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The Golden Sparrow (historical fiction)

Historical Fiction Young Adult

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#1 samlat77

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 05:42 PM

So it's been an age since I've posted on here. I often forget that synopsis's are sometimes required during the querying process, so I've kind of slapped together a pitiful attempt at one. I could use all the help I can get and appreciate everyone who takes time to help me out. It's long, I know, but like I said, any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

HAZEL MACCLARE, a young socialite in 1925 New York City, is excited to be playing out her dreams of being a concert pianist. When her best friend, MIMI WATERS, persuades Hazel to a night out in a speakeasy, Hazel, at first, takes an immediate dislike to loud music and alcohol. But the more Mimi gets Hazel to agree to go out, the more Hazel finds that she is enjoying herself.

 

At the same time, she’s practicing rigorously for the concert and the piece she’s been assigned is proving more difficult than she thought. The longer it takes for Hazel to learn it, the more she begins to see the piano as a chore rather a pleasure. Realizing that the concert isn’t worth losing her passion, Hazel drops out and a final act of severing herself from her childhood dreams, she bobs her hair.

 

That night, Hazel goes out with Mimi and meets FRANKIE CORCORAN, the singer in a jazz band. They begin to see one another frequently and it isn’t long before Hazel finds herself falling for him. Soon, Hazel is questioning why Mimi disappears, often for hours at a time, when they go out. Frankie explains that Mimi is involved with the owner, WALTER BASSO, and that he’s certain the man is dangerous.

 

 

Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair and when Mimi refuses to explain, Hazel gives her an ultimatum: her or Basso. After Mimi chooses Basso, Hazel stops speaking to her, but the day before Hazel’s eighteenth birthday, Mimi telephones Hazel and begs her to go out one last time. Reluctantly, Hazel agrees and they meet up with Frankie. Almost immediately after entering the club, however, Mimi disappears. Deciding to ignore her friend’s absence, Hazel and Frankie dance for hours. It isn’t until much later that Hazel realizes she hasn’t seen Mimi in a while and the two assume that Mimi went home but then spot her weaving through the club, a man close behind her. Sensing danger, Hazel quickly follows with Frankie and the two step outside just in time to hear Mimi yell. The man who had followed Mimi emerges from an alley without Mimi and, after some trepidation, they discover Mimi’s body.

 

 

The day of Mimi’s funeral, Hazel is approached by a detective who asks her to join forces in helping to bring down Walter Basso. Though originally uncertain, Hazel eventually agrees once the detective assures her that he has men on the inside who would keep an eye on her. It takes a while for Hazel to gain Basso’s trust, but once she does, it’s not long before he shows her why the police want him. To her surprise—and horror—Basso has her torture people for him.

 

She confides in Frankie about what she’s been doing and Frankie tells her to back out. When Hazel refuses, Frankie walks away. The longer Hazel stays with Basso, the less certain she will survive. After killing one of Basso’s henchmen in an attempt to save an innocent man, she’s whipped and locked away until Basso releases her a week later. In a further attempt to punish Hazel and knowing that she and Frankie used to date, Basso seizes Frankie and ties him up. He orders Hazel to kill him and she refuses. Basso puts a knife to Frankie’s throat, threatening to kill her after he kills Frankie. Hazel is stalling for time when the detective suddenly arrives.

 

While everyone is distracted by the raid, Hazel shoots Basso before freeing Frankie. Before Hazel can join in the celebration of defeating Basso, he suddenly grabs her and stabs her. The two fall to the ground and Hazel dies in Frankie’s arms. 

 

 

Thanks!!!!

 

If you want to critique my query letter for The Golden Sparrow: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/



#2 Dharshaini

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:21 AM

So it's been an age since I've posted on here. I often forget that synopsis's are sometimes required during the querying process, so I've kind of slapped together a pitiful attempt at one. I could use all the help I can get and appreciate everyone who takes time to help me out. It's long, I know, but like I said, any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

HAZEL MACCLARE, a young socialite in 1925 New York City, is excited to be playing out her dreams of being a concert pianist. When her best friend, MIMI WATERS, persuades Hazel to a night out in a speakeasy, Hazel, at first, takes an immediate dislike to loud music and alcohol. But the more Mimi gets Hazel to agree to go out, the more Hazel finds that she is enjoying herself.

