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#1 smithgirl

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:45 PM

HI All. I had this synopsis posted once before, but wanted to get some fresh eyes before I start using it again. Thanks!

 

      One night HENRY RIVER, a professor of literature, meets ALTHEA at a club. Henry knows that two decades earlier, JACK, Henrys former college roommate and the love of his life, dated Althea his freshman year. Something unknown happened between them that left Jack terrified of women in general. Following their relationship, Jack, initially bisexual, dated only men. The fear continues to haunt Jack all these years later, so when Henry meets Althea, he is intrigued. He invites her back to his place and then dates her, keeping the relationship secret from Jack, as he seeks to learn what Jack wont tell him.

 

      Shortly after meeting Althea, Henry is approached by a troubled student, MARC. Marc pushes the boundaries of what Henry considers appropriate, calling his personal cell number and showing up at his home. Henry wants to keep a firm, professional boundary, but he is concerned when Marc tells him that he pays strangers to let him sleep in their beds. Its the only way Marc can sleep; he escapes the nightmares of his childhood by pretending to live in other peoples homes. Worried for Marcs safety, Henry arranges for him to stay with a married couple. Henry knows that Marc has idealized him as a father figure and wants to stay with him, but Henry is concerned that such cohabitation would be misconstrued.

 

      Eventually, Althea tells Henry what he wants to know. After Jack broke up with her, she texted him while driving, hit a tree, and almost died. Heartbroken that he didnt visit her in the hospital, she called him afterward and lied, telling him the accident had put her in a wheelchair. But Althea still loves Jack, and now she wants to apologize and reconcile. She doesnt know that Jack never recovered from the guilt. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one last time and steals Jacks number from the phone.

 

      As Henry obsesses about how to keep Althea from calling Jack, Marc becomes ill. Henry doesnt have time for this new problem, but he feels obligated to care for Marc at the married couple's apartment. Thus preoccupied, he is too slow to formulate plans for Althea. He is back home, alone with Jack, when she calls. She tells Jack where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves. Henry is dazed when Althea pounds at his front door moments later. He sees that, newly traumatized by Jacks rejection, she is in shock just like him. But Henry is too distraught to sympathize, and he tells her to leave.

 

      Henry has never been left by a loved one, nor has he ever been alone. He goes to work the next week and he experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack meant when he said he couldnt see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesnt want anyone to see his most intimate pain.

 

      Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. When Marc resumes renting beds from strangers, Henry relents and Marc moves in with him. Henry becomes ever more of a parent to him, never crossing from a parental role to the sexual, but still holding Marc in the night when he screams with nightmares.

 

      When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marcs emergency contact. Marc is dying, but Henry doesnt want to intrude upon Marcs parents chance to say goodbye in private. However, Henry is forced to meet Marcs parents when Marc refuses to see them and they demand an explanation. As Henry defends Marcs decision, Marcs father hits him.

 

      Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henrys altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henrys room, having been informed of what happened. Jack has realized that now he must care for Henry as Henry cared for him all these years. They leave the hospital together.      



#2 Springfield

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 04:36 PM

HI All. I had this synopsis posted once before, but wanted to get some fresh eyes before I start using it again. Thanks!

 

      One night HENRY RIVER, a professor of literature, meets ALTHEA at a club. It's odd, in a synopsis, that you're establishing him with full name and job and her as first, no info. I presume she's an actual character, or else you'd have skipped naming her entirely. Henry knows that two decades earlier, JACK, Henrys former college roommate and the love of his life, dated Althea his freshman year. Something unknown happened between them that left Jack terrified of women in general. Following their relationship, Jack, initially bisexual, dated only men. This is so much convoluted info in so little space -- there's just got to be a way to do this that's less confounding to parse, maybe not starting with the club thing at least, as you've got what sounds like guy-meets-girl, then go to he's gay, his ex once yada then his ex wasn't gay but then... etc. etc.  The fear continues to haunt Jack all these years later, so when Henry meets Althea, he is intrigued. He invites her back to his place and then dates her, keeping the relationship secret from Jack, as he seeks to learn what Jack wont tell him. It's not clear before now that Henry and Jack were even still in touch -- I don't even know how far back college was. 

