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#1 Aightball

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 09:47 PM

So, after a LONG hiatus from AQC and completely gutting and reworking the plot and rewriting the novel, J&J are ready for some critiques.  My writer's group has the book...I'm handing you guys the synopsis, haha.  As usual, rip it good, give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So, without further ado, here's the rough draft of my synopsis:

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN met when Jacoby was in training to be an EMT.  Jimmy had been beaten and raped after drinking himself nearly to death one night.  A few years later, they married.

 

Through their marriage, they've talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy was stable.  That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination.

 

Their search has finally begun and begins with a number of rejections, many of which are based on their being gay.  But finally, NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up and the journey to having a child begins.  With the backing of an agency they begin applying for grants that help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through both psychological and medical evaluations. 

 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy spent six years as a med evac pilot in the California National Guard.  When he returned from his last deployment, his parents disowned him and threw him out.  Since then, he's struggled with depression and anxiety on top of alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  He also wants Jimmy to quit smoking, but has to decide which battle to pick first.

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors, although the doctor lectures him on smoking.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of interviews, emails, and phone calls, they choose ESTELLE.  She lives close to home and they love her personality.  It doesn't hurt that her husband is cute, too.  While they prepare to bring Estelle into their family, the search for an egg donor continues.

 

While the boys are searching or their surrogate, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His adoptive mother, ELEANOR, intervenes and tells his birth mother to back off, but to no avail.  When his birth parents show up at work, trouble begins.  During a meeting at a local park, Jimmy and his father come to blows and Jimmy is suspended from work.

 

Through the unexpected contact with his parents, Jimmy is reunited with his sister MIKAYLA.  He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he accidentally lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With Mikayla and Estelle in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter ELIZA.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

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#2 giffordmac

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 03:38 PM

This sounds like a great story and I think the synopsis has the right amount of detail in it. My only comment (and really, it's more a quibble) is that the first two sentences don't seem to flow. I think it would be more appropriate to combine them into something like:

 

JACOBY MORTENSEN, training to become an EMT, rescued JIMMY who had been beaten and raped after drinking himself nearly to death.

 

Best of luck!


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#3 Monks

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:12 AM

Overall, I'd say this is in pretty good shape, and the story sounds compelling. In general, I think you just include a lot of unnecessary information that can be cut out. But that's a good thing. Cutting fluff is way easier than squeezing in more info while trying to stay under a word count, so with just a little tweaking, I think this will be really tightly focused and ready to go. Nicely done! And if you have the time, I'd be super grateful for a critique of my synopsis as well.

So, after a LONG hiatus from AQC and completely gutting and reworking the plot and rewriting the novel, J&J are ready for some critiques.  My writer's group has the book...I'm handing you guys the synopsis, haha.  As usual, rip it good, give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So, without further ado, here's the rough draft of my synopsis:

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN met when Jacoby was in training to be an EMT.  Jimmy had been beaten and raped after drinking himself nearly to death one night.  A few years later, they married. As giffordmac suggested, the flow in this paragraph is pretty jarring. I would move the revelation about Jimmy's rape a little farther down the synopsis, as part of a more thorough rewrite of the first couple paragraphs.

 

Through their marriage, they've talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy was stable.  That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination.

 

Their search has finally begun and begins with a number of rejections, many of which are based on their being gay.  But finally, NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up and the journey to having a child begins.  With the backing of an agency they begin applying for grants that help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through both psychological and medical evaluations. 

 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy spent six years as a med evac pilot in the California National Guard.  When he returned from his last deployment, his parents disowned him and threw him out.  Since then, he's struggled with depression and anxiety on top of alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  He also wants Jimmy to quit smoking, but has to decide which battle to pick first. This comment concerns everything from the beginning of the synopsis up until this paragraph. There's a lot of extraneous information here. Near the beginning, you mention that having a baby will be expensive for them. So you're setting up a potential plot hurdle to overcome, great. Except that problem gets resolved just two sentences later, when they get the backing of an agency, and then the money issue basically never comes up again in the synopsis. Maybe it matters more in the novel itself, but I don't think it's necessary to include in the synopsis. I would cut out the money completely. I would also cut out all the mentions of Jimmy's smoking. Basically, the plot seems to center around Jimmy's mental health issues, which seem to have roots in both the difficulties he faced growing up as a homosexual (tied into his relationship with his parents) and the abuse mentioned in your first paragraph. In my opinion, the synopsis then should be all about that central arc. The money is secondary, the smoking is a minor detail. Focus on what's actually driving the plot.

