Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

Clown Shoes Synopsis


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 robertguitar

robertguitar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I have published two personal essays in the New York Times, one of which provoked 465 reader comments and stayed in the top three emailed NYT articles for two full days. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/abandoning-the-work-i-hated/?_r=0

Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:40 AM

With the death of his older brother, MARK BIDERMAN stands in as first born. He does what’s expected: he takes the designated path to a law career. 

 

MARK’s passion is writing stories and making music but he holds onto a job he loathes because he cannot overcome his fears of rejection and poverty. 

 

When his body breaks down, MARK realizes that he has been living out his childhood fears (he keeps an old list of them in his wallet). He makes an unexpected turn, and leaves his law practice.

 

Traveling to Mexico, and gaining insight from SILVIA, a minister, he trades in his briefcase for a guitar, and plays for audiences of kids and parents up and down the East Coast. In this transition, MARK briefly works as a party clown, and adopts as his own the image of a tarot fool stepping off a cliff.

 

Along the way, he marries DENISE and has a daughter. Bearing new responsibilities, MARK starts a bricks-and-mortar kids music center. When that fails, he veers away from his passions, accepting a job as an elementary school teacher. He writes a diary/memoir on the train commutes.

 

His South Bronx principal, MS. RODRIQUEZ, teaches him with tough love how to seek out where he is truly meant to be and leave behind long-ingrained expectations of how life is supposed to go. MARK loses the job, almost his wife too, as he depends on a female friend for support. He comes away with a bitter resentment toward the principal, and a marriage in need of repair. 

 

With SILVIA’s help, MARK sees that he has played the victim and that he must take responsibility for his life. To him, that includes overcoming the fears on his list. Armed with a new clarity of purpose, he regains DENISE’s trust, builds back his music career, and submits an essay to the New York Times. MARK’s Times essay goes viral. The media attention results in an offer from HarperCollins to publish the memoir he’d been working on for years but never completed. But DENISE promises to divorce him if he goes through with it. She doesn’t want her private life made public. Even after she delivers a TED talk in Switzerland, and experiences the affinity of self-revelation, she refuses to give MARK the green light.

 

MARK sweats out a face-to-face with PRINCIPAL RODRIQUEZ to help a friend, coming away with the realization that his suffering had been self-inflicted. Getting fired was a gift. He owes his former principal not enmity but gratitude. MARK shows that he is free of spite by giving a free concert at his old school.

 

By forgiving his ex-boss, MARK receives a corresponding dispensation from DENISE, who agrees to let him complete and publish his memoir. MARK has filled the shoes of the tarot fool, stepping off the cliff, trusting support he cannot see.



#2 galaxyspinner

galaxyspinner

    Spinner of Galaxies

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 05 January 2018 - 01:52 AM

 

With the death of his older brother, MARK BIDERMAN stands in as first born. He does what’s expected: he takes the designated path to a law career. 

 

MARK’s (You only need to put his name in all-caps the first time you use it in your query) passion is writing stories and making music but he holds onto a job he loathes because he cannot overcome his fears of rejection and poverty. 

 

When his body breaks down, MARK realizes that he has been living out his childhood fears (he keeps an old list of them in his wallet). He makes an unexpected turn, and leaves his law practice. (These first three paragraphs might benefit from being combined and tightened)

 

Traveling to Mexico, and gaining insight from SILVIA, a minister, he trades in his briefcase for a guitar, and plays for audiences of kids and parents up and down the East Coast. In this transition, MARK briefly works as a party clown, and adopts as his own the image of a tarot fool stepping off a cliff. (There's a lot of commas here; consider breaking a sentence up to facilitate readability)

 

Along the way, he marries DENISE and has a daughter. Bearing new responsibilities, MARK starts a bricks-and-mortar kids music center. When that fails, he veers away from his passions, accepting a job as an elementary school teacher. (You have three sentences in a row here with similar structure; consider mixing it up a bit) He writes a diary/memoir (I'd just choose one term to avoid using the slash; it strikes me as a little clinical for a novel synopsis) on the train commutes.

 

His South Bronx principal (I'm not clear on his relationship with this person; is she a childhood principal? Does he work at a school now?), MS. RODRIQUEZ, teaches him with tough love how to seek out where he is truly meant to be and leave behind long-ingrained expectations of how life is supposed to go. MARK loses the job, almost his wife too, as he depends on a female friend for support. (This previous sentence is awkward to me) He comes away with a bitter resentment toward the principal, and a marriage in need of repair. 

 

With SILVIA’s help, MARK sees that he has played the victim and that he must take responsibility for his life. To him, that includes overcoming the fears on his list. Armed with a new clarity of purpose, he regains DENISE’s trust, builds back his music career, and submits an essay to the New York Times. (Here's another place where you have similar sentence structures in quick succession; you seem to favor the "Dependent clause, comma, independent clause" format. If you could re-word a few of these, it'll read more organically) MARK’s Times essay goes viral. The media attention results in an offer from HarperCollins to publish the memoir he’d been working on for years but never completed. But DENISE promises to divorce him if he goes through with it. She doesn’t want her private life made public. Even after she delivers a TED talk in Switzerland, and experiences the affinity of self-revelation, she refuses to give MARK the green light. (There are some details here that maybe you don't need)

 

MARK sweats out a face-to-face with PRINCIPAL RODRIQUEZ to help a friend (her?), coming away with the realization that his suffering had been self-inflicted. Getting fired was a gift. He owes his former principal not enmity but gratitude. MARK shows that he is free of spite by giving a free concert at his old school.

 

By forgiving his ex-boss, MARK receives a corresponding dispensation (consider using words that better match the tone here; "corresponding dispensation" sounds like something you'd read in a legal document, and not in the emotional climax of a novel synopsis) from DENISE, who agrees to let him complete and publish his memoir. MARK has (Switching tense is a little iffy) filled the shoes of the tarot fool, stepping off the cliff, trusting support he cannot see.(I like the theme you created)

 


Are you an actress looking for a comedic monologue? Check out Lady Parts: 50 Monologues for Funny Actresses.