 

At the same time, she’s practicing rigorously for the concert and the piece she’s been assigned is proving more difficult than she thought. The longer it takes for Hazel to learn it, the more she begins to see the piano as a chore rather a pleasure. Realizing that the concert isn’t worth losing her passion, Hazel drops out and as a final act of severing herself from her childhood dreams, she bobs her hair. The first two paragraph feels unnecessary, or at least can be boiled down to a sentence. The plot of your story feels more centred around the events that happen once Mimi dies. 

 

That night, Hazel goes out with Mimi and meets FRANKIE CORCORAN, the singer in a jazz band. They begin to see one another frequently and it isn’t long before Hazel finds herself falling for him. Soon, Hazel is questioning why Mimi disappears, often for hours at a time, when they go out. Frankie explains that Mimi is involved with the owner, WALTER BASSO, and that he’s certain the man is dangerous.

 

 

Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair and when Mimi refuses to explain, Hazel gives her an ultimatum: her or Basso. It feels strange that Hazel be angry at Mimi simply based on what Frankie said - maybe add more detail here about exactly what Hazel and Frankie are worried about? After Mimi chooses Basso, Hazel stops speaking to her, but the day before Hazel’s eighteenth birthday, Mimi telephones Hazel and begs her to go out one last time. Reluctantly, Hazel agrees and they meet up with Frankie. Almost immediately after entering the club, however, Mimi disappears. Deciding to ignore her friend’s absence, Hazel and Frankie dance for hours. It isn’t until much later that Hazel realizes she hasn’t seen Mimi in a while and the two assume that Mimi went home but then Later, Hazel spots Mimi spot her weaving through the club, with a man close behind her. Sensing danger, Hazel quickly follows with Frankie and the two step outside just in time to hear Mimi yell.  They are shaken to find Mimi's body in an alley. The man who had followed Mimi emerges from an alley without Mimi and, after some trepidation, they discover Mimi’s body.

 

If you're looking to making your synopsis shorter, you can condense this whole paragraph into: Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair, which leads to them falling out. Later, Hazel and Frankie are shaken to find Mimi's dead body in an alley. 

 

 

The day of Mimi’s funeral, Hazel is approached by a detective who asks her to join forces in helping to bring down Walter Basso. I think it would be better if you added more detail here about exactly how the detective expects Hazel to help him. Though originally uncertain, Hazel eventually agrees once the detective assures her that he has men on the inside who would keep an eye on her. It takes a while for Hazel to gain Basso’s trust, but once she does, it’s not long before he shows her why the police want him. To her surprise—and horror—Basso has her torture people for him. These last two sentences feels weak - I think you can make them a lot more dramatic. Eg: Basso soon reveals his sickening side. He forces Hazel to torture people for him, and it slowly kills her on the inside. Only the thought of avenging Mimi keeps her going - (or something like that lol). Generally speaking, I'd just like a lot more detail about this section. 

 

She confides in Frankie about what she’s been doing and Frankie tells urges her to back out. When Hazel refuses, Frankie walks away. The longer Hazel stays with Basso, the less certain she will survive. After killing one of Basso’s henchmen in an attempt to save an innocent man, she’s whipped and locked away until Basso releases her a week later. In a further attempt to punish Hazel and knowing that she and Frankie used to date, Basso seizes Frankie and ties him up. He orders Hazel to kill him and she refuses. Basso puts a knife to Frankie’s throat, threatening to kill her after he kills Frankie. Hazel is stalling stalls for time when the detective suddenly arrives.

 

While everyone is distracted by the raid, Hazel shoots Basso before and freeing Frankie. Before Hazel can join in the celebration of defeating Basso I'd suggest another phrase - 'celebration of defeating Basso' feels like she is about to go to a party , he suddenly grabs her and stabs her. The two fall to the ground and Hazel dies in Frankie’s arms. Ah, tragic. 

 

 

Thanks!!!!