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors, although the doctor lectures him on smoking.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of interviews, emails, and phone calls, they choose ESTELLE.  She lives close to home and they love her personality.  It doesn't hurt that her husband is cute, too.  While they prepare to bring Estelle into their family, the search for an egg donor continues. Again, some of these details don't matter. Estelle definitely does not need to be mentioned by name (nor does Mikayla or Eliza, for that matter). Personally, I don't think the details about her or her husband are necessary either, but if you rework the first half of the synopsis, they might fit better. 

 

While the boys are searching or their surrogate, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His adoptive mother, ELEANOR, intervenes and tells his birth mother to back off, but to no avail.  When his birth parents show up at work, trouble begins.  During a meeting at a local park, Jimmy and his father come to blows and Jimmy is suspended from work. Jimmy's relationship with his parents (and his sister) should come up sooner, in my opinion. I think you should mention the strained relationship in the first half of the synopsis, when you're giving a general overview of the mental health issues that Jimmy is dealing with. I'd also work in that he's adopted in there as well, if only so you don't confuse the reader later. When you mentioned his adoptive mother, I had to go back and check earlier in the synopsis if I missed mention of his being adoptive or his relationship with his parents or something like that. It just felt jarring coming up at the end like this, when it seemed part of the foundation of his character development. Though in fairness, all of this will flow much better if some of the extraneous stuff I mentioned earlier is cut out.

 

Through the unexpected contact with his parents, Jimmy is reunited with his sister MIKAYLA.  He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he accidentally lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With Mikayla and Estelle in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter ELIZA.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#4 Aightball

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:56 PM

Overall, I'd say this is in pretty good shape, and the story sounds compelling. In general, I think you just include a lot of unnecessary information that can be cut out. But that's a good thing. Cutting fluff is way easier than squeezing in more info while trying to stay under a word count, so with just a little tweaking, I think this will be really tightly focused and ready to go. Nicely done! And if you have the time, I'd be super grateful for a critique of my synopsis as well.

 

 

Thank you!  I'd much rather cut fluff, haha =).  If only the query could come together this easily, eh?

 

I'll hop over and take a look at your shortly =)!


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

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#5 Wynn Brothers

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:08 AM

So, after a LONG hiatus from AQC and completely gutting and reworking the plot and rewriting the novel, J&J are ready for some critiques.  My writer's group has the book...I'm handing you guys the synopsis, haha.  As usual, rip it good, give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So, without further ado, here's the rough draft of my synopsis:

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN met when Jacoby was in training to be an EMT.  Jimmy had been beaten and raped after drinking himself nearly to death one night.  A few years later, they married. (It took three reads for me to guess that Jacoby met Jimmy on the job.)

 

Through their marriage, they've talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy was stable. (They talk about having children, but agree to wait until Jimmy is stable [what do you mean by stable? Emotionally, medically, financially?].)   That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination. (I'm wondering why they need a surrogate and an egg donor. Don't surrogate's have eggs? From my understanding, traditionally, egg gathering for surrogacy is done in order to use the eggs from the mother who will raise the child. If there's an answer to this question in the novel, it would be good to provide it in the synopsis, so the reader isn't left wondering.)

 

Their search has finally begun and begins with a number of rejections, many of which are based on their being gay.  But finally, NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up and the journey to having a child begins (Actually, it already began. See the previous sentence). With the backing of an agency and they begin applying for grants that to help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through undergo the required both psychological and medical evaluations. 

 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process worry is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy spent six years as a med evac pilot in the California National Guard.  When he returned from his last deployment, his parents disowned him and threw him out.  Since then, he's Ever since being disowned by his parents, Jimmy has struggled with depression, and anxiety, on top of and alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  (He also wants Jimmy to quit smoking, but has to decide which battle to pick first but decides to fight one battle at a time.) (That last sentence works better for me like that, but actually it should be removed. I doubt the story hinges on Jimmy's quitting smoking.)

