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Insouciance (YA Horror)


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#1 Saints

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:33 PM

Hi everyone! Writing the following synopsis was harder than writing the manuscript! Please read and let me know what you think. In GoogleDocs, this is 1.5 pages double-spaced, at 467 words. Thanks for reading!

 
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insouciance [\in-sü-sē-ǝn(t)s] noun. 1. lack of care or concern; He wandered into the meeting with complete insouciance to being late. 2. the alleged ability to interact with non-human entities, i.e. angels, demons; The exorcist enlisted someone with insouciance to give the name of the demon.
 
Eighteen-year-old MADELINE SCHOFIELD, an insouciant resentful of her ability, dreams of having a quiet summer before her senior year of high school. At a party one night, an entity named BRUCE approaches Madeline with a cryptic warning. Being neither an angel or demon, Bruce creeps Madeline out, making her question the entity’s intentions.
 
The next day, Madeline’s long-distance father PAUL calls and tells her about a local summer internship. The Upstate New York Paranormal Society (UNYPS) is looking for volunteers. Jaded about helping people in the past, Madeline refuses. She changes her mind after getting into a fight with her mom, JANICE, and drives two hours to Paul’s home in Saratoga Springs, New York. UNYPS head investigator RUSSELL explains the case to her. The EICHHOLZ family have a demon in their house attacking people, resisting the prayers of priests. 
 
Madeline joins the team, but cannot get the demon’s name. To make things worse, there is a demonic seal on the home. At the height of their failures, seven-year-old GRACE EICHHOLZ almost drowns when something holds her head underwater in the bathtub.
 
With Bruce’s help, Madeline meets PADRE, a former military chaplain with unconventional exorcism methods. They bring Padre to the Eichholz home, and the demon shows its true form to Madeline. But when the demon throws Padre across the room, damaging the house, Mr. Eichholz tells them to leave and never come back. Things get worse when Madeline finds out that Paul has been charging UNYPS to use Madeline on the case and pocketing the money. Upset and distracted, Madeline drives in the rain and crashes her car.
 
In the hospital, Madeline’s insouciant grandfather encourages her to stay with the case. Soon after, the team discovers the clients’ teenaged son, NATHANIEL, is possessed. During the exorcism, Madeline finally gets the demon’s name: VUM’HAR. But Padre still cannot drive Vum’har out of Nathaniel. With some last minute sleuthing, Madeline breaks the seal on the house. This allows Bruce to enter, revealing that she’s a grim reaper, overseeing Vum’har’s death. With Bruce’s guidance, Madeline and Padre drive Vum’har out of Nathaniel, saving the teen’s life and ending the demon’s.
 
Months later, Ramona and DOROTHY, a recruiter from Wolvenne College, visits Madeline. UNYPS is based out of Wolvenne’s Paranormal Studies department, which reviewed the Eichholz case and was impressed with Madeline’s work. Dorothy says if she’s interested in helping more people like the Eichholz family, that she should apply to the college. Madeline promises to, now no longer resentful of her insouciance.


#2 npstanford

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 05:19 PM

 

insouciance [\in-sü-sē-ǝn(t)s] noun1. lack of care or concern; He wandered into the meeting with complete insouciance to being late. 2. the alleged ability to interact with non-human entities, i.e. angels, demons; The exorcist enlisted someone with insouciance to give the name of the demon.

 
Eighteen-year-old MADELINE SCHOFIELD, an insouciant resentful of her ability, dreams of having a quiet summer before her senior year of high school. At a party one night, an entity named BRUCE approaches Madeline with a cryptic warning. Being neither an angel or demon, Bruce creeps Madeline out, making her question the entity’s intentions.
The next day, Madeline’s long-distance father PAUL calls and tells her about a local summer internship with the The Upstate New York Paranormal Society (UNYPS) is looking for volunteers. Jaded about helping people in the past, Madeline refuses. //as written, this doesn't make sense to me... is she jaded because people she helped before screwed her later? I.e. answer why she is jaded about helping people. Also, why does she view the internship as "helping people" vs making money or building a resume?  Also, I think you need to make it clear whether her dad and mom know about her abilityShe changes her mind after getting into a fight with her mom, JANICE, and drives two hours to Paul’s home in Saratoga Springs, New York. UNYPS head investigator RUSSELL explains the case to her. The EICHHOLZ family have a demon in their house attacking people, resisting the prayers of priests. //"explains their first job is a violent demon in the EICHOLZ house"
 
Madeline joins the team, but cannot get the demon’s name. // I think you need to give indication here or earlier that she needs names to do her thing To make things worse, there is a demonic seal on the home. // can you explain why this is a big deal? At the height of their failures, seven-year-old GRACE EICHHOLZ almost drowns when something holds her head underwater in the bathtub.
 
With Bruce’s help, Madeline meets PADRE, a former military chaplain with unconventional exorcism methods. They bring Padre to the Eichholz home, and the demon shows its true form to Madeline. But when the demon throws Padre across the room, damaging the house, Mr. Eichholz tells them to leave and never come back. Things get worse when Madeline finds out that Paul // might want to just say "her dad". I had to look back to see who Paul was. has been charging UNYPS to use Madeline on the case and pocketing the money. Upset and distracted, Madeline drives in the rain and crashes her car.
 
In the hospital, Madeline’s insouciant grandfather encourages her to stay with the case. Soon after, the team discovers the clients’ teenaged son, NATHANIEL, is possessed. During the exorcism, Madeline finally gets the demon’s name: VUM’HAR. But Padre still cannot drive Vum’har out of Nathaniel. With some last minute sleuthing, Madeline breaks the seal on the house. This allows Bruce to enter, revealing that she’s a grim reaper, overseeing Vum’har’s death. With Bruce’s guidance, Madeline and Padre drive Vum’har out of Nathaniel, saving the teen’s life and ending the demon’s.
 
Months later, Ramona and DOROTHY, a recruiter from Wolvenne College, visits Madeline. UNYPS is based out of Wolvenne’s Paranormal Studies department, which reviewed the Eichholz case and was impressed with Madeline’s work. Dorothy says if she’s interested in helping more people like the Eichholz family, that she should apply to the college. Madeline promises to, now no longer resentful of her insouciance.

 

Thoughts: 

- I don't think you need to mention many of the family's names. You could just say daughter instead of Grace and son instead of Nathaniel

- I think earlier on you need to do a bit mroe explaining about insouciants. Specifically, do her parents and the world at large know about her powers, and that she needs demons names. 

- Not sure if this is good advice, but you might want to be more specific on how she breaks the seal. Since these seems like the climax of the book, if there is something particularly clever in how she does it, I think the agent / publisher will want to see.

- Bruce. Is there a way you can weave Bruce throughout the synopsis more? I don't necessarily mean mentioning him/her/it more but tying it into the rest of the story. Right now, the first paragraph about bruce seems totally separate to the rest of the synopsis till the end. Maybe give more details about the warning so that the reader realizees it is a warning about the eicholtz house? 

- Where did htings end with her parents? Consider adding a line at the end to give some closure here

 

ANYWAY, I think you have the solid bones in place and (have done a good job of being concise!) There's just some more detail needed to pull it all together!

 

If you have time, I'd appreciate a look at my synopsis: http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/






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