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HIDING HUDSON - YA Contemporary (I will return critiques)

Fiction Young Adult

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#1 kacimari

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:23 PM

Hi all-

This is the first draft of this synopsis. It's very cut and dry, basically just a play by play at this point. I need to slash about 100-200 words (at least) and try to infuse it with some voice (in time for Pitch Wars!). Any help or suggestions for cutting are greatly appreciated and I'll do my best to return all critiques. Thank you!

 

Since Huntington’s Disease (HD), a fatal genetic disease, began killing his brain three months ago, HUDSON TRENT decided he will take his own life—a brave sacrificial suicide, just like his father’s. He never imagined he’d have to sign off on his incapacitated older brother, COOPER’S, assisted suicide, too.

 

Forgetfulness and soreness in his legs is nothing compared to the swarm of documentary producers demanding he and his mother, RENEE, pull Cooper’s vent tube. Renee needs the money the filmmakers offer to pay down the family’s medical debt, but Hudson is certain of three things. One, he can’t kill his brother. Two, he can’t strap his mother with more bills due to his own disease, and three, she can never find out he’s sick.

 

Hudson is driven to the top of a twelve-story building, his brother’s final letter tucked inside his jacket. Before he gathers the courage to read the note or jump, he’s interrupted by REMI, a whirlwind girl running from her own fatal mistake. The last thing Hudson needs is a friend. Still, he talks her off the roof and she talks him into breakfast for dinner.

 

When Remi accidentally finds a questionnaire from the documentary and sees bedridden Cooper, she convinces Hudson they should spend one night filming their own documentary, a joint suicide note with all their reasons for saying goodbye. Hudson is skeptical, but when he realizes his mother may be able to exchange the footage for the money she needs, he agrees. In return, Remi promises Hudson one last night of fun.

 

Through a wobbly late-night visit to a skating rink and a steamy first kiss at a Fourth of July pool party, Remi opens up to Hudson. Not only did her sister die, Remi ran her over with her car. Remi is paralyzed with guilt and grief, but Hudson is grateful his impending suicide means he’ll never experience the loss of his brother, especially not at his own hand.

 

The pair visit the cemetery where Hudson confronts his abusive father’s headstone. His father’s anger and violence were both symptoms of HD, so when Hudson lashes out, shredding his knuckles on the marble, his decision to die is reinforced. He can’t put others at risk with his own symptoms, especially his mother who has already suffered too much pain and loss.

 

With morning approaching, Hudson finds the strength to answer some of the documentary questions, finally confessing to Remi that he may get sick, too, but unable to admit that he’s already symptomatic. By sunrise, their feelings for one another have deepened, and Hudson can imagine his future playing out with Remi. If he lives, he’ll grow sicker and sicker until he’s just like Coop, then he’ll crush Remi’s heart when he dies—and after she’s already lost her sister.

 

His plan decided, Hudson leaves Remi in the care of a friend—outing that she’s suicidal—and heads back to the roof. There, he finds the letter he discarded from Cooper. He forces himself to read his brother’s last words, shocked to find that his father’s suicide wasn’t a brave solo affair, but assisted by Cooper. Hudson realizes it wasn’t his father who was brave, it was Cooper. His brother’s note ends with a plea: help him die and then, live.

 

His belief system shaken, Hudson rushes home to fight for his brother’s right to die. He argues with his mother over filming the documentary, admitting that one way or another, he will grant Coop’s final wishes, but Renee isn’t sold on taking Cooper’s blood money. They come to an agreement: they will allow Cooper to die, but they’ll do it privately and will not film the documentary.

 

While waiting for Coop’s final moment, Hudson, emboldened by his brother’s plea, sneaks into the psych ward to visit Remi, who’s on mandatory suicide watch. He could use a friend for the life he’s finally decided to live, but first she needs to know he’s sick. With his confession, Hudson realizes that his HD isn’t a choice he made, and he isn’t responsible for how others will respond to his illness. He leaves Remi to choose if she wants to befriend a sick person.

 

Back home, Coop passes away, and two weeks go by before Hudson gets a text from Remi. She’s been busy using their footage to create a documentary and has uploaded it to Go Fund Me, where it’s already raised over $25,000 for Hudson’s family. For the first time in a long time, Hudson feels hopeful.

 

He asks Remi for help with one last thing. Armed with the Go Fund Me information, his newfound hope, and Remi’s hand clutched in his, Hudson sits across from his mother and says the words he was always afraid to admit: I think I need to be tested.

 

Regardless of the results of his HD test, Hudson knows one thing for sure. He’s going to live.


Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.

#2 TheBest

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:11 PM

Since Huntington’s Disease (HD), a fatal genetic disease, began killing his brain three months ago, HUDSON TRENT decided he will take his own life—a brave sacrificial suicide, just like his father’s. He never imagined he’d have to sign off on his incapacitated older brother, COOPER’S, assisted suicide, too. (This is a great opener, but it doesn't have enough bite. Maybe add in more voice -- you are talking about suicide.)