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors, although the doctor lectures him on smoking.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of interviews, emails, and phone calls, they choose ESTELLE.  She lives close to home and they love her personality.  It doesn't hurt that her husband is cute, too.  While they prepare to bring Estelle into their family, the search for an egg donor continues. (This is a big hang up for me. In order to trust the story, I need to know why she doesn't use her own egg. If she can't, I need to know that. I would also need to know why they chose her when she requires so much extra. I would buy that they don't want the surrogate to be the same as the egg donor, but with their having to jump through so many hoops already, I need it to actually be said in a believable way.)

 

While the boys are searching or their surrogate, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and , but Jimmy returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His adoptive mother, ELEANOR, intervenes and tells his birth mother to back off, but to no avail.  When his birth parents show up at his job work, trouble begins.  During a meeting at a local park, Jimmy and his father come to blows and tempers flare and Jimmy is suspended from work.

 

Through the unexpected contact with his parents, When Jimmy is reunited with his sister MIKAYLA., He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he accidentally lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much (you can do better than "much." After a World War III of discussion, After twelve rounds of discussion, etc.)  discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With Mikayla and Estelle in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once the pregnancy is stable news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter ELIZA.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.

 

Good Job. My input was mostly cutting the fat and seeking clarity. Sometimes a work will be overrun with a repeated theme. Here, there were way too many beginnings and startings. To me, it reads better without them. 

 

-Tim

 



#6 Paulsvault

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:40 PM

So, after a LONG hiatus from AQC and completely gutting and reworking the plot and rewriting the novel, J&J are ready for some critiques.  My writer's group has the book...I'm handing you guys the synopsis, haha.  As usual, rip it good, give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So, without further ado, here's the rough draft of my synopsis:

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN met when Jacoby was in training to be an EMT.  Jimmy had been beaten and raped after drinking himself nearly to death one night.  A few years later, they married.

 

Through their marriage, they've talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy was stable.  That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination.

 

Their search has finally begun and begins with a number of rejections, many of which are based on their being gay.  But Finally, NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up and the journey to having a child begins.  With the backing of an agency they begin applying for grants that help with expenses, even though they've already saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through both psychological and medical evaluations. 

 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy spent six years as a med evac pilot in the California National Guard.  When he returned from his last deployment, his parents disowned him and threw him out.  Since then, he's struggled with depression and anxiety on top of alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  He also wants Jimmy to quit smoking, but has to decide which battle to pick first. The meat of this paragraph is obviously important, but I feel like there are some parts that could be eliminated (his national guard service, the exercise to pills part, and the smoking) and expound on the cause of his depression and anxiety, i.e. the parents

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors, although the doctor lectures him on smoking.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of interviews, emails, and phone calls, they choose ESTELLE.  She lives close to home and they love her personality.  It doesn't hurt that her husband is cute, too.  While they prepare to bring Estelle into their family, the search for an egg donor continues. There may be more relevant information here that I am missing, and if so, feel free to adjust as necessary, but it doesn't seem to hold a great deal of weight in the synopsis.

 

During their search for a surrogate and egg donor, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His adoptive mother, ELEANOR, intervenes and tells his birth mother to back off, but to no avail.  When his birth parents show up at work, trouble begins.  During a meeting at a local park, Jimmy and his father come to blows and Jimmy is suspended from work.

 

Through the unexpected contact with his parents, Jimmy is reunited with his sister MIKAYLA.  He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he accidentally lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With Mikayla and Estelle in place, things seem to fly and The implantation day finally arrives, and Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter ELIZA.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.

Sounds like a great story with real-world conflict and resolutions. I am by no means an expert on synopsis' (you will realize that if you read mine by the way), so take it with an enormous grain of salt. I think others have likely offered much better advice, but maybe there is something here that will help you.

Good Luck!


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#7 Aightball

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:31 PM

 

So, after a LONG hiatus from AQC and completely gutting and reworking the plot and rewriting the novel, J&J are ready for some critiques.  My writer's group has the book...I'm handing you guys the synopsis, haha.  As usual, rip it good, give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So, without further ado, here's the rough draft of my synopsis:

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN met when Jacoby was in training to be an EMT.  Jimmy had been beaten and raped after drinking himself nearly to death one night.  A few years later, they married. (It took three reads for me to guess that Jacoby met Jimmy on the job.)