 

If you want to critique my query letter for The Golden Sparrow: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

 

The story gets really interesting once Hazel starts going undercover, and I love your title! Hope my points helps =)

 

I'd really appreciate it if you're able to have a look at my synopsis too =) http://agentquerycon...ning-critiques/

 

 



#3 punitrastogi

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 06:12 AM

So it's been an age since I've posted on here. I often forget that synopsis's are sometimes required during the querying process, so I've kind of slapped together a pitiful attempt at one. I could use all the help I can get and appreciate everyone who takes time to help me out. It's long, I know, but like I said, any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

HAZEL MACCLARE, a young socialite in 1925 New York City, is excited to be playing out her dreams of being a concert pianist. When her best friend, MIMI WATERS, persuades Hazel to a night out in a speakeasy(since this is the only venue mentioned in the story, might as well give its name here. If that makes sense), Hazel, at first, takes an immediate dislike to loud music and alcohol. But the more Mimi gets Hazel to agree to go out, the more Hazel finds that she is enjoying herself.

 

At the same time, she’s practicing rigorously for the concert and the piece she’s been assigned is proving more difficult than she thought. The longer it takes for Hazel to learn it, the more she begins to see the piano as a chore rather a pleasure. Realizing that the concert isn’t worth losing her passion, Hazel drops out and a final act of severing herself from her childhood dreams, she bobs her hair.I understand that you wanted to mention the moment Hazel gives up her dream of being a pianist and moves on with her life. But I guess it can be written in-line with her growing liking to the night life. Something like "The longer it takes for Hazel to prepare for the concert, the more she begins to see herself drifting away from her passion. The void seems to get filled by her newly found interest in the life Mimi introduced her to."

 

That One of these/those nights, Hazel goes out with Mimi and meets FRANKIE CORCORAN, the singer in a jazz band. They begin to see one another each other frequently and it isn’t long before Hazel finds herself falling for him. Soon, Hazel is questioning why realizes that Mimi disappears, often for hours at a time, when they go out. Frankie explains that Mimi is involved with the owner, WALTER BASSO, and that he’s certain that the man is dangerous.

 

 

Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair but Mimi seemingly refuses to acknowledge Hazel's concerns.(Okay 2 points here. 1. Is Mimi also into torturing people like Hazel will end up doing in the future? 2. It seems that Mimi never gave up on Hazel. I phrased the suggestion on these points)  and when Mimi refuses to explain, Hazel gives her an ultimatum: her or Basso. After Mimi chooses Basso, Hazel stops speaking to her, but tThe day before Hazel’s eighteenth birthday, Mimi telephones Hazel and begs her to go out one last time. Reluctantly, Hazel agrees and they meet up with Frankie. Almost immediately after entering the club, however, Mimi disappears. Deciding to ignore her friend’s absence, Hazel and Frankie dance for hours. It isn’t until much later that Hazel realizes she hasn’t seen Mimi in a while and the two assume that Mimi went home but then spot her weaving through the club, a man close behind her. Sensing danger, Hazel quickly follows with Frankie and they two step outside just in time to hear Mimi scream yell. The man who had followed Mimi emerges from an alley without Mimi and, after some trepidation, they discover Mimi’s body.

 

 

The day of Mimi’s funeral, Hazel is approached by a detective who asks her to join forces in helping to bring down Walter(Using either the first or last name of the villain adds gravity to its character)Basso. Though originally uncertain, Hazel eventually agrees once the detective assures her that he has men on the inside who would keep an eye on herIt takes a while for Hazel to gain Basso’s trust, but once she does, it’s not long before he shows her why the police want him. To her surprise—and horror—Basso has her torture people for him. - Is this why the police want him? Is he a professional interrogator? Or a mafia boss with a sadistic trait? The last two sentences might need rewording to explain this point. Currently they seem disconnected.

 

She confides in Frankie about what she’s been doing and Frankie tells her to back out. When Hazel refuses, Frankie walks away. The longer Hazel stays with Basso, the less certain she becomes of her she will surviveal. After killing one of Basso’s henchmen in an attempt to save an innocent man, she’s whipped and locked away until Basso releases her a week later. In a To further attempt to punish Hazel, knowing that she and Frankie used to date, Basso seizes Frankie and ties him up. He orders Hazel to kill him and she refuses.This part reads a bit choppy. Basso puts a knife to Frankie’s throat, threatening to kill her after he kills Frankie. Hazel is stallings for time when the detective suddenly finally arrives.