 

Henry meets Althea in a club, they go home together and start dating. Henry doesn't tell her that he's actually gay (or bi or whatever is going on), and is only dating her to satisfy his curiosity about what happened when Althea dated the love of Henry's life, Jack, 20 years ago, when they were all in college together. Back then, Jack was into women, especially Althea, but something happened that Jack has never even told Henry, his college roommate and current whatever. Lucky for Henry, it left Jack open to dating men. Henry wishes he could let it lie, but even after all these years, he wants to know what happened. (or something that has to do with the actual plot, heh; just something on the fly I think is more linear).

 

      Shortly after meeting Althea, Henry is approached by a troubled student, MARC. Marc pushes the boundaries of what Henry considers appropriate, calling his personal cell number and showing up at his home. I'm unclear as to how this is meant -- troubled like he's just odd and is inappropriate doing stuff like this asking about grades, class time, random shit, or is hitting on Henry, bringing him gifts, what? Henry wants to keep a firm, professional boundary, but he is concerned when Marc tells him that he pays strangers to let him sleep in their beds. Its the only way Marc can sleep; he escapes the nightmares of his childhood by pretending to live in other peoples homes. Worried for Marcs safety, Henry arranges for him to stay with a married couple. Henry is bonkers. Henry knows that Marc has idealized him as a father figure and wants to stay with him, but Henry is concerned that such cohabitation would be misconstrued. Henry doesn't think putting him up with a couple he knows would be? Henry = bonkers, heh.

 

      Eventually, Althea tells Henry what he wants to know. After Jack broke up with her, she texted him while driving, hit a tree, and almost died. Heartbroken that he didnt visit her in the hospital, she called him afterward and lied, telling him the accident had put her in a wheelchair. But Althea still loves Jack, and now she wants to apologize and reconcile. She doesnt know that Jack never recovered from the guilt. Jack, also bonkers.  But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. Wait, she knows he knows Jack? This brings up q. He resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one last time and steals Jacks number from the phone. Althea is unfamiliar with the Internet?

 

      As Henry obsesses about how to keep Althea from calling Jack, Marc becomes ill. Henry doesnt have time for this new problem, but he feels obligated to care for Marc at the married couple's apartment. I get it's litfic but this whole graph thus far is so unrealistic... Thus preoccupied, he is too slow to formulate plans for Althea. He is back home, alone with Jack, when she calls. She tells Jack where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves. Henry is dazed when Althea pounds at his front door moments later. He sees that, newly traumatized by Jacks rejection, she is in shock just like him. But Henry is too distraught to sympathize, and he tells her to leave.

 

      Henry has never been left by a loved one, nor has he ever been alone. He goes to work the next week and he experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack meant when he said he couldnt see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesnt want anyone to see his most intimate pain.

 

      Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, I'm confused --was he with Jack or what was going on originally? with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. When Marc resumes renting beds from strangers, Henry relents and Marc moves in with him. Henry becomes ever more of a parent to him, never crossing from a parental role to the sexual, but still holding Marc in the night when he screams with nightmares.

 

      When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marcs emergency contact. Marc is dying, but Henry doesnt want to intrude upon Marcs parents chance to say goodbye in private. However, Henry is forced to meet Marcs parents when Marc refuses to see them and they demand an explanation. As Henry defends Marcs decision, Marcs father hits him. I kind of feel the ppl lining up to punch Henry.

 

      Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henrys altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henrys room, having been informed of what happened. Jack has realized that now he must care for Henry as Henry cared for him all these years. That's not really in here?They leave the hospital together.      

 

I have more plot confusion than anything; your writing isn't a problem or anything, heh. I think you need to make much clearer if there's a full circle thing going on w/Henry and Jack, because I didn't get that that was where this was going at all, until you spelled it out, and then it doesn't seem to have been there all along either, if you see what I mean. I think it needs reframing in that vein, and clarity at points. Also, can I punch Henry?