 

Through their marriage, they've talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy was stable. (They talk about having children, but agree to wait until Jimmy is stable [what do you mean by stable? Emotionally, medically, financially?].)   That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination. (I'm wondering why they need a surrogate and an egg donor. Don't surrogate's have eggs? From my understanding, traditionally, egg gathering for surrogacy is done in order to use the eggs from the mother who will raise the child. If there's an answer to this question in the novel, it would be good to provide it in the synopsis, so the reader isn't left wondering.)

 

Their search has finally begun and begins with a number of rejections, many of which are based on their being gay.  But finally, NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up and the journey to having a child begins (Actually, it already began. See the previous sentence). With the backing of an agency and they begin applying for grants that to help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through undergo the required both psychological and medical evaluations. 

 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process worry is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy spent six years as a med evac pilot in the California National Guard.  When he returned from his last deployment, his parents disowned him and threw him out.  Since then, he's Ever since being disowned by his parents, Jimmy has struggled with depression, and anxiety, on top of and alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  (He also wants Jimmy to quit smoking, but has to decide which battle to pick first but decides to fight one battle at a time.) (That last sentence works better for me like that, but actually it should be removed. I doubt the story hinges on Jimmy's quitting smoking.)

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors, although the doctor lectures him on smoking.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of interviews, emails, and phone calls, they choose ESTELLE.  She lives close to home and they love her personality.  It doesn't hurt that her husband is cute, too.  While they prepare to bring Estelle into their family, the search for an egg donor continues. (This is a big hang up for me. In order to trust the story, I need to know why she doesn't use her own egg. If she can't, I need to know that. I would also need to know why they chose her when she requires so much extra. I would buy that they don't want the surrogate to be the same as the egg donor, but with their having to jump through so many hoops already, I need it to actually be said in a believable way.)

 

While the boys are searching or their surrogate, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and , but Jimmy returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His adoptive mother, ELEANOR, intervenes and tells his birth mother to back off, but to no avail.  When his birth parents show up at his job work, trouble begins.  During a meeting at a local park, Jimmy and his father come to blows and tempers flare and Jimmy is suspended from work.

 

Through the unexpected contact with his parents, When Jimmy is reunited with his sister MIKAYLA., He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he accidentally lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much (you can do better than "much." After a World War III of discussion, After twelve rounds of discussion, etc.)  discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With Mikayla and Estelle in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once the pregnancy is stable news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter ELIZA.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.

 

Good Job. My input was mostly cutting the fat and seeking clarity. Sometimes a work will be overrun with a repeated theme. Here, there were way too many beginnings and startings. To me, it reads better without them. 

 

-Tim

 

 

 

 

Thank you!

 

To answer your question: in my research, I found that for male same-sex couples, where they seek a female surrogate to carry, they try to find an egg donor in the family.  So for instance, Jacoby would donate the sperm and a woman from Jimmy's family would donate eggs so that the child has their parent's genetics.  If an egg donor can't be found, some surrogates will donate their eggs, but some prefer not doing so.  I will try to make that more clear in revisions =)


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#8 Aightball

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  • Publishing Experience:My short story ANGUISH is available now in the Elephant Bookshelf Press winter anthology "Winter's Regret".

Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:35 PM

Sounds like a great story with real-world conflict and resolutions. I am by no means an expert on synopsis' (you will realize that if you read mine by the way), so take it with an enormous grain of salt. I think others have likely offered much better advice, but maybe there is something here that will help you.

Good Luck!

 

Thank you!!  You gave great suggestions and a few that I'm seeing repeatedly =).  I'm not always good at trimming the fat so it's good to see that a lot of you are seeing the same things that need cut.  I'll pop over and take a look at your soon!


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#9 BraveL

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 10:26 AM

Thanks for critiquing my query! Here are my thoughts on your synopsis:

 

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN met when Jacoby was in training to be an EMT.  Jimmy had been beaten and raped after drinking himself nearly to death one night.  A few years later, they married.

 

Through their marriage, they've talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy was stable.  That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination.

 

Their search begins with a number of rejections, many of which are based on their being gay.  But finally, NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up and the journey to having a child begins.  With the backing of an agency they begin applying for grants that help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through both psychological and medical evaluations. Is this part of the adoption process?