 

While everyone is distracted by the raid, Hazel shoots Basso before freeing Frankie. Before Hazel can join in the celebration of defeating Basso, he (this "he" is a bit confusing. It feels like Frankie stabbed her) suddenly grabs her and stabs her. The two(who two?) fall to the ground and Hazel dies in Frankie’s arms. 

 

 

Thanks!!!!

 

If you want to critique my query letter for The Golden Sparrow: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

 

My overall attempt has been to shorten the synopsis further as I guess it should cover only the relevant points.

 

Hope it helps.

 

Please have a look at my synopsis too. :)



#4 samlat77

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 05:18 AM

Thank you all sooo much!!!

#5 samlat77

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:34 AM

Okay, so I've tried again and I would really love your thoughts on my new attempt.

 

 

HAZEL MACCLARE has her first concert to prepare for, but her best friend, MIMI WATERS, keeps persuading her to go out to the Golden Sparrow, a speakeasy in the heart of Harlem. The more time Hazel spends drinking and dancing, the less she wants to practice. The piece is too difficult for her and she’s losing her passion. Abandoning the concert completely, Hazel throws herself into the flapper lifestyle—and even bobs her hair.

 

On one of her nights at the speakeasy, Hazel meets FRANKIE CORCORAN, the singer of an Irish jazz band. Though initially unsure of him, Hazel finds herself falling for him the more time she spends with him. Soon, Hazel realizes that Mimi disappears, often for hours at a time. Frankie reveals that he sees Mimi with the owner of the Golden Sparrow, WALTER BASSO, and that he’s certain that the man is dangerous.

 

When Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair, Mimi brushes off Hazel’s concerns and the two fall out. But a few weeks later, on the day before Hazel’s eighteenth birthday, Mimi begs Hazel to go out one last time. Sensing her friend’s distress, Hazel agrees and, with Frankie tagging along, they head to the Golden Sparrow. Within minutes, Mimi disappears and Hazel doesn’t see her until a few hours later when Mimi is forcing her way through the club, a strange man following close behind her.

 

Realizing that Mimi is in trouble, Hazel and Frankie follow after her only to hear her scream. They go to investigate and are horrified to discover her body.

 

After Mimi’s funeral, Hazel is approached by a detective who wants to enlist her help in bringing down Basso. Once the detective ensures that he has men on the inside as well, Hazel agrees. But it takes a while for her to gain Basso’s trust and once she does, she quickly realizes she is in over her head as Basso’s unveils his dark, twisted side of torture and murder. Hazel wants out, but only the thought of avenging Mimi keeps her going.

 

When she eventually confides in Frankie about what she’s been doing, Frankie urges her to back out. Hazel refuses and Frankie walks away. The longer Hazel is with Basso, the less certain she is of her survival. After she kills one of Basso’s henchmen in an attempt to save an innocent man’s life, she whipped and locked away as punishment until he releases her a week later. In an attempt to punish her further and show just how dangerous and powerful he is, Basso kidnaps Frankie and orders Hazel to kill him. She refuses and Basso puts a knife to Frankie’s throat, promising to kill her after he kills Frankie.

 

Hazel stalls for time until the detective suddenly arrives and when everyone is distracted by the raid, Hazel shoots Basso and frees Frankie. But before Hazel can fully absorb that she has defeated Basso and avenged Mimi, Basso grabs her from behind, stabbing and killing her.



#6 samlat77

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:02 PM

If anyone can help, that'd be great. I'm am super open to any and all feedback.



#7 smithgirl

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 03:27 PM

The twenties are roaring, and HAZEL MACCLARE is almost eighteen. She's supposed to be preparing for her first piano (?) concert,  has her first concert to prepare for, but her best friend, MIMI WATERS, keeps begging persuading her to go out to the Golden Sparrow instead: a speakeasy in the heart of Harlem. The more time Hazel spends drinking and dancing, the less she wants to practice. The piece is too difficult for her and she’s losing her passion. Abandoning the concert completely, Hazel throws herself into the flapper lifestyle—and even bobs her hair.

 

I think you could restructure this first paragraph to make it clearer and more succinct. It feels disorganized to me. Better after my changes, maybe.