#3 smithgirl

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 04:57 PM

Thanks I'll work on it some more. The relationship between Jack and Henry is very complex and always difficult to convey. I spend half my query/synopsis just trying to explain.

 

Argh, back to the drawing board.



#4 smithgirl

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 05:52 PM

 OK I've tried to address Springfield's issues and also clarify the relationship. Thanks in advance!

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

     For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a different relationship, years ago, with a woman named ALTHEA.

 

      When Henry, who also dates women, meets Althea at a club, he is desperate to learn what happened that left Jack so damaged. So he asks her to bed. Althea has recognized Henry from their days in college, as Jacks former roommate. She warns Henry she fucked up his friend but doesnt say how. So Henry pursues the relationship with her, without telling Jack, to learn just that.

 

      Soon afterward Henry, who is a professor, is approached by a suicidal student with abusive parents, MARC. Henry learns he has been selected by Marc as the one person who can help him. Marc refuses to see a professional, instead pressing himself into Henrys personal life. Henry struggles to maintain a professional boundary, but he is concerned when Marc tells him that he pays strangers to let him sleep in their beds. To keep Marc from renting beds and endangering himself further, Henry arranges for Marc to stay with a friend. Henry knows that Marc wants to stay with him, but he is concerned that such cohabitation would be misconstrued.

 

      Eventually, Henry learns Althea's big secret: After Jack broke up with her she texted him while driving, hit a tree, and almost died. Afterward she called him and lied, telling him the accident had put her in a wheelchair. But Althea still loves Jack, and now she wants to apologize and reconcile. She doesnt know that Jack never recovered from the guilt. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one last time and steals Jacks number from the phone.

 

      Henry is frantic to prevent the call, but he is too slow and Althea calls soon, when hes at home with Jack. She tells Jack where she got the number. Jack punches Henry and slams the door behind him as he leaves. Henry is dazed when Althea pounds at the door moments later. He sees that, newly traumatized by Jacks rejection, she is in shock just like him. But Henry is too distraught to sympathize.

 

      Henry has never been left by a loved one. He goes to work the next week and he experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesnt want anyone to see his most intimate pain.

 

      Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. When Marc resumes renting beds from strangers, Henry relents and Marc moves in with him. Henry becomes ever more of a parent to him, never crossing from a parental role to the sexual, but still holding Marc in the night when he screams with nightmares.

 

      When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marcs emergency contact. Marc is dying, but Henry doesnt want to intrude upon Marcs parents chance to say goodbye in private. However, Henry is forced to meet Marcs abusive parents when Marc refuses to see them and they demand an explanation. As Henry defends Marcs decision, Marcs father hits him.

 

      Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henrys altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henrys room, having been informed of what happened. Jack has realized that Henry needs him and only wanted the best and its time to come back.

 

      When Henry is better, he and Jack go to Altheas home to convince her that Jack does not want her back. But when they arrive, Altheas apartment is empty. She has moved.

 

      Standing outside the empty apartment, Jack and Henry consider that maybe its time for them to move in together.



#5 robertguitar

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:19 PM

 For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a different relationship, years ago, with a woman named ALTHEA.

 

      When Henry, who also dates women, meets Althea at a club, he is desperate to learn what happened that left Jack so damaged. So he asks her to bed. Althea has recognized Henry from their days in college, as Jacks former roommate. She warns Henry she fucked up his friend but doesnt say how. So Henry pursues the relationship with her, without telling Jack, to learn just that. This is very intriguing. What Henry is doing is somewhat immoral -- but in an interesting way. I feel like I'd like to take the ride.

 

      Soon afterward Henry, who is a professor, is approached by a suicidal student with abusive parents, MARC. Henry learns he has been selected by Marc as the one person who can help him. Marc refuses to see a professional, instead pressing himself into Henry’s personal life. Henry struggles to maintain a professional boundary, ​Maybe don't use the word, professional, twice in such quick succession but he is concerned when Marc tells him that he pays strangers to let him sleep in their beds. To keep Marc from renting beds and endangering himself further, Henry arranges for Marc to stay with a friend. Henry knows that Marc wants to stay with him, but he is concerned that such cohabitation would be misconstrued. You're stirring a thick brew! On the one hand Henry makes a questionable personal decision by seducing Althea for information. But his professional decision with Marc seems sound. So far, you're telling the story in a natural way which isn't easy in a synopsis.