 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy spent six years as a med evac pilot in the California National Guard.  When he returned from his last deployment, his parents disowned him and threw him out.  Since then, he's struggled with depression and anxiety on top of alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  He also wants Jimmy to quit smoking, but has to decide which battle to pick first.

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors, although the doctor lectures him on smoking.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of interviews, emails, and phone calls, they choose ESTELLE.  She lives close to home and they love her personality.  It doesn't hurt that her husband is cute, too.  While they prepare to bring Estelle into their family, the search for an egg donor continues.

 

While the boys are searching or their surrogate, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His adoptive mother, ELEANOR, intervenes and tells his birth mother to back off, but to no avail.  When his birth parents show up at work, trouble begins.  During a meeting at a local park, Jimmy and his father come to blows and Jimmy is suspended from work.

 

Through the unexpected contact with his parents, Jimmy is reunited with his sister MIKAYLA.  He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he accidentally lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With Mikayla and Estelle in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter ELIZA.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.

 

For the most part this is very clear and easy to understand. The one suggestion I have overall is if you could highlight the stakes. They have a lot of issues, but they overcome them quite easily (I know its probably not like that in your book), but in the synopsis you don't see the struggle. My suggestion would be to use stronger language and more descriptive verbs. 



#10 Aightball

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 07:36 PM

Thank you for all the great suggestions!  I made some tweaks, deleted some things, and rewrote some stuff.  Thoughts?

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN have talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy's mental health was stable and he stayed sober.  That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination.

 

Their search when NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up.  With the backing of an agency they begin applying for grants that help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through both psychological and medical evaluations. 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy's parents disowned him for being gay and threw him out.  Since then, he's struggled with depression, anxiety, and alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of emails and phone calls, they choose someone close to home, but continue to search for an egg donor.  Most agencies won't do artificial insemination and Jimmy and Jacoby want to find someone in their families.

In the middle of everything, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His parents take matters into their own hands and show up, unannounced, where Jimmy works.  Determined to help Jimmy patch things u with his folks, Jacoby arranges a meeting at a local park.  The meeting takes a turn when Jimmy's father starts calling him names.  Between angry words, Jimmy and his father come to blows and Jimmy is suspended from work.

 

Jimmy is allowed to return to work, but a few weeks later, his mother makes one more attempt at a visit.  He agrees to one meeting in order to make it clear that they will not reconcile. His mother attempts to guilt him into making up but he refuses and she finally returns home.  

 

The only good thing to come out of the unexpected contact with Jimmy's parents is a reunion with his sister.  He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With everyone in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#11 loopygoose

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 08:48 AM

Aaargh, I've just realised that somehow I ended up on your Synopsis thread, which is why I have given a rather confusing bit of feedback. I thought this was your query.  Anyway, my feedback is purely meant for work on a query. I'll try to take a look at it as a synopsis when I get the chance. Sorry for the confusion. Doh!

 

Thanks for critiquing my work. Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. I haven't read the other comments, I'm shooting from the hip and, to be completely honest, I preferred your previous iteration. This is more like a synopsis than a query and I find it quite flat compared to the way I see your real story. Rather than go through re-writing every bit I've hacked out the bits that I found grabbed my attention and made them into a short paragraph. The reason I found them interesting was that they make the story unique, rather than predictable.  You just want to hook an agent into reading your synopsis and first few pages so you don't need more than that.

 

If I were you, I'd focus on those elements and polish them because, obviously, my attempt will not be anywhere near as good as anything you write about your own work.  I do hope this is of some help!

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN have talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy's mental health was stable and he stayed sober.  That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination. ​This isn't really a hook for me. 

 

THE MORTENSEN'S have wanted children for a long time but when you're gay and battling mental health issues the colour of the nursery is the least of your worries.
 
JIMMY Mortensen' depression, anxiety, and alcoholism began when his parents disowned him for being gay and threw him out. In their quest to prove they can be better parents he and JACOBY work hard to finally overcome prejudice in the State Agencies only to have Jimmy's parents turn up unwanted and threaten to destabilise the entire process.
 