 

Critique my query: Buccaneers of the Wild Blue


#3 LeeAllan

LeeAllan

    LEEALLAN

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 42 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Published 7 magazine articles

Posted 06 January 2018 - 02:14 PM

Thank you, robertguitar, for critiquing my synopsis! Galaxyspinner offers excellent advice. Please take under consideration that I am new at this when you review my own comments. I find it difficult to critique a synopsis because I don't have the in-depth knowledge that comes from reading the manuscript.

 

With the death of his older brother, MARK BIDERMAN stands in as first born. He does what’s expected (by his parents?): (suggest a hyphen rather than a colon) he takes the designated path to a law career. 

 

MARK’s passion is writing stories and making music but he holds onto a job he loathes because he cannot overcome his fears of rejection and poverty. 

 

When his body breaks down, MARK realizes that he has been living out his childhood fears (he keeps an old list of them in his wallet).(I love this line about his wallet!) He makes an unexpected turn, and leaves his law practice.

 

He travels Traveling to Mexico, and gains gaining (avoid words that end in "ing" wherever possible) insight (what insight specifically? Name it briefly) from SILVIA, a minister,. He he trades in his briefcase for a guitar, and plays for audiences of kids and parents up and down the East Coast. In this transition, MARK briefly works as a party clown, and adopts as his own the image of a tarot fool stepping off a cliff.

 

Along the way, he marries DENISE and has a daughter. Bearing new responsibilities, MARK starts a bricks-and-mortar kids music center. When that fails, he veers away from his passions, and accepts accepting a job as an elementary school teacher. He writes a diary/memoir on the train commutes.

 

His South Bronx principal, MS. RODRIQUEZ, teaches him with tough love how to seek out where he is truly meant to be and leave behind long-ingrained expectations of how life is supposed to go. MARK loses the job, almost his wife too, But as he becomes deeply involved with his as he depends on a female friend (is that MS. RODRIQUEZ?) for support, MARK loses the job, almost his wife too. He comes away with a bitter resentment toward the principal, and a marriage in need of repair. 

 

With SILVIA’s help, MARK sees that he has played the victim and that he must take responsibility for his life. To him, that includes overcoming the fears on his list. Armed with a new clarity of purpose, he regains DENISE’s trust, builds back his music career, and submits an essay to the New York Times. MARK’s Times essay goes viral. The media attention results in an offer from HarperCollins to publish his uncompleted the memoir. he’d been working on for years but never completed. But DENISE promises to divorce him if he goes through with it. She doesn’t want her private life made public, and threatens to divorce him if he goes through with it. Even after she delivers a TED talk in Switzerland, and experiences the affinity of self-revelation (this phrase seems awkward), she refuses to give MARK the green light.

 

MARK sweats out a face-to-face with PRINCIPAL RODRIQUEZ to help a friend (Why would he go back to her when he held bitterness towards her, and she seemed to be a cause of his problems? I don't understand what was exactly his self-inflicted suffering), coming away with the realization and realizes that his suffering was had been self-inflicted. Getting fired was a gift. He owes his former principal not enmity but gratitude. MARK shows that he is free of spite by giving a free concert at his old school.

 

By forgiving his ex-boss, MARK receives a corresponding dispensation from DENISE (why would DENISE appreciate that he forgives his ex-boss? Wasn't his ex-boss the source of conflict between Mark and his wife?), who agrees to let him complete and publish his memoir. MARK has filled the shoes of the tarot fool, stepping off the cliff, trusting support he cannot see.

 

This is an excellent start. I feel like I'm in the same boat as you --I didn't offer enough explanation in my own synopsis. Keep trying!



#4 robertguitar

robertguitar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I have published two personal essays in the New York Times, one of which provoked 465 reader comments and stayed in the top three emailed NYT articles for two full days. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/abandoning-the-work-i-hated/?_r=0

Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:34 AM

Thank you LeeAllan and Galaxyspinner! Using your critiques I'm going to take another shot at it!

 

With the death of his older brother, MARK BIDERMAN stands in as first born. He does what’s expected and takes the designated path to a law career. He’s not daring enough to take a flyer as a writer or musician. In fact, he keeps an old list of his childhood fears in his wallet. But he senses that it’s no coincidence that he’s walking around with painful knees, a bad back, and two recent hernias. Something is wrong. He sells his practice and drives his Nissan Sentra to Mexico.

 

In San Miguel de Allende, SILVIA, a healer, confirms that Mark’s body is breaking down because he has diverged from his true desires. She also introduces him to the notion that his thoughts are creating his life.

 

Mark gives law another go, but soon decides to do what makes him happy. After working briefly as a party clown, he sings and plays guitar to audiences of young children and their parents. Eventually he contracts with Pottery Barn Kids to perform at their stores up and down the East Coast.

 

Along the way he marries DENISE and has children. Bearing new responsibilities, Mark begs a retreat from following his heart’s desires. First he starts a bricks-and-mortar music center, and ultimately takes a job as a public school teacher in the South Bronx under PRINCIPAL RODRIQUEZ. 

 

Mark suffers a lesson in humility from his boss, sustaining frequent inspections and reprimands. He depends on daily calls to a telephone peer counselor for support, and gets involved with her. Denise susses him out on this, and Mark breaks with the counselor just as he is fired by Ms. Rodriquez.

 

With Silvia’s help, Mark sees that he has played the victim and must take responsibility for his life. He pens a personal essay for the New York Times that goes viral, 56,000 likes, even drawing Obama’s attention. This leads to an offer by a big literary house to write a memoir in the style of the piece. Mark’s lawyer-to-clown story elicits a public clamor from people working disheartening jobs. 

 

Denise threatens divorce well aware that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives. As Mark decides what to do, she signs on to give a TED talk during a family trip to Switzerland despite her acute dread of public speaking. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning Denise gives an uncharacteristically vulnerable speech and wins acclaim. 

 

Then Mark agrees to help a former colleague by appearing as a witness in a Bronx jury trial which involves his ex-boss, the last person he ever wants to see. He comes away realizing that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him where he was really meant to be. This allows Mark to see a middle ground in his impasse with Denise over the memoir. Denise returns the favor and allows him to go ahead with the deal.



