I would really value some feedback on my synopsis. I need to get it down to 1 page for submission guidelines and I'm just stuck on what to cut. Thank you!!!!
I like the premise very much and I think the synopsis covers the most important points.
However, I was confused about a few things.
1) It wasn’t clear at the beginning why water means so much to Lucy or that she’s a competitive swimmer.
2) Apparently the climax is when Lucy finds that Steffi was her dead brother’s girlfriend. It isn’t clear why that should matter. It isn’t clear if Lucy hates Steffi or loves her. Even gets more time in the synopsis than Steffi and I thought he’d be in the climax. If Steffi’s so important, you need to show that.
3) Lucy’s emotions aren’t quite as clear as they should be. More dynamic verbs will help.
I didn’t cut too much out from the synopsis because I felt there were questions not answered. But if you rewrite it, I’ll be happy to look again and help you cut.
I’ve attached a line-by-line with suggestions and corrections. Good luck!
Hi Laura :)
Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. Your comments helped me get my head in gear.
I've rewritten it please tell me if it makes more sense :D
p.s synopsises are hard! good grief I had no idea haha
Also what should I call her auntie, if not auntie? Haha.
Hi Trinity! (Sorry this took so long. I didn't get a post that you'd updated.)
Big improvement here. I’ve tried to tighten it up for you. Watch out for many paragraphs beginning with “Lucy.” Try to change that up a bit. I’ve added a new line-by-line for you.
P.S. We call an aunt "aunt" here, except for Dorothy who referred to hers as "Auntie Em" -- but that was in the 30s. Maybe it's a Australian vs US thing...
P.P.S. I'm a genre writer, not contemp, so my suggestions may be a bit more melodramatic than you want. *blush*
I've added something to what Laura said. Hope it helps.
I liked the changes you made at the beginning, but I think you can even be more concise and take out "without his last breaths". I also think that the last line in the first paragraph seems a but contrived and think you would do better without it.
The second paragraph is confusing and wordy. Maybe...After the tragedy Lucy struggles to return to swimming, avoiding her best friend and former swim partner for fear she will treat her differently....I don't know...something more concise.
Next paragraph: When a former friend of Lucy's convinces her to attend a party, Lucy comes face to face with her brothers best friend.
Angered by his abscence after the accident Lucy confronts him and demands to know what happened the night he died.
When he tells her that he beleives her brother commited suicide Lucy is left realing.
Paragraphs 3- 4: I don't think you even need these paragraphs on there own. I think you could somehow combine these
Tired and broken from her loss Lucy finds support through a boy named Evan. Evan makes her laugh and forget the drama. But when Lucy receives a call telling her her mom is in the hospital and that it is a possible suicide attempt she doesn't know what to think. With Evan's support Lucy begins to deal with her emotions and face her fear of the pool. But it blows up when Lucy begins to think all Evan cares about is fixing her and doesn't see her for who she really is.
I now this is a draft but the last sentence needs to be stronger. Don't start it with "though"
Those are a few suggestions to pull it in tighter. I think you have a lot of information in this letter and might be missing the main point of the story. I personally don't find it necessary to include every character in the synopsis. For example you never mention her friend after the first paragraph so maybe she could be excluded for the synopsis.
Your paragraphs jump from one scene to the next instead of telling the gist of the story as a whole.
Sorry I can't do a line by line correction...not sure how to do that on my Mac. :)
I am not a stellar synopsis writer and all the suggestions I am sending your way came from this group. Good luck
Thank you all so much for your help. Unfortunately I had to send it off already haha.
I've attached what I ended up going with but I will definitely take your suggestions on board for any further submissions. Again thanks heaps!!!
I like the premise and the opening paragraph.
I'm no expert at synopsis, but I crossed out a few things that don't seem essential to the synopsis. There are some places where you list events, this happened, then this happened, etc. I have this same problem when I write a synopsis. Maybe you could summarize the events or the importance of the events rather than listing them?
Good luck. If you figure out a magic formula, please share.
LUCY TAYLOR is broken. Her older brother is dead, drowned. Everything inside her wants to scream. The water that used to be her solace seems to surround her and she is stuck, trapped in this tiny coastal town, water lapping at her door.
Swimming defined Lucy, now she can’t look at the water without seeing her brother, without imaging his last breaths. She wants him back but the sea took him and held on.
Lucy can’t bare to face her best friend and training partner, the inventible inevitable sympathy and pity, worse, the constant reminder of swimming. Instead she seeks indifference with Steffi Greggson, a girl who can smell weakness like dogs can smell fear. What does this mean? Whose fear is she smelling?
Steffi and her friends take Lucy to a party. At the party Lucy runs into her brother’s best friend. Hurt that he hasn't been around since the funeral, Lucy confronts and makes him tell her what happened that night with her brother. He is hesitant but reveals that he doesn’t think her brother’s death was an accident but was suicide. Lucy yells at him to shut up! She tries to drown the thought but it gets stuck in her head.
Lucy wants to shutdown but she is pulled back by Steffi’s infectious friends. Especially Evan Harris. Evan makes Lucy laugh; telling her bizarre facts and making up stories.
While at school Lucy receives a call from her auntie telling her that her mother has been taken to hospital. Lucy can’t seem to comprehend that her mother almost died. Her auntie says it was a medication mix up and Lucy worries that her she may have tried to kill herself.
Evan and Lucy start dating. Evan keeps pushing Lucy to deal with things. He tries to get her to go back in the pool but it all blows up in his face. Lucy confronts him about trying to 'fix her'.
Lucy worries that she’s opened up too much to Evan and he will always be connected to her grief. She tries to break up with him. Evan says he wants to be there for her even if she never gets over it.
The group goes on a road trip to Sydney for Lucy’s birthday. While in Sydney Lucy notices a cigarette lighter that Steffi has that belonged to her brother. Lucy accuses Steffi of stealing it. Steffi says that brother gave it to her. Lucy asks why on earth he would give her anything? Steffi says it was because they were together. Lucy is sent into a tail-spin. Why would her brother do that? Is this why Steffi has been her friend?Steffi explains that while she loved Lucy's brother he didn't love her back. She feels guilty for seeing how messed up he was and not doing anything to help him. Lucy tells her that they all saw it but no-one did anything. Steffi assures Lucy that she really is her friend. Lucy isn't over the shock but she does start to understand.
Though Lucy is still sad over the loss of her brother, with the help of her friends, she can take whatever comes next.