 

One one of her night at the speakeasy, Hazel meets FRANKIE CORCORAN, the singer of an Irish jazz band. She's unsure of him at first, Though initially unsure of him, but soon she's in love.  Hazel finds herself falling for him the more time she spends with him. She confides that Mimi often comes to the bar but then mysteriously disappears for hours. Soon, Hazel realizes that Mimi disappears, often for hours at a time. That's when Frankie reveals that he's seen Mimi with the owner of the Golden Sparrow, WALTER BASSO, and that he’s certain that the man is dangerous.

 

 

When Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair, Mimi brushes off Hazel’s concerns. They argue and Hazel stops going with Mimi to the club. the two fall out. But a few weeks later, on the day before Hazel’s eighteenth birthday, Mimi begs Hazel to go out one last time. So Sensing her friend’s distress, Hazel agrees and, with Frankie tagging along, they head to the Golden Sparrow. Within minutes, Mimi disappears and Hazel doesn’t see her until a few hours later when Mimi is forcing her way through the club, a strange man following close behind her. Is the man Basso? If so, I would say that. Realizing that Mimi is in trouble, Hazel and Frankie follow after Mimi only to hear her scream and then  go to investigate and are horrified to discover her body.

 

After Mimi’s funeral, Hazel is approached by a detective who wants to enlist her help in bringing down Basso. Once the detective ensures that he has men on the inside as well, Hazel agrees. Awkward sentence. She goes undercover, but it takes a while for her to gain Basso’s trust. and  Once she does, she learns the full extent of Basso's policies of murder and torture. Hazel quickly realizes fears she is in over her head as Basso’s unveils his dark, twisted side of torture and murder. Hazel and wants out, but only the thought of avenging Mimi keeps her going.

 

When she eventually confides in Frankie about what she’s been doing, Frankie urges her to back out. Hazel refuses and Frankie leaves her. walks away. The longer Hazel is with Basso, the less certain she is of her survival. After she kills one of Basso’s henchmen in an attempt to save an innocent man’s life, Basso retaliates by whipping her and locking her  away for a week .she whipped and locked away as punishment until he releases her a week later. In an attempt To punish her further and show just how dangerous and powerful he is, Basso he kidnaps Frankie and orders Hazel to kill him. She refuses and Basso puts a knife to Frankie’s throat, promising to kill her after he kills Frankie.

 

Hazel stalls for time until the detective suddenly arrives and when everyone is distracted by the raid, Hazel shoots Basso and frees Frankie. But before Hazel can fully absorb that she has defeated Basso and avenged Mimi, Basso grabs her from behind, stabbing and killing her. Oh! Unhappy ending!

 

I tried to tighten your synopsis a bit. I think the story is pretty clear, and it's already short.. You should add her age earlier. Also, what is the time period? I assume it's set in the past, but maybe just be clear on that. I hope this helps. Good luck.



#8 samlat77

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 04:59 PM

 

The twenties are roaring, and HAZEL MACCLARE is almost eighteen. She's supposed to be preparing for her first piano (?) concert,  has her first concert to prepare for, but her best friend, MIMI WATERS, keeps begging persuading her to go out to the Golden Sparrow instead: a speakeasy in the heart of Harlem. The more time Hazel spends drinking and dancing, the less she wants to practice. The piece is too difficult for her and she’s losing her passion. Abandoning the concert completely, Hazel throws herself into the flapper lifestyle—and even bobs her hair.

 

I think you could restructure this first paragraph to make it clearer and more succinct. It feels disorganized to me. Better after my changes, maybe.

 

One one of her night at the speakeasy, Hazel meets FRANKIE CORCORAN, the singer of an Irish jazz band. She's unsure of him at first, Though initially unsure of him, but soon she's in love.  Hazel finds herself falling for him the more time she spends with him. She confides that Mimi often comes to the bar but then mysteriously disappears for hours. Soon, Hazel realizes that Mimi disappears, often for hours at a time. That's when Frankie reveals that he's seen Mimi with the owner of the Golden Sparrow, WALTER BASSO, and that he’s certain that the man is dangerous.