#5 Springfield

Springfield

    Find me at properediting.com

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,119 posts
  • Literary Status:published
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 09 January 2018 - 02:20 PM

Thank you LeeAllan and Galaxyspinner! Using your critiques I'm going to take another shot at it!

 

With the death of his older brother, MARK BIDERMAN stands in as first born. He does what’s expected and takes the designated path to a law career. He’s not daring enough to take a flyer as a writer or musician. In fact, he keeps an old list of his childhood fears in his wallet. But he senses that it’s no coincidence that he’s walking around with painful knees, a bad back, and two recent hernias. Something is wrong. He sells his practice and drives his Nissan Sentra to Mexico.

 

In San Miguel de Allende, SILVIA, a healer, confirms that Mark’s body is breaking down because he has diverged from his true desires. She also introduces him to the notion that his thoughts are creating his life.

 

Mark gives law another go, but soon decides to do what makes him happy. After working briefly as a party clown, he sings and plays guitar to audiences of young children and their parents. Eventually he contracts with Pottery Barn Kids to perform at their stores up and down the East Coast.

 

Along the way he marries DENISE and has children. Bearing new responsibilities, Mark begs a retreat from following his heart’s desires. First he starts a bricks-and-mortar music center, and ultimately takes a job as a public school teacher in the South Bronx under PRINCIPAL RODRIQUEZ. 

 

Mark suffers a lesson in humility from his boss, sustaining frequent inspections and reprimands. He depends on daily calls to a telephone peer counselor for support, and gets involved with her. Denise susses him out on this, and Mark breaks with the counselor just as he is fired by Ms. Rodriquez.

 

With Silvia’s help, Mark sees that he has played the victim and must take responsibility for his life. He pens a personal essay for the New York Times that goes viral, 56,000 likes, even drawing Obama’s attention. This leads to an offer by a big literary house to write a memoir in the style of the piece. Mark’s lawyer-to-clown story elicits a public clamor from people working disheartening jobs. 

 

Denise threatens divorce well aware that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives. As Mark decides what to do, she signs on to give a TED talk during a family trip to Switzerland despite her acute dread of public speaking. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning Denise gives an uncharacteristically vulnerable speech and wins acclaim. 

 

Then Mark agrees to help a former colleague by appearing as a witness in a Bronx jury trial which involves his ex-boss, the last person he ever wants to see. He comes away realizing that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him where he was really meant to be. This allows Mark to see a middle ground in his impasse with Denise over the memoir. Denise returns the favor and allows him to go ahead with the deal.

 

I'm not sure what to say here, because it's a synopsis, so I'm not sure if you're framing this in a certain way and could shift or if this just is what it is and you have to find an agent for whom it works, if you see what I mean. This, to me, is back in the unlikable protag realm, because by the end of this, I absolutely hate the MC. It's entirely self-involved, and I still don't quite get it. He seems to get everything he wants -- he doesn't like his job, so he quits and does what he wants, and finds these women who support him. He becomes a clown, then gets a job at the Pottery Barns, then starts a music center and becomes a teacher. He's somehow angry the principal wants him to be a committed teacher, which I still don't get, nor do I get how teacher is a soul-sucking job too (I think?), but now he has an affair to boot and his wife doesn't leave him and he's still somehow pissed, but realizes he's cast himself as the victim. 

 

There I'm sort of back, but the end piece kills it -- he gets to do exactly what he wants, again, because his wife capitulates to his wants, and he's 'able to find a middle ground.' In the synopsis that's where it turned into ire, as the MC seems entirely without self-awareness or interest in anything or anyone else in the world. Everyone in the synopsis is cast as a speedbump in the road to his doing whatever, whenever. There's a passing mention he has children, but they appear to exist only so he takes a job he doesn't like. It's like nothing is positive, there's no interaction portrayed except his desire to get what he wants -- which appears a shifting, mercurial thing -- and people in his way. As with the query, there's no overarching problem, no stakes, as, if he doesn't get what he wants, he just continues on in the same state of not getting what he wants, no subplots evident... 

 

Like I said, not sure if it's how you're crafting it and what you're choosing to put in here or if it's just a thing that has a specific audience and I ain't it, because it's a synopsis, so... hard to tell, sorry.



#6 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 732 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 09 January 2018 - 04:13 PM

 

With the death of his older brother, MARK BIDERMAN stands in as first born. He does what’s expected and takes the designated path to a law career. He’s not daring enough to take a flyer as a writer or musician. In fact, he keeps an old list of his childhood fears in his wallet. But he senses that it’s no coincidence that he’s walking around with painful knees, a bad back, and two recent hernias. I don't see what having bad knees/back has to do with a law career (not physically demanding), unless you mean his problems are psychosomatic. Something is wrong. He sells his practice and drives his Nissan Sentra to Mexico.

 

In San Miguel de Allende, SILVIA, a healer, confirms that Mark’s body is breaking down because he has diverged from his true desires. Oh, so they are psychosomatic. This seems like a stretch to me. Psychosomatic illnesses are usually things like gastrointestinal issues, headaches, heart issues. Back pain maybe because of stress, but bad knees? She also introduces him to the notion that his thoughts are creating his life. Oh, so the book has a fantastical element?

 

Mark gives law another go, but soon decides to do what makes him happy, instead. But he sold his practice. He starts working for someone else? After working briefly as a party clown, he sings and plays guitar to audiences of young children and their parents. Eventually he contracts with Pottery Barn Kids to perform at their stores up and down the East Coast. I think you can condense some of these details.

 

Along the way he marries DENISE and has children. Oh, this is sudden! Can we introduce Denise earlier? Bearing new responsibilities, Mark begs a retreat from following his heart’s desires. First he starts a bricks-and-mortar music center, and ultimately takes a job as a public school teacher in the South Bronx under PRINCIPAL RODRIGUEZ. 

 

Mark suffers a lesson in humility from his boss, sustaining frequent inspections and reprimands. He depends on daily calls to a telephone peer counselor for support, and gets involved with her. Oh, this is bad. Denise susses Susses? Maybe better word. him out on this, and Mark breaks with the counselor just as he is fired by Ms. Rodriguez. I'm surprised his wife forgives him. He could have turned to her.

