some other eyes on it

SIDNEY DEXTER is a hard-working, quick-witted private detective in 1949 New Futura, a wondrous city of tomorrow with the former New York World’s Fair at its center. All Dexter has to do is babysit an important alien for a weekend of sightseeing and musical theater.

UMFRA is a prince on his world, a rare male drone from a society of insect-like workers who live on distant Stygiex. Since the Stygiexians provide much of the galaxy’s labor for planet-spanning projects, Dexter can’t screw this important bugsitting job up. But after an encounter in a jazz club with a thug playing a machine-gun instead of a trumpet, it becomes clear that someone wants the prince dead.

Seeking help from a former flame, skytaxi pilot MIRANDA BARON, Dexter must keep Umfra one step away from the MAJESTRIX, a merciless queen-in-waiting. If the majestrix kills Umfra, the Stygiexian queen will be unable to reproduce and will die. The majestrix will succeed her. To prevent this, Umfra must return to Stygiex.

Dexter, Umfra and Miranda are chased across New Futura City by MARKO MURGOVSKY, a local Slovakian mobster. Every goon, thug and robot is out to collect a reward for Umfra’s head. Even the majestrix’s soldiers lurk everywhere. Dexter convinces Miranda to fly Umfra to Thunder Island, an abandoned rocket testing base off the coast of Long Island, for safety. Dexter makes a shady deal with DANE KATO, testy crime boss and owner of the rocket port, to get Umfra a seat on a flight home. All Dexter has to do is ruin Marko Murgovsky’s attempt to fix the outcome of a mechanical horse race.

Having lost thousands, an irate Murgovsky chases Dexter to Thunder Island to collect his head and Umfra’s. Miranda challenges the mobster and his spoiled playboy son, HUGO, to a dangerous air race and wins their freedom. Dexter, Miranda and Umfra rush to the rocket port to get Umfra on board, but the majestrix and her soldiers are waiting. After a pursuit through the rocket port’s automated baggage system, Umfra misses the flight. Miranda takes them to “ACE” DIRK DRUMMOND, a washed-up space hero, to fly them to Stygiex.

In the hive city, Umfra, Dexter and Miranda valiantly fight off the majestrix and her soldiers to reach the queen. Dexter destroys a bridge between himself and the majestrix. She tries to leap the distance to kill Dexter, but falls short and plummets to her death. Umfra is united with his queen.

Dexter hopes to see Umfra again, but sadly learns that all drones die after mating with the queen. It is a part of Stygiexian life that Umfra embraced as his destiny. The Stygiexian queen was impressed with Umfra’s dance, a ritual that describes the drone’s life and experiences on Earth. The queen recognizes Dexter’s heroism and announces that her brood, numbering in the tens of thousands, will carry Dexter’s name. Word spreads of a new friendship between Stygiex and Earth.

Thanks for looking. Super appreciated!!


Re: SYNOPSIS: Prince of Trouble - alt history/sci fi

Posted: July 20th, 2011, 11:51 am
by retrorocket
I'm seeing some views, but no comments. Any thoughts??

Re: SYNOPSIS: Prince of Trouble - alt history/sci fi

Posted: July 26th, 2011, 12:34 am
by wilderness
In general, I like it. Feels like a fun space caper. The only critique I can think of is that there doesn't seem to be a bigger picture--it feels somewhat episodic, like here's the next cool action scene. Does Dexter really learn anything? Also, what exactly is the climax? Does it follow a structure with rising action, climax, falling action?

I'm not sure if that really corresponds the the feedback the agent gave you --perhaps, the agent wasn't sure the plot could sustain over the action.

Anyhow, hope that helps. Good luck!

Re: SYNOPSIS: Prince of Trouble - alt history/sci fi

Posted: July 26th, 2011, 10:51 am
by retrorocket
Thanks for your input. Yes, it does feel like I don't describe the overall 'what did we learn from this?' from the plot.

In the beginning, Dexter treats the alien prince like a naive child because the prince acts like one. The prince wishes to avoid his princely duty because all male drones die after fertilizing the queen and he does not wish to die. When his role becomes more important -- he's possibly the last drone and the queen may die unless he gets to her in time, the prince begins to understand that he has a responsibility greater than his own self. At the conclusion, he and Dexter develop a friendship that carries over to a greater understanding between Earth and the Stygiexians. Perhaps that would be better stated in the final paragraph of the synopsis?

Interestingly enough, my most recent agent submissions through WeBooks' AgentInBox have not asked for a typical synopsis -- they have been asking for a really short overview (two or three sentences) and the first 50 pages of the story.

Has anyone else had any experience with AgentinBox? Most of the chatter appears to be fairly positive.

Re: SYNOPSIS: Prince of Trouble - alt history/sci fi

Posted: September 29th, 2011, 2:18 am
by simonmabee
The biggest thing that I've ever heard on thinking of a plot is you have to get out of the "and then" mentality
Every time there is transition it should be able to flow with a "therefore" or a "but".
Stupid example.
George woke up.
Therefore he took a shower.
But, there was a giant spider in the shower.
Therefore he tried to kill it.
But it got away.
Therefore he spent an hour hunting it down and finally killed it.
Therefore he was late for work again.
Therefore he was fired.