Author Topic: Rewritten  (Read 2530 times)

MrsButler

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Rewritten
« on: December 29, 2009, 11:30:46 AM »
 Rewritten
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 01:51:41 PM by MrsButler »

super fly

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2009, 07:24:16 PM »
Hi Mrs B.

I like this version better it seems more professional and interesting.  ;)

Offline A.J.B

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2009, 07:57:13 PM »
If I am going to be honest, this one drew me in and made me want to read it. The former did not.

Good work on this one :D
My debut novel 'Life Eternal' is now available to buy on Amazon in both paperback and kindle.

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Offline bob414bob

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 08:18:06 PM »
Hi, this version is better but I still don't think its there yet. On some parts you seem to give us loads of info, for example, Maggie is determined to throw the baby in the river Tweed, but loses her nerve and places it in some reeds near the water’s edge. But in other parts you skip over important details.

I also think the opening paragraph still needs tightening up.

THE HANGING OF MARGARET DICKSON is a historical novel set in 18th century Scotland, and is the
remarkable story of a real life character
telling the true story of a woman who survived a public hanging.

Oh and one more thing (sorry) In both versions you used the expression, Maggie finds herself in a state of pregnancy. It might just be me but this sounds over wordy and an odd way of saying pregnant.

starlette627

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 11:02:30 PM »
Ooh this story has so much potential! I'm definitely interested in it but I think you can really hone in on the details and tighten the writing so it the synopsis is more exciting.

Intro for example, can maybe be tightened like so: "Utterly distressed, she decides to leave Musselburg and head for Newcastle to stay with relatives. But, Maggie never reaches Newcastle.

In efforts to split the journey, she stops for a night at Kelso. Maggie forms a bond with the landlady, whom she works for in return for board and lodgings, but forms an even stronger bond with her son, WILLIAM BELL. Shortly after, Maggie is pregnant. She tries to hide her condition but the child is born prematurely and days later, the baby dies."

I think more action words can be used to move this as well. For example instead of saying "unfortunately for her, a local fisherman finds..." Just start with "When a local fisherman finds the body, Maggie is arrested and taken to Edinburgh for trial. She is found guilty and sentenced to hang."

Just some ideas to help tighten a bit and create more action in the synopsis, sounds like an intriguing story!

Offline Calrootpeg

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2009, 12:40:33 AM »
I agree with all the previous replies.  Better, concise story summary. 

You left out your main character's sultry affairs leading to her departure from Musselburgh... I thought there was something in your first draft about that?

I love the advice you're getting... nice advice too!   

Go with Bob and Starlette.  They and other say, "tighten, tighten, tighten."

On board with that concept.

Go get'um, seems we all like the story line... and that's what counts.
Calrootpeg
      :)

Wolfe

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2009, 02:40:09 AM »
Sorry to say, you wrote a summary instead of a synopsis. The big difference between the two is a summary will tell a story while a synopsis shows it with as few words as possible.

I'll demonstrate.

THE HANGING OF MARGARET DICKSON is a historical novel set in 18th century Scotland, and is the
remarkable story of a real life character who survived a public hanging.
(All givens and telling)

In 1723 (Scotland) (comma) MAGGIE DICKSON, a fish hawker,'s husband, is deserted by her husband(comma) PATRICK SPENCE(comma) (abandons her).  Utterly distressed she decides to (She) leave(s) (her home in) Musselburgh and comma) head(s) for Newcastle to stay with relatives.

In 1723 Scotland, MAGGIE DICKSON's husband, PATRICK SPENCE, abandons her. She leaves her home in Musselburgh and heads for Newcastle to stay with relatives.

For your first sentence, even in a synopsis, you want to add some fire to your hook. Again, I'll demonstrate with an example.

JASON DALTON comes home early to find his wife, MYRIAM DALTON, underneath his father—her finger, to the wedding ring, buried up her lover's ass.

Notice the difference?

Open your synopsis with a shocker, drama, disgust, or anything other than dry and lifeless.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 02:49:59 AM by Wolfe »

Offline Socom

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2009, 02:43:41 AM »
Caveat: I cannot offer advice on the structure/format of a synopsis--there are others on this forum who are more knowledgeable in that area  

IMO = In my Opinion

Suggested changes are in bold, any text with strikethrough should be omitted (IMO), and my comments are in masculine purple italics.

Closing comments are below your piece

=================


THE HANGING OF MARGARET DICKSON is a historical novel set in 18th century Scotland, and is the
remarkable story of a real life character who survived a public hanging. (Opening has my interest)

In 1723 MAGGIE DICKSON, a fish hawker, is deserted by her husband PATRICK SPENCE (good--it's concise).  Utterly distressed, she decides to leave Musselburgh and head for Newcastle to stay with relatives. ("head for" seems too informal. Perhaps "...she decides to leave Musselburgh and stay with relatives in Newcastle"

She never reaches Newcastle (you just said "Newcastle" in the previous sentence. Try "...never reaches her destination"). To split the journey up, she stops for a night at Kelso. Maggie likes the landlady so much, she asks for work in return for board and lodgings. Maggie forms a strong bond with the landlady, and an even stronger one with her son WILLIAM BELL. Shortly after, Maggie finds herself in a state of pregnancy ("state of pregnancy" is awkward. Perhaps "...finds herself pregnant with William's child"). She contrives to conceal her condition, and the child is born prematurely. After a few days, the baby dies. Maggie is determined to throw the baby in the river Tweed, but loses her nerve and places it in some reeds near the water’s edge.