 

With Silvia’s help, Mark sees that he has played the victim and must take responsibility for his life. He pens a personal essay for the New York Times that goes viral, 56,000 likes, A think viral is more than 56,000 -- more like millions. even drawing Obama’s attention. This leads to an offer by a big literary house to write a memoir in the style of the piece. Mark’s lawyer-to-clown story elicits a public clamor from people working disheartening jobs. 

 

Denise threatens divorce well aware that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives. As Mark decides what to do, she signs on to give a TED talk during a family trip to Switzerland despite her acute dread of public speaking. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning Denise gives an uncharacteristically vulnerable speech and wins acclaim. I don't really follow this paragraph.

 

Then Mark agrees to help a former colleague by appearing as a witness in a Bronx jury trial which involves his ex-boss, the last person he ever wants to see. What? He comes away realizing that Ms. Rodriguez did him a favor by showing him where he was really meant to be. This allows Mark to see a middle ground in his impasse with Denise over the memoir. Denise returns the favor and allows him to go ahead with the deal. I don't really see how Mark makes things up to Denise.

 

Hey Robert, I think your synopsis lacks a clear flow of events. Additionally, I think there are a few strange elements of the story:

 

1. The psychosomatic elements seems a bit unrealistic.

2. I'm not clear what he does to make up to Denise.

 

I'm not really clear on on Mark's feelings -- I agree he comes off as rather unlikeable. And really his wife seems more like a victim than him. Can you put her into the story more? Help us understand what keeps them together? The marriage feels like it's just thrown in and I don't sense any connection between Mark and his wife. You need to clarify what holds them together. The overall story is clear, but the connections are weak and emotional element is unclear. Make us care for Mark and his dilemma. I think you could maybe do this by emphasizing his family all bit more, his love for them. 

 

I actually just reposted an old synopsis that I'm pulling out of the drawer and would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!


 



#7 robertguitar

robertguitar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I have published two personal essays in the New York Times, one of which provoked 465 reader comments and stayed in the top three emailed NYT articles for two full days. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/abandoning-the-work-i-hated/?_r=0

Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:35 PM

Okay, smithgirl and Springfield. Thanks again for the tough love. This is my newest attempt:

 

MARK BIDERMAN lacks the confidence to follow his dream of being a writer, so he settles for a career in law. He fights his aversion to the work until stress causes two hernias, chronic knee pain, and a bad back. Mark becomes aware of a deep sadness at what his life has become.

 

So he quits law, and takes a solo road trip to Mexico. On the way he learns about himself. A lover in San Miguel de Allende shows him how he slyly pleases others to avoid rejection. SILVIA, a healer, points the way for Mark to seek his true desires.

 

Mark moves home to MOM who positions her psychologist to convince Mark to return to law. Instead Mark becomes a party clown. There’s little money in it but for the first time he feels on track. He picks up his old guitar, ditches the clown suit, and begins performing for young children. Eventually, he makes a living at it. It’s fun, and his body feels better.

 

Mark meets DENISE at Silvia’s spiritual group, and begins dating her. She too would prefer that Mark return to law, but regardless, they fall in love, marry, and have two children. 

 

Mark feels pressure to better provide for his family. He pivots from itinerant musician to setting up a bricks-and-mortar children’s music center. But the center fails and Mark feels forced to accept a teacher job in the South Bronx. He senses that he is off-path again, but he’s determined to make it work. 

 

A lioness of a principal uses questionable practices to run Mark’s new school. With the help of his aide, MRS. WASHINGTON, Mark tries, but fails, to conform to PRINCIPAL RODRIQUEZ’S requirements. He works hard, goes to school at night, and doesn’t understand why he isn’t making it. Rodriquez torments him. Her tough-love message is that anything less than “all in” won’t fly. Mark resents the trial by fire. He vents the stress in daily writing sessions. Rather than confiding all this to Denise, he tells BRYNNE, his telephone peer counselor, who lives in a distant state. It is easier to tell Brynne because she has nothing at stake. On the same day that Denise finds out that Mark is fired, she also learns that Brynne is his primary confidant. Denise asks Mark if he loves Brynne and he says he doesn’t know. Denise tells Mark that their marriage is over because Brynne has become his “go to” girl.

 

Mark immediately consults Silvia. She disagrees with Mark’s conclusion that his life is falling apart. Rather, she says, his victim mentality is breaking. She believes that he is now ready to take responsibility for everything he is creating in his life. 

 

Mark gets back together with Denise. It takes a year for them to mend their relationship, but it becomes stronger as a result. Mark also builds back his career as an itinerant musician.

 

Then, Mark’s inspirational essay on trading his briefcase for clown shoes goes viral, resonating with thousands of readers fed up with working soul-crushing jobs. A big literary house wants a memoir in the style of the much-tweeted piece.

 

Knowing that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives, Denise threatens divorce. As Mark decides what to do, Denise signs on to give a TED talk in Switzerland despite her acute dread of public speaking. Mark, Denise, and their two children decide to make this a family adventure. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning, Denise talks from her heart (not about the agreed-upon subject) and the crowd goes wild. Mark is very proud of her.

 

When they return, Mark agrees to help his former aide, Mrs. Washington, by appearing as a witness in a Bronx jury trial. He sits next to Principal Rodriquez, also a witness, in the courtroom. Mark and Ms. Rodriquez see each other in a new light. Mark realizes that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him the door. He is now a writer. Mark volunteers to give a concert at his old workplace, and Rodriquez accepts. In the aftermath of the successful event, Mark decides that he is willing to break the contract for his memoir, and re-conceive it as a novel, thus shielding Denise. But when he arrives home, Denise tells him that she will let him publish the memoir.



#8 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 732 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for looking at my synopsis again!

 

 

 

MARK BIDERMAN lacks the confidence to follow his dream of being a writer, so he settles for a career in law.  He fights his aversion to the work until stress causes two hernias, chronic knee pain, and a bad back. Mark becomes aware of a deep sadness at what his life has become.

 

You start your query with Mark playing a passive role. He lacks confidence, he becomes aware. I would rephrase this, emphasize a more active quality. Emphasize the passion rather than his lack of confidence. This beginning just doesn't make me want to learn more about Mark.