 

 

When Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair, Mimi brushes off Hazel’s concerns. They argue and Hazel stops going with Mimi to the club. the two fall out. But a few weeks later, on the day before Hazel’s eighteenth birthday, Mimi begs Hazel to go out one last time. So Sensing her friend’s distress, Hazel agrees and, with Frankie tagging along, they head to the Golden Sparrow. Within minutes, Mimi disappears and Hazel doesn’t see her until a few hours later when Mimi is forcing her way through the club, a strange man following close behind her. Is the man Basso? If so, I would say that. Realizing that Mimi is in trouble, Hazel and Frankie follow after Mimi only to hear her scream and then  go to investigate and are horrified to discover her body.

 

After Mimi’s funeral, Hazel is approached by a detective who wants to enlist her help in bringing down Basso. Once the detective ensures that he has men on the inside as well, Hazel agrees. Awkward sentence. She goes undercover, but it takes a while for her to gain Basso’s trust. and  Once she does, she learns the full extent of Basso's policies of murder and torture. Hazel quickly realizes fears she is in over her head as Basso’s unveils his dark, twisted side of torture and murder. Hazel and wants out, but only the thought of avenging Mimi keeps her going.

 

When she eventually confides in Frankie about what she’s been doing, Frankie urges her to back out. Hazel refuses and Frankie leaves her. walks away. The longer Hazel is with Basso, the less certain she is of her survival. After she kills one of Basso’s henchmen in an attempt to save an innocent man’s life, Basso retaliates by whipping her and locking her  away for a week .she whipped and locked away as punishment until he releases her a week later. In an attempt To punish her further and show just how dangerous and powerful he is, Basso he kidnaps Frankie and orders Hazel to kill him. She refuses and Basso puts a knife to Frankie’s throat, promising to kill her after he kills Frankie.

 

Hazel stalls for time until the detective suddenly arrives and when everyone is distracted by the raid, Hazel shoots Basso and frees Frankie. But before Hazel can fully absorb that she has defeated Basso and avenged Mimi, Basso grabs her from behind, stabbing and killing her. Oh! Unhappy ending!

 

I tried to tighten your synopsis a bit. I think the story is pretty clear, and it's already short.. You should add her age earlier. Also, what is the time period? I assume it's set in the past, but maybe just be clear on that. I hope this helps. Good luck.

 

Gah, thank you soooo much! And the year it's set in is 1925, but I'm not sure how to introduce that, especially since my query letter has it in there. And your adjustments definitely made it tighter, so, once again, thank you!



#9 smithgirl

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 09:53 AM

Somehow it's always easier to write other people's queries/synopses than your own. As the author, you're just so tied up in the story.



#10 samlat77

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 01:32 PM

Definitely because all you end up doing is overthinking it, and which ends up driving you nuts.

#11 samlat77

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 05:29 PM

Okay, so I'm not sure if this is a step forward or backwards, but here's my next attempt. Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated.

 

The twenties are roaring and HAZEL MACCLARE is almost eighteen. She’s supposed to be practicing for her first piano solo in Carnegie Hall, but her best friend, MIMI WATERS, keeps taking her to the Golden Sparrow instead: a speakeasy in the heart of Harlem. The more time Hazel spends drinking and dancing her nights away, the less she wants to practice. With the piece proving to be too difficult, Hazel loses her passion and gives up on the concert entirely before throwing herself into the flapper lifestyle.

 

One night at the speakeasy, Hazel meets FRANKIE CORCORAN, the singer in a jazz band. She’s unsure of him at first, but soon she finds herself falling for him. When she confides in him that Mimi often disappears for hours at a time when they go out, Frankie reveals that he’s seen Mimi with the owner of the club, WALTER BASSO, and that he’s certain that the man is bad news.

 

After Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair and Mimi brushes her off, they argue and Hazel refuses to go back to the club with Mimi. But a few weeks later, Mimi begs Hazel to go out one last time and Hazel, sensing her friends distress, agrees. Along with Frankie, they head out to the Golden Sparrow, but within minutes, Mimi is gone. It isn’t until a few hours later that Hazel spots her friend forcing her way through the club with an unknown man following close behind her. Hazel and Frankie follow after Mimi only to hear her scream and discover her body.

 

After Mimi’s funeral, Hazel is approached by a detective who wants to enlist her help in bringing Basso down. After the detective assures Hazel that she won’t be on the inside of Basso’s empire alone, she agrees. She goes undercover, but it takes a while to gain Basso’s trust. Once she does, she discovers the full extent of Basso’s policies of murder and torture. Hazel fears she is in over her head, but the thought of avenging Mimi keeps her going.