 

Forgetfulness and soreness in his legs is nothing compared to the swarm of documentary producers demanding he and his mother, RENEE, pull Cooper’s vent tube. Renee needs the money the filmmakers offer to pay down the family’s medical debt, but Hudson is certain of three things. One, he can’t kill his brother. Two, he can’t strap his mother with more bills due to his own disease, and three, she can never find out he’s sick. (This has great voice, and pulls me in.)

 

Hudson is driven to the top of a twelve-story building, his brother’s final letter tucked inside his jacket. Before he gathers the courage to read the note or jump, he’s interrupted by REMI, a whirlwind girl running from her own fatal mistake. The last thing Hudson needs is a friend. Still, he talks her off the roof and she talks him into breakfast for dinner. (What? I'm confused about 'whirlwind girl' and her role. I'm sure it's common knowledge, but If I don't know it, there are probably agents who won't understand it.)

 

When Remi accidentally finds a questionnaire from the documentary and sees bedridden Cooper, she convinces Hudson they should spend one night filming their own documentary, a joint suicide note with all their reasons for saying goodbye. Hudson is skeptical, but when he realizes his mother may be able to exchange the footage for the money she needs, he agrees. In return, Remi promises Hudson one last night of fun.  (Ooooh. This is good. )

 

Through a wobbly late-night visit to a skating rink and a steamy first kiss at a Fourth of July pool party, Remi opens up to Hudson. Not only did her sister die, Remi ran her over with her car. Remi is paralyzed with guilt and grief, but Hudson is grateful his impending suicide means he’ll never experience the loss of his brother, especially not at his own hand. 

 

The pair visit the cemetery where Hudson confronts his abusive father’s headstone. His father’s anger and violence were both symptoms of HD, so when Hudson lashes out, shredding his knuckles on the marble, his decision to die is reinforced. He can’t put others at risk with his own symptoms, especially his mother who has already suffered too much pain and loss.

 

With morning approaching, Hudson finds the strength to answer some of the documentary questions, finally confessing to Remi that he may get sick, too, but unable to admit that he’s already symptomatic. By sunrise, their feelings for one another have deepened, and Hudson can imagine his future playing out with Remi. If he lives, he’ll grow sicker and sicker until he’s just like Coop, then he’ll crush Remi’s heart when he dies—and after she’s already lost her sister. (You know how to keep readers on the edge of their seats.)

 

His plan decided, Hudson leaves Remi in the care of a friend—outing that she’s suicidal—and heads back to the roof. There, he finds the letter he discarded from Cooper. He forces himself to read his brother’s last words, shocked to find that his father’s suicide wasn’t a brave solo affair, but assisted by Cooper. Hudson realizes it wasn’t his father who was brave, it was Cooper. His brother’s note ends with a plea: help him die and then, live. (This is the voice that your synopsis could use. Infuse some of the above paragraphs with this, and you'll have a masterpiece.)

 

His belief system shaken, Hudson rushes home to fight for his brother’s right to die. He argues with his mother over filming the documentary, admitting that one way or another, he will grant Coop’s final wishes, but Renee isn’t sold on taking Cooper’s blood money. They come to an agreement: they will allow Cooper to die, but they’ll do it privately and will not film the documentary. 

 

While waiting for Coop’s final moment, Hudson, emboldened by his brother’s plea, sneaks into the psych ward to visit Remi, who’s on mandatory suicide watch. He could use a friend for the life he’s finally decided to live, but first she needs to know he’s sick. With his confession, Hudson realizes that his HD isn’t a choice he made, and he isn’t responsible for how others will respond to his illness. He leaves Remi to choose if she wants to befriend a sick person.

 

Back home, Coop passes away, and two weeks go by before Hudson gets a text from Remi. She’s been busy using their footage to create a documentary and has uploaded it to Go Fund Me, where it’s already raised over $25,000 for Hudson’s family. For the first time in a long time, Hudson feels hopeful. 

 

He asks Remi for help with one last thing. Armed with the Go Fund Me information, his newfound hope, and Remi’s hand clutched in his, Hudson sits across from his mother and says the words he was always afraid to admit: I think I need to be tested.

 

Regardless of the results of his HD test, Hudson knows one thing for sure. He’s going to live.

 

Good synopsis! It seems to me, that you already know what to do to make this perfect. More voice, and tighter language. I don't think you need to cut too much, but maybe you could take the middle down a little. Particularly the bit about the suicide watch. If you really think you need to cut more, take some details out of the beginning, cutting from the explanation of the documentary. But again, I don't think you need to cut very much. I do think that your ending has a nice tone though. 

 

Good luck!



#3 secondstar87

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:48 PM

Since Huntington’s Disease (HD), a fatal genetic disease, began killing his brain three months ago, HUDSON TRENT decided he will take his own life—a brave sacrificial suicide, just like his father’s. He never imagined he’d have to sign off on his incapacitated older brother, COOPER’S, assisted suicide, too. There's been some controversy over 13 REASONS WHY, some people arguing it could actually glorify suicide for teens with that tendency. I can see from looking ahead here that's not your purpose, but you might want to reconsider using "brave and sacrificial," since it could give that impression. Instead, maybe explain briefly why and when his father committed suicice.