 

All his life, Mark Biderman has felt a deep passion for writing. But he's it's a risky career choice, so he attends law school instead, only to hate his job and suffer a myriad of stress-related illnesses.

 

Go directly to the next paragraph, where he's doing something about his bad situation.

 

So he quits law, and takes a solo road trip to Mexico. On the way he learns about himself. A lover in San Miguel de Allende shows him how he slyly pleases others to avoid rejection. A healer, SILVIA, a healer, points the way for Mark to seek his true desires.

 

 

Mark moves hom  e, to MOM who p  ositions her psychologist to convince Mark to return to law. Instead Mark decides to become a party clown. There’s little money in it but for the first time he feels on track. Later he picks up his old guitar, ditches the clown suit, and begins performing for young children. Eventually, he makes a living at it. It’s fun, and his body feels better.

 

Mark meets DENISE at Silvia’s spiritual group, and he begins dating her. She too would prefer that Mark return to law, but regardless, they fall in love, marry, and have two children. 

 

Mark feels pressure to better provide for his family. He pivots from itinerant musician to founding setting up a bricks-and-mortar children’s music center. But the center fails and Mark feels forced to accept a teacher job in the South Bronx. He senses that he is off-path again, but he’s determined to make it work. 

 

A lioness of a principal uses questionable practices to run Mark’s new school. With the help of his aide, MRS. WASHINGTON, Mark tries, but fails, to conform to the PRINCIPAL RODRIQUEZ’S requirements. He works hard, goes to school at night, He works at night or takes night classes, himself? and doesn’t understand why he isn’t making it. Making what? He's getting bad performance reviews? Rodriquez torments him. Her tough-love message is that anything less than “all in” won’t fly. Mark resents the trial by fire. He vents the stress in daily writing sessions. Rather than confiding all this to Denise, he tells BRYNNE, his telephone peer counselor, who lives in a distant state. It is easier to tell Brynne because she has nothing at stake. On the same day that Denise finds out that Mark is fired, she also learns that Brynne is his primary confidant. Denise asks Mark if he loves Brynne and he says he doesn’t know. Denise tells Mark that their marriage is over because Brynne has become his “go to” girl. Oh, so they never slept together? All this time, I'd though they had a physical affair.

 

I still feel like the part with the principal is the most clunky part of your synopsis (like it was clunky in the query). Is ther any way you could streamline it?

 

 

 

Mark immediately consults Silvia. She disagrees with Mark’s conclusion that his life is falling apart. Rather, she says, his victim mentality is breaking. She believes that he is now ready to take responsibility for everything he is creating in his life. 

 

So he doubles down and works on repairing his relationship with DeniseMark gets back together with Denise. It takes a year for them to mend their relationship, but their relationship becomes stronger as a result. Mark also builds back his career as an itinerant musician.

 

When Then, Mark blogs an inspirational essay on trading his briefcase for clown shoes, it goes viral, resonating with thousands of readers fed up with working soul-crushing jobs. A big literary house wants a memoir in the style of the much-tweeted piece.

 

Knowing that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives, Denise threatens divorce. As Mark decides what to do, Denise signs on to give a TED talk in Switzerland despite her acute dread of public speaking. What is Denise giving a talk about? It's a big deal getting onto TED. What does Denise do that's special? Mark, Denise, and their two children decide to make this a family adventure. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning, Denise talks from her heart (not about the agreed-upon subject) What is the agree-upon subject? and the crowd goes wild. Mark is very proud of her.

 

When they return, Mark agrees to help his former aide, Mrs. Washington, by appearing as a witness in a Bronx jury trial. He sits next to Principal Rodriquez, also a witness, in the courtroom. Mark and Ms. Rodriquez see each other in a new light. Mark realizes that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him the door. He is now a writer. Mark volunteers to give a concert at his old workplace, and Rodriquez accepts. In the aftermath of the successful event, Mark decides that he is willing to break the contract for his memoir, and re-conceive it as a novel, thus shielding Denise. But when he arrives home, Denise tells him that she will let him publish the memoir.

 

I think this is a big step forward, helping us to understand Mark, understand his struggles. I had some questions that I inserted in the body of the text. I also think you can remove some of the specifics, make it more general and then use those extra words to add emotion. Try to make it into a single, fluid story. It feels a bit choppy right now. I know this is all easier said than done. I think you're moving int 



#9 robertguitar

robertguitar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I have published two personal essays in the New York Times, one of which provoked 465 reader comments and stayed in the top three emailed NYT articles for two full days. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/abandoning-the-work-i-hated/?_r=0

Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:18 AM

smithgirl is magic. I feel that I'm getting close now. I no longer want critiques that tear the whole thing apart. Rather, if you could show me how I might shorten it, and also add emotion, I would be grateful. Here's my newest draft:

 

All his life, Mark Biderman has felt a deep passion for writing. But it's a risky career choice, so he attends law school instead, only to hate his job and suffer a myriad of stress-related illnesses.

 

So he quits law, and takes a solo road trip to Mexico. On the way he learns about himself. A lover in San Miguel de Allende shows him how he slyly pleases others to avoid rejection. A healer, SILVIA, points the way for Mark to seek his true desires.

 

Mark returns home and decides to become a party clown. There’s little money in it but for the first time he feels on track. Later he picks up his old guitar, ditches the clown suit, and begins performing for young children. Eventually, he makes a living at it. It’s fun, and his body feels better.

 

Mark meets DENISE at Silvia’s spiritual group, and he begins dating her. She would prefer that Mark return to law, but regardless, they fall in love, marry, and have two children. 

 

Mark feels pressure to better provide for his family. He pivots from itinerant musician to founding a bricks-and-mortar children’s music center. But the center fails and Mark feels forced to accept a teacher job in the South Bronx. He senses that he is off-path again, but he’s determined to make it work. 

 

A lioness of a principal, Ms. RODRIQUEZ prowls the halls of Mark’s new school, unnerving teachers with impromptu observations. MRS. WASHINGTON, Mark’s aide, tries to help him conform to the principal’s strict code. But Rodriquez clashes with Mark. Her tough-love message is that anything less than “all in” won’t fly. Mark resents the trial by fire. He vents the stress in daily writing sessions. Rather than confiding all this to Denise, he tells BRYNNE, his telephone peer counselor, who lives in a distant state. It is easier to unload on Brynne because she has nothing at stake. 