 

      Eventually, Henry learns Althea's big secret: After Jack broke up with her she texted him while driving, hit a tree, and almost died. Afterward she called him and lied, telling him the accident had put her in a wheelchair. But Althea still loves Jack, and now she wants to apologize and reconcile. She doesnt know that Jack never recovered from the guilt. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one last time and steals Jacks number from the phone. I guess Jack had changed his number from the time when they were together. But not super convincing -- as you can pay ten bucks to get most numbers from these internet companies. Anyway though, I like the mercenary nature of all of this.

 

      Henry is frantic to prevent the call, but he is too slow and Althea calls soon, when hes at home with Jack. She tells Jack where she got the number. Jack punches Henry and slams the door behind him as he leaves. Henry is dazed when Althea pounds at the door moments later. He sees that, newly traumatized by Jacks rejection, she is in shock just like him. But Henry is too distraught to sympathize.

 

      Henry has never been left by a loved one. He goes to work the next week and he experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesnt want anyone to see his most intimate pain.

 

      Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. When Marc resumes renting beds from strangers, Henry relents and Marc moves in with him. Henry becomes ever more of a parent to him, never crossing from a parental role to the sexual, but still holding Marc in the night when he screams with nightmares.

 

      When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marcs emergency contact. Marc is dying, but Henry doesnt want to intrude upon Marcs parents chance to say goodbye in private. However, Henry is forced to meet Marcs abusive parents when Marc refuses to see them and they demand an explanation. This is the one sentence that reads like a synopsis -- that is a little like translating Latin. You've avoided it in the rest of the sentences. I think it would be better to rearrange the sentence into chronological order, that is: But Marc refuses to see them. They demand an explanation from Henry. As Henry defends Marcs decision, Marcs father hits him.

 

      Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henrys altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henrys room, having been informed of what happened. Jack has realized that Henry needs him and only wanted the best and its time to come back.

 

      When Henry is better, he and Jack go to Altheas home to convince her that Jack does not want her back. But when they arrive, Altheas apartment is empty. She has moved. 

 

      Standing outside the empty apartment, Jack and Henry consider that maybe its time for them to move in together. This story seems very tight, and even in synopsis, it reads smoothly and the emotions make sense.



#6 MICRONESIA

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:49 AM

 

OK I've tried to address Springfield's issues and also clarify the relationship. Thanks in advance!

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

     For two decades Comma. HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a different relationship, years ago, with a woman named ALTHEA.

 

      When Henry, who also dates women, meets Althea at a club, Out clubbing meeting chicks? Bad boy, Henry!!! he is desperate to learn what happened that left Jack so damaged. So he asks her to bed. Althea has recognized Henry from their days in college, as Jacks former roommate. She warns Henry she fucked up Eh... probably too much. his friend but doesnt say how. So Henry pursues the relationship with her, without telling Jack, to learn just that. These are... odd motivations. Henry is quite unlikable at this point. I know this is an "open" relationship, but I think a lot of readers will have a tough time with this -- especially considering his "motivations."

 

      Soon afterward Henry, who is a professor, is approached by a suicidal student with abusive parents, MARC. Henry learns he has been selected by Marc as the one person who can help him. Marc refuses to see a professional, instead pressing himself into Henrys personal life. Henry struggles to maintain a professional boundary, but he is concerned when Marc tells him that he pays strangers to let him sleep in their beds. To keep Marc from renting beds and endangering himself further, Henry arranges for Marc to stay with a friend. Henry knows that Marc wants to stay with him, but he is concerned that such cohabitation would be misconstrued. Are we reading a different book now? This has nothing to do with the previous paragraph. Also, your voice is VERY stilted. "Cohabitation would be misconstrued" -- see what I mean?