The two are forced to battle with long held family issues Jimmy has been avoiding and the danger that they will lose everything they've gained. The glimmer of hope is that somewhere in the family they could even find the source of a new life. 

 

Their search when NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up.  With the backing of an agency they begin applying for grants that help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through both psychological and medical evaluations. 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy's parents disowned him for being gay and threw him out.  Since then, he's struggled with depression, anxiety, and alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of emails and phone calls, they choose someone close to home, but continue to search for an egg donor.  Most agencies won't do artificial insemination and Jimmy and Jacoby want to find someone in their families but, with the family problems Jimmy has there seems to no chance for that to happen.

In the middle of everything, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years. Threatening to destabilise the entire process. and returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His parents take matters into their own hands and show up, unannounced, where Jimmy works.  Determined to help Jimmy patch things u with his folks, Jacoby arranges a meeting at a local park.  The meeting takes a turn when Jimmy's father starts calling him names.  Between angry words, Jimmy and his father come to blows and Jimmy is suspended from work.

 

Jimmy is allowed to return to work, but a few weeks later, his mother makes one more attempt at a visit.  He agrees to one meeting in order to make it clear that they will not reconcile. His mother attempts to guilt him into making up but he refuses and she finally returns home.  

 

The only good thing to come out of the unexpected contact with Jimmy's parents is a reunion with his sister.  He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With everyone in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.



#12 Monks

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:55 AM

This has definitely improved! It's more focused than the first version, and that brings the emotional conflict out. My overall critique is to just keep going. Keep cutting, keep narrowing the focus (and using the word count you save by doing so to get into the nitty gritty of the relationships and emotional drama). I think you can cut basically the entire third and fourth paragraph, except for the bits about Jimmy's parents throwing him out and Jimmy's general emotional state. The psych evals just don't feel like much of a plot point. That whole section basically says, "Jimmy needs to take medicine to pass his psych evals, and he doesn't want to, but then he does it anyway," and then that plot point is just gone. There's no drama there, and only the thinnest level of conflict. If the process is more involved and more full of real character building in the novel, then that needs to come out more in the synopsis. But I think you're better off focusing on the relationship stuff.

 

I also think you can remove all mention of artificial insemination. It's never a plot point. You say most agencies won't do it, you repeat that later on, then you mention that Jimmy and Jacoby don't even want to do artificial insemination, and then at the end, they get an egg donor anyway. It's never a point of conflict, so it doesn't need to be mentioned. Just focus on the search for an egg donor.

 

So with all of that cut out, the synopsis can be entirely about Jimmy's and Jacoby's relationship, Jimmy's issues from his past, and both of their interactions with Jimmy's parents. That's where I feel like the real drama is, but you don't get into much detail about it because so much space is taken up by the extraneous stuff. Obviously, we know why Jimmy is pissed at his parents. But why have his parents been trying to contact him for ten years? Do they regret what they did? What is it that finally causes them to physically come see him at work? Do they find out about Jimmy's attempts to have a kid and that's what drives them? How does Jacoby fit into this family drama? Do Jimmy's parents know him? Also, I feel like it'd be a good source of conflict if Jimmy's conflicts with his parents have a more direct impact on their chances of getting a kid. Maybe the surrogacy agency threatens to stop supporting them after Jimmy's fist fight with his father? If there's something like that in the plot, definitely work it in here.

 

So yeah, those are some of the questions I'm wondering as I read this. I want to see more of Jimmy's and Jacoby's relationships with each other and with the other characters in the novel. The physical circumstances surrounding their surrogacy process seem much less important to me. But if you keep narrowing that focus and expanding on the relationships, I think this will be in really good shape.

 

Thank you for all the great suggestions!  I made some tweaks, deleted some things, and rewrote some stuff.  Thoughts?

 

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN have talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy's mental health was stable and he stayed sober.  That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do artificial insemination.

 

Their search when NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up.  With the backing of an agency they begin applying for grants that help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through both psychological and medical evaluations. 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy's parents disowned him for being gay and threw him out.  Since then, he's struggled with depression, anxiety, and alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of emails and phone calls, they choose someone close to home, but continue to search for an egg donor.  Most agencies won't do artificial insemination and Jimmy and Jacoby want to find someone in their families.