 

On the same day that Denise finds out that Mark is fired, she also learns that Brynne is his primary confidant. Denise asks Mark if he loves Brynne and he says he doesn’t know. Denise tells him that their marriage is over because Brynne has become his “go to” girl. Mark feels that his life is shot to pieces.

 

 

He immediately consults Silvia. She disagrees that his life is falling apart. Rather, she says, his victim mentality is breaking. She believes that he is now ready to take responsibility for everything he is creating in his life. 

 

So he doubles down and works on repairing his relationship with Denise. It takes a year, but their relationship becomes stronger as a result. Mark also builds back his career as an itinerant musician.

 

When Mark writes an inspirational New York Times essay on trading his briefcase for clown shoes, it goes viral, resonating with thousands of readers fed up with working soul-crushing jobs. A big literary house wants a memoir in the style of the much-tweeted piece.

 

Knowing that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives, Denise threatens divorce. As Mark decides what to do, he pressures Denise, a nutritionist, to give a TED talk in Switzerland on her “Deprivation to Decadence” diet. But Denise has an acute dread of public speaking. Mark, Denise, and their two children decide to make this a family adventure. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning, Denise talks from her heart (not about Deprivation to Decadence) and the crowd goes wild. Mark is very proud of her.

 

When they return, Mark agrees to help his former aide, Mrs. Washington, by appearing as a character witness in her Bronx jury trial. He sits next to Principal Rodriquez, also a witness, in the courtroom. Mark and Ms. Rodriquez see each other in a new light. Mark realizes that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him the door. He is now a writer. Mark volunteers to give a concert at his old workplace, and Rodriquez accepts. 

 

In the aftermath of his show at the school, Mark feels a new openness. He decides that he is willing to break the contract for his memoir, and re-conceive it as a novel, thus shielding Denise. But Denise also has a change of heart. She tells him to go ahead and write his memoir.



#10 pigeononthemoon

pigeononthemoon

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 67 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationAsia

Posted 14 January 2018 - 06:28 AM

 

All his life, Mark Biderman has always felt a deep passion for writing. But Since it's a risky career choice, so he attends law school instead, only to hate his job and suffer a myriad of stress-related illnesses. [I'll try my best to cut where I can, but be aware that I might zap some of its voice, so of course these are only suggestions.]

 

So He quits law, [no comma here; subject hasn't changed] and takes a solo road trip to Mexico. On the way he learns about himself.[The sentence I crossed out feels unneeded, but it also just fell flat for me.] ,where a lover in San Miguel de Allende shows him how he slyly pleases others to avoid rejection [if you want to shorten, take out the lover bit and only include Silvia]A healer, SILVIA, points the way for Mark to seek his true desires.

 

Mark returns home and decides to become a party clown. [HAHA. I love this.] There’s little money in it, [comma IS needed here] but for the first time he feels on track. Later he picks up his old guitar, ditches the clown suit, and begins performing for young children. Eventually, he makes a living at it. It’s fun, and his body feels better. 

 

Mark meets DENISE at Silvia’s spiritual group, and he begins dating her. She would prefer that Mark return to law, but regardless, they fall in love, marry, and have two children. 

 

Mark feels pressure to better provide for his family. He pivots from itinerant musician to founding a bricks-and-mortar children’s music center. But the center fails, [comma needed here] and Mark feels forced to accept a teacher job in the South Bronx. He senses that h He's off-path again, but he’s determined to make it work. 

 

A lioness of a principal, [Note: I like the preceding phrase and it flows nicely, so I'm only crossing it out if you need to a very short synopsis. For a regular length one, keep the phrase.] Principal Ms. RODRIQUEZ prowls the halls of Mark’s new school, unnerving teachers with impromptu observations. MRS. WASHINGTON, Mark’s aide, tries to help him conform to the principal’s strict code. But Rodriquez clashes with Mark. Her tough-love message is that anything less than “all in” won’t fly. Mark resents the trial by fire. He vents the stress in daily writing sessions. Rather than confiding all this to Denise, he tells BRYNNE, his telephone long distance peer counselor, who lives in a distant state. It is easier to unload on Brynne because she has nothing at stake. [I don't think you need to mention Mrs. Washington. Remember to keep characters to a minimum in the synopsis.]

 

On the same day that Denise finds out that Mark is fired, she also learns that Brynne is his primary confidant. Denise asks Mark if he loves Brynne and he says he doesn’t know. Denise tells him that their marriage is over because Brynne has become his “go to” girl. Mark feels that his life is shot to pieces.

 

 

He immediately consults the Mexican healer Silvia [I'm letting you know that I forgot who Silvia was - forgot her name, anyway. Agents will not remember the names of your characters; I know this because I used to read slush pile! So a reminder is nice.]. She disagrees that his life is falling apart. Rather, she says, his victim mentality is breaking. She believes that he is now ready to take responsibility for everything he is creating in his life. 

 

So he doubles down and works on repairing his relationship with Denise. It takes a year, but their relationship becomes stronger as a result. Mark also builds back his career as an itinerant musician.

 

When Mark writes an inspirational New York Times [italicize] essay on trading his briefcase for clown shoes, it goes viral, resonating with thousands of readers fed up with working soul-crushing jobs. A big literary house wants a memoir in the style of the much-tweeted piece.

 

Knowing that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives, Denise threatens divorce. As Mark decides what to do, he pressures Denise, a nutritionist, to give a TED talk in Switzerland on her “Deprivation to Decadence” diet. But Denise has an acute dread of public speaking. Mark, Denise, and their two children decide to make this a family adventure. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning, Denise talks from her heart (not about Deprivation to Decadence) and the crowd goes wild. Mark is very proud of her.

 

When they return, Mark agrees to help his former aide, Mrs. Washington, by appearing as a character witness in her Bronx jury trial. He sits next to Principal Rodriquez, also a witness, in the courtroom. Mark and Ms. Rodriquez see each other in a new light. Mark realizes that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him the door. He is now a writer. Mark volunteers to give a concert at his old workplace, and Rodriquez accepts. 