 

      Eventually, Henry learns Althea's big secret: After Jack broke up with her Comma. she texted him while driving, hit a tree, and almost died. Afterward she called him and lied, telling him the accident had put her in a wheelchair. But Althea still loves Jack, and now she wants to apologize and reconcile. We don't know Jack at this point. Why should we be invested in all this hubbub about his past relationship if we don't know him at all? She doesnt know that Jack never recovered from the guilt. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one last time and steals Jacks number from the phone.

 

      Henry is frantic to prevent the call, but he is too slow and Althea calls soon, when hes at home with Jack. She tells Jack where she got the number. Jack punches Henry and slams the door behind him as he leaves. Henry is dazed when Althea pounds at the door moments This might be too "in scene." later. He sees that, newly traumatized by Jacks rejection, she is in shock just like him. But Henry is too distraught to sympathize.

 

      Henry has never been left by a loved one. He goes to work the next week and he experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. To hell with this guy. He's a cheater! Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesnt want anyone to see his most intimate pain.

 

      Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. When Marc resumes renting beds from strangers, Henry relents and Marc moves in with him. Comes out of nowhere... Henry becomes ever more of a parent to him, never crossing from a parental role to the sexual, but still holding Marc in the night when he screams with nightmares.

 

      When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marcs emergency contact. Marc is dying, but Henry doesnt want to intrude upon Marcs parents chance to say goodbye in private. However, Henry is forced to meet Marcs abusive parents when Marc refuses to see them and they demand an explanation. As Henry defends Marcs decision, Marcs father hits him.

 

      Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henrys altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henrys room, having been informed of what happened. Jack has realized that Henry needs him and only wanted the best and its time to come back. WHAT.

 

      When Henry is better, he and Jack go to Altheas home to convince her that Jack does not want her back. But when they arrive, Altheas apartment is empty. She has moved.

 

      Standing outside the empty apartment, Jack and Henry consider that maybe its time for them to move in together. Ending doesn't feel earned, at least with the way this summary is presented.

 

I hit my main concerns above. I think your biggest issue is gonna be making Henry likable. No amount of punches to his face will make us care about a guy who runs around on his lover for "altruistic" reasons. It's hard to come back from that. Then Jack just accepts him and they live happily ever after? And a dead kid in the wake, too? Oof...

 

I'd sit down and list ways to make the reader pull for this guy. What are his most endearing qualities? What does he WANT, beyond this selfish/dumb attempt to "reconcile with his lover's past?"



#7 smithgirl

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:08 PM

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a different relationship, years ago, with a woman named ALTHEA.

 

Jack lives with another man and Henry dates women, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until one night Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from their days in college, as Jacks former roommate. She warns Henry things went badly between her and Jack, but doesnt say how. So for the first time ever Henry keeps a secret from Jack, pursuing a relationship with Althea, hoping he’ll learn the secret he needs to help Jack.

 

And he does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. She tells him how years ago she loved Jack but he ended it with her anyway. Then afterward she texted Jack from her phone, on the highway. Frantic and distracted she ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and told him, wrongly, that the accident left her paralyzed.

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s come to realize she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. All these years he’s been supporting Jack, emotionally, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time and while he’s sleeping she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is panicked to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has fixated on Henry for assistance. Henry is torn between keeping Marc from danger and facing Jack and then Althea makes the call. It’s just Henry and Jack alone when she tells Jack, over the phone, where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

Suddenly, for the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and he experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. 

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marc’s emergency contact. Marc is dying. When Marc refuses to see his abusive parents, Henry is forced to confront them. In a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack has realized that Henry needs him and only wanted the best and its time to come back.

 

When Henry is released the two them go to Althea’s apartment, to convince her that Jack doesn’t want her back. But the apartment is empty.

 

Standing outside the empty apartment, Jack and Henry consider that maybe its time for them to move in together.



#8 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 08:39 PM

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a different relationship, years ago, with a woman named ALTHEA. [solid opening]

 

Jack lives with another man and Henry dates women, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until one night Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from their days in college, as Jack’s former roommate. She warns Henry things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So for the first time ever Henry keeps a secret from Jack, pursuing a relationship with Althea, hoping he’ll learn the secret he needs to help Jack. [do you mean a romantic relationship? If not, please clarify, because that's what I jumped to. (Friendship can easily replace relationship.) If you do, please expand on why it needs to be romantic and not platonic, because that's kind of confusing.]