 

When she eventually tells Frankie the truth of what she’s been doing, Frankie urges her to back out. Hazel refuses and Frankie leaves her. The longer Hazel is with Basso, the less certain she is of her survival. After she kills one of Basso’s henchmen in an attempt to save an innocent man’s life, Basso punishes her by whipping her and locking her away for a week. To punish her further, he kidnaps Frankie and orders Hazel to kill him. She refuses and Basso puts a knife to Frankie’s throat, promising to kill her as well as Frankie if she doesn’t obey.

 

Hazel stalls for time until the detective arrives and when everyone is distracted by the raid, Hazel shoots Basso and frees Frankie. Before it can sink in that she has defeated Basso and avenged Mimi, Basso grabs Hazel from behind and stabs and kills her.



#12 Dave1

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 03:15 PM

Okay, so I'm not sure if this is a step forward or backwards, but here's my next attempt. Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated.

 

The twenties are roaring and HAZEL MACCLARE is almost eighteen. She’s supposed to be practicing for her first piano solo in Carnegie Hall, but her best friend, MIMI WATERS, keeps taking her to the Golden Sparrow instead: a speakeasy in the heart of Harlem. The more time Hazel spends drinking and dancing her nights away, the less she wants to practice. With the piece proving to be too difficult, Hazel loses her passion and gives up on the concert entirely before throwing herself into the flapper lifestyle.  I am not sure you need the bits about Hazel's piano gig, it doesn't seem to be important to the flow of the synopsis.  Maybe you can tighten this up by just mentioning that Hazel forgoes her responsibilities for the flapper life style.

 

One night at the speakeasy, Hazel meets FRANKIE CORCORAN, the singer in a jazz band. She’s unsure of him at first, but soon she finds herself falling for him. When she confides in him that Mimi often disappears for hours at a time when they go out, Frankie reveals that he’s seen Mimi with the owner of the club, WALTER BASSO, and that he’s certain that the man is bad news.

 

After Hazel confronts Mimi about the affair and Mimi brushes her off, they argue and Hazel refuses to go back to the club with Mimi. But a few weeks later, Mimi begs Hazel to go out one last time and Hazel, sensing her friends distress, agrees. Along with Frankie, they head out to the Golden Sparrow, but within minutes, Mimi is gone. It isn’t until a few hours later that Hazel spots her friend forcing her way through the club with an unknown man following close behind her. Hazel and Frankie follow after Mimi only to hear her scream and discover her body.

 

After Mimi’s funeral, Hazel is approached by a detective who wants to enlist her help in bringing Basso down. After the detective assures Hazel that she won’t be on the inside of Basso’s empire alone, she agrees. She goes undercover, but it takes a while to gain Basso’s trust. Once she does, she discovers the full extent of Basso’s policies of murder and torture. Hazel fears she is in over her head, but the thought of avenging Mimi keeps her going.  Maybe more on Hazel's emotional state here?  She wants revenge but is I would think she might be remorseful or angry at herself for going with Mimi that one last time.  Maybe she is angry at herself?

 

When she eventually tells Frankie the truth of what she’s been doing, Frankie urges her to back out. Hazel refuses and Frankie leaves her. The longer Hazel is with Basso, the less certain she is of her survival. After she kills one of Basso’s henchmen in an attempt to save an innocent man’s life, Basso punishes her by whipping her and locking her away for a week. To punish her further, he kidnaps Frankie and orders Hazel to kill him. She refuses and Basso puts a knife to Frankie’s throat, promising to kill her as well as Frankie if she doesn’t obey.  Related to the comment above, what is her emotional state when Frankie begs her to back out?  Why doesn't she listen to him?

 

Hazel stalls for time until the detective arrives and when everyone is distracted by the raid, Hazel shoots Basso and frees Frankie. Before it can sink in that she has defeated Basso and avenged Mimi, Basso grabs Hazel from behind and stabs and kills her.  Nice ending!

 

Overall I felt this version of your query is pretty solid!  I think adding a little bit more of her emotional state would draw the reader closer to her, making the shock of her ultimate demise all the more devastating. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

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