 

In the aftermath of his show at the school, Mark feels a new openness. He decides that he is willing to break the contract for his memoir, and re-conceive it as a novel, thus shielding Denise. But Denise also has a change of heart. She tells him to go ahead and write his memoir. [If you need to shorten the synopsis drastically, take out the Rodriquez subplot.]

 

What I imagine the novel is like from reading the synopsis: Quiet, literary, with streaks of humor. I hope my suggestions help a bit. Good luck! 



#11 robertguitar

robertguitar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I have published two personal essays in the New York Times, one of which provoked 465 reader comments and stayed in the top three emailed NYT articles for two full days. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/abandoning-the-work-i-hated/?_r=0

Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:35 AM

Thank you so much, pigeononthemoon! I think I'm done now, unless anyone sees a way to make it flow better. Here's what I've got:

 

All his life, Mark Biderman has felt a deep passion for writing. But it's a risky career choice, so he attends law school instead, only to hate his job and suffer a myriad of stress-related illnesses.

 

He quits law and takes a solo road trip to Mexico, where a lover in San Miguel de Allende shows him how he slyly pleases others to avoid rejection. A healer, SILVIA, points the way for Mark to seek his true desires.

 

Mark returns home and decides to become a party clown. There’s little money in it, but for the first time he feels on track. Later he picks up his old guitar, ditches the clown suit, and begins performing for young children. Eventually, he makes a living at it. It’s fun, and his body feels better.

 

Mark meets DENISE at Silvia’s spiritual group, and begins dating her. She would prefer that Mark return to law, but regardless, they fall in love, marry, and have two children. 

 

Mark feels pressure to better provide for his family. He pivots from itinerant musician to founding a bricks-and-mortar children’s music center. But the center fails, and Mark feels forced to accept a teacher job in the South Bronx. He’s off-path again, but he’s determined to make it work. 

 

A lioness of a principal, Ms. RODRIQUEZ prowls the halls of Mark’s new school, unnerving teachers with impromptu observations. Her tough-love message is that anything less than “all in” won’t fly. Mark resents the trial by fire. He vents the stress in daily writing sessions. Rather than confiding all this to Denise, he tells BRYNNE, his telephone long distance peer counselor. It is easier to unload on Brynne because she has nothing at stake. 

 

On the same day that Denise finds out that Mark is fired, she also learns that Brynne is his primary confidant. Denise asks Mark if he loves Brynne and he says he doesn’t know. Denise tells him that their marriage is over because Brynne has become his “go to” girl. Mark feels that his life is shot to pieces.

 

 

He immediately consults Silvia, the healer from Mexico. She disagrees that his life is falling apart. Rather, she says, his victim mentality is breaking. She believes that he is now ready to take responsibility for everything he is creating in his life. 

 

So he doubles down and works on repairing his relationship with Denise. It takes a year, but their relationship becomes stronger as a result. Mark also builds back his career as an itinerant musician.

 

When Mark writes an inspirational New York Times essay on trading his briefcase for clown shoes, it goes viral, resonating with thousands of readers fed up with working soul-crushing jobs. A big literary house wants a memoir in the style of the much-tweeted piece.

 

Knowing that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives, Denise threatens divorce. As Mark decides what to do, he pressures Denise, a nutritionist, to give a TED talk in Switzerland on her “Deprivation to Decadence” diet. But Denise has an acute dread of public speaking. Mark, Denise, and their two children decide to make this a family adventure. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning, Denise talks from her heart (not about Deprivation to Decadence) and the crowd goes wild. Mark is very proud of her.

 

When they return, Mark agrees to help his former teacher’s aide, MS. WASHINGTON, by appearing as a character witness in her Bronx jury trial. He sits next to Principal Rodriquez, also a witness, in the courtroom. Mark and Ms. Rodriquez see each other in a new light. Mark realizes that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him the door. He is now a writer. Mark volunteers to give a concert at his old workplace, and Rodriquez accepts. 

 

In the aftermath of his show at the school, Mark feels a new openness. He decides that he is willing to break the contract for his memoir, and re-conceive it as a novel, thus shielding Denise. But Denise also has a change of heart. She tells him to go ahead with the memoir.



#12 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 732 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 14 January 2018 - 02:38 PM

All his life, Mark Biderman has felt a deep passion for writing. But it's a risky career choice, so he attends law school instead, only to hate his job and suffer a myriad of stress-related illnesses.

 

He quits law and takes a solo road trip to Mexico, where a lover in San Miguel de Allende shows him how he slyly pleases others to avoid rejection. A healer, SILVIA, points the way for Mark to seek his true desires.

 

Mark returns home and decides to become a party clown. There’s little money in it, but for the first time he feels on track. Later he picks up his old guitar, ditches the clown suit, and begins performing for young children. Eventually, he makes a living at it. It’s fun, and his body feels better.

 

Mark meets DENISE at Silvia’s spiritual group, and begins dating her. She would prefer that Mark return to law, but regardless, they fall in love, marry, and have two children. 

 

Mark feels pressure to better provide for his family. He pivots from itinerant musician to founding a bricks-and-mortar children’s music center. But the center fails, and Mark feels forced to accept a teacher job in the South Bronx. He’s off-path again, but he’s determined to make it work. 

 

A lioness of a principal, Ms. RODRIQUEZ prowls I like the prowls word. the halls of Mark’s new school, unnerving teachers with her impromptu, often hypercritical You should clarify that these observations are somehow unpleasant/stressful observations. observations. Her tough-love message is that anything less than 110% won't do. “all in” won’t fly. Mark resents the trial by fire. He vents his the frustrations in daily writing sessions, and he wants to confide in Denise, but he's worried ??? it will burden their marriage? Instead Rather than confiding his suffering all this to Denise, he turns to tells BRYNNE, his telephone long distance peer counselor. He tells himself he chooses Brynne because she's a neutral party, but really he's also falling for her. It is easier to unload on Brynne because she has nothing at stake.  This last part  makes it sound like he's just talking to Brynne because she's a safe, outside confidant, but clearly it's more than that, so you should say that. Otherwise the next paragraph comes out of the blue.