 

And he does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. She tells him how years ago she loved Jack but he ended it with her anyway. Then afterward she texted Jack from her phone, on the highway. Frantic and distracted she ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and told him, wrongly, that the accident left her paralyzed. [You're really good at including emotional backstory while being engaging, not boring. I'm taking notes for my own synopsis!]

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s come to realize she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. All these years he’s been supporting He's been supporting Jack all these years [the original phrasing didn't read smoothly to me] Jack, emotionally, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time. and w While he’s sleeping she steals Jack’s number from his phone. 

 

Henry is panicked to prevent Althea’s call [panicked to prevent is a weird phrase; I'd consider rewording], but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has fixated on Henry for assistance [nice inclusion of subplot - again, I'm taking notes!]. Henry is torn between keeping Marc from danger and facing Jack and then Althea makes the call. It’s just Henry and Jack alone when she tells Jack, over the phone, where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

Suddenly, For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and he experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. [Sorry to sound like a broken record, but this is so good, and reading your synopsis is seriously helping me.]

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him. [nooooo I feel so drawn in and emotionally invested.]

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marc’s emergency contact. Marc is dying. When Marc refuses to see his abusive parents, Henry is forced to confront them. In a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents. [Oy. Ouch.] Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack has realized that Henry needs him and only wanted the best. and It’s time to come back.

 

When Henry is released, [comma here - just my preference though] the two them go to Althea’s apartment, to convince her that Jack doesn’t want her back. But the apartment is empty. [feels like a potential loose thread. Agent's scrutinize resolutions closely in synopses, so I'd consider making this sound more resolved, or more artfully not-resolved? (whichever was your intention.) Additionally, can you make it clear what Marc's death adds to the plot/character arcs? Did it make Jack realize life is short?]

 

Standing outside the empty apartment, Jack and Henry consider that maybe it’s time for them to move in together.

 

 

---

 

This was an emotional and engaging read, and it is AMAZING when a synopsis can accomplish that. Good luck!



#9 smithgirl

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:36 AM

Thanks pigeononthemoon! Newest attempt below.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a different relationship, years ago, with a woman named ALTHEA. 

 

Jack lives with another man and Henry dates women, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until one night Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from their days in college. Henry recognizes only her name, but asks her to bed. She warns him things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So for the first time ever Henry keeps a secret from Jack, sleeping with Althea to learn the secret he needs to help him.

 

And he does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. She tells him how years ago she loved Jack but he ended it with her anyway. Afterward she texted Jack from her phone, on the highway. Hysterical and distracted she ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and told him, wrongly, that the accident left her paralyzed.

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s come to realize she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He’s been supporting Jack emotionally all these years, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time. While he’s sleeping she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is frantic to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his literature students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has fixated on Henry for assistance. Henry is torn between keeping Marc from danger and facing Jack and then Althea makes the call. It’s just Henry and Jack alone when she tells Jack, over the phone, where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. 

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marc’s emergency contact. Marc is dying. Marc refuses to see his abusive parents, and Henry is forced to confront them. In a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack was focused on his own pain and had no idea what Henry has gone through between losing Jack and coming to love, and lose, another person’s son. Jack decides it’s time to come back.

 

When Henry is released the two of them go to Althea’s apartment, to convince her that Jack doesn’t want her back. But the apartment is empty. It seems she finally accepted Jack is lost to her. Standing outside the apartment, Jack and Henry consider that maybe it’s time for them to move in together.



#10 robertguitar

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 12:29 PM

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a different relationship, years ago, with a woman named ALTHEA. 

 

Jack lives with another man and Henry dates women, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until one night Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from their days in college. Henry recognizes only her name, but asks her to bed. She warns him things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So for the first time ever Henry keeps a secret from Jack, sleeping with Althea to learn the secret he needs to help him.