Unfortunately for her, a local fisherman finds the body and notifies the magistrates. Maggie is arrested and taken to Edinburgh for trial, found guilty and sentenced to hang. (you say "hanged" in the next sentence. Instead of "...sentenced to hang" try "...sentenced to death."
Maggie is hanged by hangman (instead of "hangman" try "executioner") JOHN DALGLIESH and death is pronounced by the attending doctor (instead of "doctor" try "physician"). Her body is cut down and placed in a coffin when a scuffle breaks out between the mourners and a number of surgeon apprentices who want the body for dissection. In the course of the fight, a ruffian smashes in part of the coffin with a hammer but is eventually driven off. (hmm...this last sentence does not fit. I would remove it completely)

The funeral party in charge of the corpse stop at a tavern for refreshments, leaving the coffin and cart outside. Meanwhile, two passing joiners hear noises coming from inside the coffin and inform the funeral party. A decision is made to remove the coffin nails and when the lid is taken off, the corpse is seen to draw up her limbs and utter an unearthly groan ("is seen to draw up her limbs" is awkward, I would rephrase that). Maggie Dickson was alive!  

The novel ends with Maggie returning to Musselburgh and recovering to full health. She is reunited with her husband who forgives her and marries her for a second time; they have a son, JAMES SPENCE one year after her trial. In true character, Maggie is not reformed and remains a shameless profligate ("shameless profligate" is redundant since profligate implies shameless), running an alehouse in Berwick and living as late as 1753. (there are several issues with this last sentence. First, "in true character" is a bit awkward...perhaps the idiom "True to form". Second, "reformed", word choice issue IMO...try "repentant" or "mend her ways". Third, I feel like something is missing...how does running an alehouse in Berwick suggest that she is a profligate?)

===============



Bah! I typed this before Wolfe's response :-\ Oh well...it's still useful IMO  ;)
"May God forgive me for the time I've wasted"
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"God never panics"
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"This too shall pass"

Offline PretzelGirl

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2009, 06:32:29 PM »
Not good with a synopsis at all so I can't offer anything more than has been said. But I do like this one better than the other one and it has piqued my interest, if that counts of anything.
Smoke me a clipper, I'll be back for Christmas!
- A. J. Rimmer, Red Dwarf

Offline Linda Aitchison

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2009, 10:16:39 AM »
Hi - I can see there may be a good story behind the summary/synopsis but the way this is written still doesn't grab me. What Wolfe says is right - every story could be described as 'remarkable' to its author else why would they write it? My earlier comment was that your words read as a chronological account of what has happened rather than a strong piece of writing and I still think that, I personally would like to see, as Wolfe has also said, more 'fire' in your hook/opening lines. This is a reflection of me as a reader, and a short attention span. But to me, the writing here is flat and needs to come alive.

I've written various examples of a synopsis accepted by a publisher (non-fiction) and you need to be able to tell a story well and engage the reader, make your words come alive, rather than list a set of circumstances. Those circumstances may pique readers' interest, but the way they are told needs to leave your readers hungry for more.

I still think you need to be more economical with what you write - why say 'utterly distressed'? The utterly isn't needed and as her husband has left her then she is going to be distressed. Why say "in a state of pregnancy" - it just seems unecessarily long-winded to me.

I hope these points may be helpful and wish you all the very best.
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MrsButler

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2010, 10:47:09 AM »
Wolfe, Socom, Pretzelgirl, Calrootpeg, Starlettegirl, Bob, Linda......Superfly , AJB

A big thankyou for the critiques, comments.......... I cannot tell you all how much I appreciate your help. You are all my hero's.

In my little northern town, writing is for dreamer's and when i tell people i am trying to writea novel they laugh................ however i will not give up. :P

I will study your comments, suggestions etc. And make some adjustments..... perhaps a 3rd attempt.

Have a feeling that by attempt 176 i might have cracked it  ;) ;D

I welcome more critiques, suggestions and humbly thank you all.

Mrs. B :-*

Offline Linda Aitchison

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2010, 10:59:19 AM »
There are some excellent books and resources online you could have a look at on how to write a synopsis.
I'm learning more about writing fiction and intend to find out all I can, don't let people put you off - but also find your own voice.
Good luck to you.
<a href="http://www.freelancewritingtips.com">"Currently updating and adding to my book on freelance writing</a>

super fly

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Re: Second Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2010, 05:18:58 PM »
Wolfe, Socom, Pretzelgirl, Calrootpeg, Starlettegirl, Bob, Linda......Superfly , AJB

A big thankyou for the critiques, comments.......... I cannot tell you all how much I appreciate your help. You are all my hero's.

In my little northern town, writing is for dreamer's and when i tell people i am trying to writea novel they laugh................ however i will not give up. :P

I will study your comments, suggestions etc. And make some adjustments..... perhaps a 3rd attempt.

Have a feeling that by attempt 176 i might have cracked it  ;) ;D

I welcome more critiques, suggestions and humbly thank you all.

Mrs. B :-*



HI Mrs.B :D

I had the same thing happen to me when i told people that i wanted to write a novel. :o ( they laugh...... :() they laughed at me also :-\. But you can't let haters get the best of you :P. One thing haters can't stand is success ;D so that why i am determine to make my novel the best it can be, and i know you will do the same.

There are websites with free content on writing from top univ. or from people with writing exp. if you are interested then pm me and i will send you the links. ( this goes for anybody else that is interested just pm me ;))

Offline Ashleigh

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Re: Third Attempt of Synopsis By Mrs Butler
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2010, 08:28:45 PM »
I decided to read this after I read your prologue...all I can say is, Damn. I didn't see that coming.

Fantastic idea, great synopsis. To the point without being dull, still providing enough information to make me curious about your characters and want to read the book for myself.