 

 

When Mark is fired he has to tell Denise and, to make matters worse, that same day Denise learns he's been confiding in Brynne instead of her. On the same day that Denise learns finds out that Mark is fired, she also learns that Brynne is his primary confidant. Denise She  asks Mark if he loves Brynne and he says he doesn’t know. Denise tells him that their marriage is over a because Brynne has become his “go to” girl. Mark feels that his life is shot to pieces.

 

 

 

He immediately consults Silvia, the healer from Mexico. She disagrees that his life is falling apart. Rather, she says, his victim mentality is breaking. She believes that he is now ready to take responsibility for everything he is creating in his life. 

 

So he doubles down and works on repairing his relationship with Denise. It takes a year, but their relationship becomes stronger as a result. Mark also builds back his career as an itinerant musician.

 

When Mark writes an inspirational New York Times essay on trading his briefcase for clown shoes, it goes viral, resonating with thousands of readers fed up with working soul-crushing jobs. A big literary house wants a memoir in the style of the much-tweeted piece.

 

But the memoir will expose Mark and Denise's private life, and their fragile relationship is threatened by divorce. Knowing that Mark’s memoir will expose their private lives, Denise threatens divorce. As Mark tries to decide what to do, he pressures Denise, a nutritionist, to give a TED talk in Switzerland on her “Deprivation to Decadence” diet. But Denise has an acute dread of public speaking. Mark, Denise, and their two children decide to make this a family adventure. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning, Denise talks from her heart (not about Deprivation to Decadence) and the crowd goes wild. Mark is very proud of her.

 

When they return, Mark agrees to help his former teacher’s aide, MS. WASHINGTON, by appearing as a character witness in her Bronx jury trial. He sits next to Principal Rodriquez, also a witness, in the courtroom. Mark and Ms. Rodriquez see each other in a new light. Mark realizes that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him the door. He is now a writer. Mark volunteers to give a concert at his old workplace, and Rodriquez accepts. 

 

In the aftermath of his show at the school, Mark feels a new openness. He decides that he is willing to break the contract for his memoir, and re-conceive it as a novel, thus shielding Denise. But Denise also has a change of heart. She tells him to go ahead with the memoir.

 

Yay, your synopsis has gotten so much better! Congratulations! I made some suggestions, still, but this is really close. It has a clear story arc and Mark is much more likable. 



#13 robertguitar

robertguitar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I have published two personal essays in the New York Times, one of which provoked 465 reader comments and stayed in the top three emailed NYT articles for two full days. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/abandoning-the-work-i-hated/?_r=0

Posted 15 January 2018 - 08:38 AM

All his life, MARK BIDERMAN has felt a deep passion for writing. But it's a risky career choice, so he attends law school instead, only to hate his job and suffer a myriad of stress-related illnesses.

 

He quits law and takes a solo road trip to Mexico, where a lover in San Miguel de Allende shows him how he slyly pleases others to avoid rejection. A healer, SILVIA, points the way for Mark to seek his true desires.

 

Mark returns home and decides to become a party clown. There’s little money in it, but for the first time he feels alive. Later he picks up his old guitar, ditches the clown suit, and begins performing for young children. Eventually, he makes a living at it. It’s fun, and his body feels better.

 

Mark meets DENISE at Silvia’s spiritual group, and begins dating her. She would prefer that Mark return to law, but regardless, they fall in love, marry, and have two children. 

 

Mark feels pressure to better provide for his family. He pivots from itinerant musician to founding a bricks-and-mortar children’s music center. But the center fails, and Mark feels forced to accept a teacher job in the South Bronx. He’s off-path again, but he’s determined to make it work. 

 

A lioness of a principal, Ms. RODRIQUEZ prowls the halls of Mark’s new school, unnerving teachers with her impromptu, often hypercritical observations. Her tough-love message is that anything less than 110% won't do. Mark resents the trial by fire. He vents his frustrations in daily writing sessions, and he wants to confide in Denise, but he's worried it will burden their marriage. Instead he turns to BRYNNE, his telephone long distance peer counselor. He tells himself he chooses Brynne because she's a neutral party, but really he's also falling for her. 

 

When Mark is fired he has to tell Denise and, to make matters worse, that same day Denise learns he's been confiding in Brynne instead of her. She asks Mark if he loves Brynne and he says he doesn’t know. Denise tells him that their marriage is over. Mark feels that his life is shot to pieces.

 

He immediately consults Silvia, the healer from Mexico. She disagrees that his life is falling apart. Rather, she says, his victim mentality is breaking. She believes that he is now ready to take responsibility for everything he is creating in his life. 

 

So he doubles down and works on repairing his relationship with Denise. It takes a year, but their relationship becomes stronger as a result. Mark also builds back his career as an itinerant musician.

 

When Mark writes an inspirational New York Times essay on trading his briefcase for clown shoes, it goes viral, resonating with thousands of readers fed up with working soul-crushing jobs. A big literary house wants a memoir in the style of the much-tweeted piece.

 

But the memoir will expose Mark and Denise's private life, something Denise won’t allow, so their fragile relationship is threatened by divorce. As Mark tries to decide what to do, he pressures Denise, a nutritionist, to give a TED talk in Switzerland on her “Deprivation to Decadence” diet. But Denise has an acute dread of public speaking. Mark, Denise, and their two children decide to make this a family adventure. A travel mishap necessitates a seven-hour forced march through the mountains. But the next morning, Denise talks from her heart (not about Deprivation to Decadence) and the crowd goes wild. Mark is very proud of her.

 

When they return, Mark agrees to help his former teacher’s aide by appearing as a character witness in her South Bronx jury trial. He sits next to Principal Rodriquez, also a witness, in the courtroom. Mark and Ms. Rodriquez see each other in a new light. Mark realizes that Ms. Rodriquez did him a favor by showing him the door. He is now a writer. Mark volunteers to give a concert at his old workplace, and Rodriquez accepts. 

 

In the aftermath of his show at the school, Mark feels a new openness. He decides that he is willing to break the contract for his memoir, and re-conceive it as a novel, thus shielding Denise. But Denise also has a change of heart. She tells him to go ahead with the memoir.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users