In the middle of everything, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His parents take matters into their own hands and show up, unannounced, where Jimmy works.  Determined to help Jimmy patch things u with his folks, Jacoby arranges a meeting at a local park.  The meeting takes a turn when Jimmy's father starts calling him names.  Between angry words, Jimmy and his father come to blows and Jimmy is suspended from work.

 

Jimmy is allowed to return to work, but a few weeks later, his mother makes one more attempt at a visit.  He agrees to one meeting in order to make it clear that they will not reconcile. His mother attempts to guilt him into making up but he refuses and she finally returns home.  

 

The only good thing to come out of the unexpected contact with Jimmy's parents is a reunion with his sister.  He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With everyone in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.

 


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#13 loopygoose

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 01:22 PM

JIMMY and JACOBY MORTENSEN have talked about having children, but always agreed to wait until Jimmy's mental health was stable and he stayed sober.  That, and the process for them is expensive and involved: they have to find a surrogate and an egg donor or hope their surrogate will do accept artificial insemination.  This para makes it sound as if they are playing a waiting game but the next para starts with the end of a search. You need to be explicit that the process involves a search otherwise it's confusing. 

 

Their search ends when NEBRASKAN'S FOR SURROGACY picks them up.  With the backing of an agency they begin applying for grants that help with expenses, even though they've saved for this for years.  They also begin the process of going through both psychological and medical evaluations. 

One of Jacoby's biggest worries in this process is that Jimmy won't pass his psych eval.  Jimmy's parents disowned him for being gay and threw him out.  Since then, he's struggled with depression, anxiety, and alcoholism.  But the discovery that he's not been taking his depression medication concerns Jacoby.  He knows Jimmy prefers exercise to pills, but fears that won't be enough for them to be parents.  

 

Jimmy passes his medical evaluation with flying colors.  But Dr. Mathias, Jimmy's trusted psych doc since his first trip through alcohol rehab, refuses to sign off on his evaluation.  This is confusing because, I know you mean his pschological evaluation, when I read this the first time it just sounds like he passed but his doctor was being awkward, not that there were two separate evaluations. He makes it clear to Jimmy that, if he takes his medication as prescribed, he'll sign off, no problem.  Faced with the reality that he won't become a dad without the pills he loathes, he agrees. Although Jimmy passes his medial evaluation with flying colours, he is given an ultimatum over his psychological evaluation by long time trusted DR MATHIAS. Either he takes the pills he loathes, or the won't get the sign off he needs to become a father. He finally agrees. 

 

With their evaluations passed and out of the way, they begin interviewing candidates for surrogacy.  After months of emails and phone calls, they choose someone close to home, but continue to search for an egg donor.  Most agencies won't do artificial insemination and Jimmy and Jacoby want to find someone in their families.

In the middle of everything, Jimmy's parents decide to make contact.  He's been estranged from them for ten years and returns every letter they send, blocks them on social media, and ignores their phone calls and emails.  His parents take matters into their own hands and show up, unannounced, where Jimmy works.  Determined to help Jimmy patch things up with his folks, Jacoby arranges a meeting at a local park.  The meeting takes a turn when Jimmy's father starts calling him names.  Between angry words, Jimmy and his father come to blows and Jimmy is suspended from work. 

 

Jimmy is allowed to return to work, but a few weeks later, his mother makes one more attempt at a visit.  He agrees to one meeting in order to make it clear that they will not reconcile. His mother attempts to guilt him into making up but he refuses and she finally returns home.  

 

The only good thing to come out of the unexpected contact with Jimmy's parents is a reunion with his sister.  He learns that she, too, had a falling-out with their parents.  She surprises him by offering to be their egg donor after he lets it slip that they haven't had any luck finding one.  After much discussion, he and Jacoby agree to accept her offer.

 

With everyone in place, things seem to fly and finally, implantation day arrives.  Jacoby and Jimmy watch on a monitor as the embryo from the lab is implanted, then begin the long wait to find out if it took.

 

Once news of the pregnancy's stability is received, the guys start spreading the news.  Then, nine months later, Estelle gives birth to their daughter.  Jimmy and Jacoby could not be happier as they start their new journey as parents.

The rest all seems to work well. Hope this helps! Would you do me the honours with my synopsis please? http://agentquerycon...o-so-in-return/






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