 

And he does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. She tells him how years ago she loved Jack but he ended it with her anyway. Afterward she texted Jack from her phone, on the highway. Hysterical and distracted she ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and told him, wrongly, that the accident left her paralyzed.

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s come to realize she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He’s been supporting Jack emotionally all these years, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time. While he’s sleeping she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is frantic to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his literature students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has fixated on turned to Henry for assistance. Henry is torn between keeping Marc from danger and facing Jack and then Althea makes the call. This sentence is a three-times-read sentence. It takes that many times to figure it out. Maybe: Helping Marc prevents/keeps Henry from confronting Jack about Althea.  It’s just Henry and Jack alone when she calls and tells Jack over the phone, where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. 

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marc’s emergency contact. Marc is dying. Marc refuses to see his abusive parents, and Henry is forced to confront them. In a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack was focused on his own pain and had no idea what Henry has gone through between losing Jack and coming to love, and lose, another person’s son. Jack decides it’s time to come back.

Yes, I agree that leaving out that Althea has moved away is a good move. It doesn't add any meaning, and almost seems like a deus ex machina, i.e. an artificial reason for them to move in with each other. Oh, I didn't see that final paragraph. But, personally, I would end the synopsis here and just replace "come back" with "move in together." Marc's death and Jack's visit to the hospital is a more dramatic and conclusive ending, at least for the synopsis.

 

When Henry is released the two of them go to Althea’s apartment, to convince her that Jack doesn’t want her back. But the apartment is empty. It seems she finally accepted Jack is lost to her. Standing outside the apartment, Jack and Henry consider that maybe it’s time for them to move in together.



#11 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But Despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a different  past relationship, years ago, with a woman named ALTHEA. 

 

Jack lives with another man and Henry dates women, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years, [comma here] until one night Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from their days in college. Henry recognizes only her name [I suggest replacing the blue with something that directly says something like "they realize they both know Jack.", but asks her to bed. She warns him things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So f For the first time ever Henry keeps a secret from Jack, sleeping with Althea to learn the secret he needs to help him. [This paragraph is definitely clearer than before, but the last sentence still confuses me.]

 

And hHe does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. She tells him how y Years ago she loved Jack, [comma is necessary] but he ended it with her anyway. Afterward she texted Jack from her phone while driving, on the highway. Hysterical and distracted s She ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and lied told him, wrongly, that the accident left her paralyzed.

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s come to realized she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He’s been supporting Jack emotionally all these years, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time. While he’s sleeping, [comma is necessary] she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is frantic to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his literature students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has fixated on Henry for assistance. Henry is torn between keeping Marc from danger and facing Jack. and Then Althea makes the call. It’s just Henry and Jack are alone when she tells Jack, over the phone, where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves. [ooooh nice. I feel the drama.]

 

For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. 

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as Marc’s emergency contact. Marc is dying. Marc refuses to see his abusive parents, and Henry is forced to confront them. In a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents [still such a "WOW" moment]. Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack was focused on his own pain and had no idea what Henry has gone was going through between losing Jack and coming to love, and lose, another person’s son. [We know everything that I just crossed out already.] Jack decides it’s time to come back.

 

When Henry is released, [comma is necessary whenever the subject changes] the two of them go to Althea’s apartment, to convince her that Jack doesn’t want her back. But the apartment is empty. It seems she finally accepted Jack is lost to her. [Nice.] Standing outside the apartment, Jack and Henry consider that maybe it’s time for them to move in together.

 

With a few tweaks, I think this will be ready to go! The main stuff to tweak is in that second paragraph. I am loving this! 



#12 smithgirl

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 02:02 PM

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a past relationship, with a woman named ALTHEA. What happened between them is a secret Jack won’t tell.

 

Henry dates women and Jack lives with another man, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from college. She warns him things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So for the first time Henry keeps a secret from Jack, sleeping with Althea to learn the secret, hoping he can use the insight to help Jack finally deal with his past.

 

He does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. Years ago she loved Jack, but he ended it with her anyway. Afterward she texted him while driving, ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and lied, saying the accident left her paralyzed.