 

It might be good to have a paragraph in here setting the stage: why are there documentary producers (I'm just assuming the family is on some sort of reality tv?), and his brother's situation. 

 

Forgetfulness and soreness in his legs is nothing compared to the swarm of documentary producers demanding he and his mother, RENEE, pull Cooper’s vent tube. Renee needs the money the filmmakers offer to pay down the family’s medical debt, but Hudson is certain of three things. One, he can’t kill his brother. Two, he can’t strap his mother with more bills due to his own disease, and three, she can never find out he’s sick. Would filmmakers really have the authority and power to pay them to kill his brother? 

 

Hudson is driven to the top of a twelve-story building, his brother’s final letter tucked inside his jacket. Before he gathers the courage to read the note or jump, he’s interrupted by REMI, a whirlwind girl running from her own fatal mistake. The last thing Hudson needs is a friend. Still, he talks her off the roof and she talks him into breakfast for dinner. How did his brother write a letter on life support? What mistake is she running from? If he was about to commit suicide, why does he talk her out of it? I like the breakfast for dinner--nice voice there :)

 

When Remi accidentally finds a questionnaire from the documentary and sees bedridden Cooper, she convinces Hudson they should spend one night filming their own documentary, a joint suicide note with all their reasons for saying goodbye. Hudson is skeptical, but when he realizes his mother may be able to exchange the footage for the money she needs, he agrees. In return, Remi promises Hudson one last night of fun. I'm confused about the documentary questionnate--not sure what that is. Also, I find it a little hard to believe that his mother would sell her son's suicide film for money...?? It seems a little ruthless/desperate. What kind of relationship do they have?

 

Through a wobbly late-night visit to a skating rink and a steamy first kiss at a Fourth of July pool party, Remi opens up to Hudson. Not only did her sister die, Remi ran her over with her car. Remi is paralyzed with guilt and grief, but Hudson is grateful his impending suicide means he’ll never experience the loss of his brother, especially not at his own hand. To clarify: this happens in one night, right? 

 

The pair visit the cemetery where Hudson confronts his abusive father’s headstone. His father’s anger and violence were both symptoms of HD, so when Hudson lashes out, shredding his knuckles on the marble, his decision to die is reinforced. He can’t put others at risk with his own symptoms, especially his mother who has already suffered too much pain and loss. "Confronts" doesn't seem like the best word for a headstone because it makes it sound like a living thing. And wow... that's so sad. I'm thinking it might help to have a paragraph at the beginning explaining briefly the symptoms and progression of HD. 

 

With morning approaching, Hudson finds the strength to answer some of the documentary questions, finally confessing to Remi that he may get sick, too, but unable to admit that he’s already symptomatic. By sunrise, their feelings for one another have deepened, and Hudson can imagine his future playing out with Remi. If he lives, he’ll grow sicker and sicker until he’s just like Coop, then he’ll crush Remi’s heart when he dies—and after she’s already lost her sister.  :( !

 

His plan decided, Hudson leaves Remi in the care of a friend—outing that she’s suicidal—and heads back to the roof. There, he finds the letter he discarded from Cooper. He forces himself to read his brother’s last words, shocked to find that his father’s suicide wasn’t a brave solo affair, but assisted by Cooper. Hudson realizes it wasn’t his father who was brave, it was Cooper. His brother’s note ends with a plea: help him die and then, liveI'm still concerned by the use of the word brave connected with suicide. I know that assisted suicide is controversial right now, but it's possible some people might find this presentation of his father's suicide a turn-off. 

 

His belief system shaken, Hudson rushes home to fight for his brother’s right to die. He argues with his mother over filming the documentary, admitting that one way or another, he will grant Coop’s final wishes, but Renee isn’t sold on taking Cooper’s blood money. They come to an agreement: they will allow Cooper to die, but they’ll do it privately and will not film the documentary.

 

While waiting for Coop’s final moment, Hudson, emboldened by his brother’s plea, sneaks into the psych ward to visit Remi, who’s on mandatory suicide watch. He could use a friend for the life he’s finally decided to live, but first she needs to know he’s sick. With his confession, Hudson realizes that his HD isn’t a choice he made, and he isn’t responsible for how others will respond to his illness. He leaves Remi to choose if she wants to befriend a sick person.

 

Back home, Coop passes away, and two weeks go by before Hudson gets a text from Remi. She’s been busy using their footage to create a documentary and has uploaded it to Go Fund Me, where it’s already raised over $25,000 for Hudson’s family. For the first time in a long time, Hudson feels hopeful.

 

He asks Remi for help with one last thing. Armed with the Go Fund Me information, his newfound hope, and Remi’s hand clutched in his, Hudson sits across from his mother and says the words he was always afraid to admit:I think I need to be tested. 

 

Regardless of the results of his HD test, Hudson knows one thing for sure. He’s going to live. I really like the hopeful, courageous outlook of this conclusion! As well as the focus on friendship (more than romance--makes it refreshing and unique). I like his strength of character and commitment to people he cares about. These characteristics come through. 

 

I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts on my synop for TO SAIL THE STARS! 


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 






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