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s realized she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He’s been supporting Jack emotionally all these years, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time. While he’s sleeping, she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is frantic to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his literature students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has turned to Henry for assistance. Henry needs a plan, but doesn’t have one before Althea makes the call. It’s just him and Jack alone when she tells Jack where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. 

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as the emergency contact. Marc is dying but refuses to see his abusive parents. Henry is forced to confront them, and in a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack was focused on his own pain and had no idea what Henry has gone through. Jack decides it’s time to come back. Henry is released, and they discuss if they should finally move in together.



#13 robertguitar

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:33 AM

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a past relationship, with a woman named ALTHEA. What happened between them is a secret Jack won’t tell.

 

Henry dates women and Jack lives with another man, each with each the? other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from college. She warns him things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So for the first time Henry keeps a secret from Jack, sleeping with Althea to learn the secret, hoping he can use the insight to help Jack finally deal with his past.

 

He does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. Years ago she loved Jack, but he ended it with her anyway. Afterward she texted him while driving, ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and lied, saying the accident left her paralyzed.

 

Althea is lonely and she’s realized she needs Jack back is determined to get Jack back. (More direct but maybe you want to keep in the emotion.) She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He’s been supporting Jack emotionally all these years, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time. While he’s sleeping, she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is frantic to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his literature students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has turned to Henry for assistance. Henry needs a plan, but doesn’t have one before Before Henry can decide how to approach Jack, Althea makes the call. It’s just him and Jack alone Henry is there when she tells Jack where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. Well put.

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as the emergency contact. Marc is dying but refuses to see his abusive parents. Henry is forced to confront them, and in a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack was focused on his own pain and had no idea what Henry has gone through. Jack decides it’s time to come back. Henry is released, and they discuss if they should finally move in together. moving in together.

You've really gotten the word count pretty low, less than 600 words! Thanks for looking at mine again! I'm going to go over your critique now! Eventually, with these things, it comes down to a few quibbles over wording. But I guess every word counts! (Having just read your critique of my synopsis, I think I'll use every single correction. It's brilliant. Your explanation of the dynamic between Mark and Brynne even forced me to make a few changes in the manuscript.)



#14 LEEALLAN

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 12:10 AM

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, Yet neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a past relationship, with a woman named ALTHEA. What happened between them is a secret Jack won’t tell share with Henry.

 

With each other's blessing, Henry dates women and Jack lives with another man, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from college. She warns him things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So for the first time Henry keeps a his own secret from Jack, by sleeping with Althea to learn the secret, Henry wants to uncover Jack's secret so he can hoping he can use the insight to help Jack finally deal with his past.

 

He does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. Years ago she loved Jack, but he ended it with her anyway. Afterward she texted him while driving, ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and lied, saying the accident left her paralyzed.

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s realized she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He’s been supporting Jack emotionally all these years, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. (This doesn't ring true to me. Henry's goal is to help Jack, so what's stopping him? Is he fearful that Jack will leave him? And why would Jack have had other abusive relationships, if he's been with another man for decades? Having other abusive relationships muddies the waters.) Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time. While he’s sleeping, she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is frantic to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his literature students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has turned to Henry for assistance. Henry needs a plan, but doesn’t have one before Althea makes the call. It’s just him and He's with Jack alone when she tells Jack where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. 

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as the emergency contact. Marc is dying but refuses to see his abusive parents. Henry is forced to confront them, and in a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents, and Henry is crushed. Jack hears what's happened and appears in Henry’s (hospital?) room, having been informed of what happened. Jack was tells Henry he was focused on his own pain and hadn't inquired about Henry's tribulations.no idea what Henry has gone through. Jack apologizes and asks Henry if they could live together again. decides it’s time to come back. Henry accepts, is released, and they discuss their new living arrangements. if they should finally move in together. (I've taken some liberty here to change the ending to be more positive. This sounds like an interesting book!)



#15 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 11:35 AM

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a past relationship, with a woman named ALTHEA. What happened between them is a secret Jack won’t tell. (Maybe a different word like divulge?)

 

Henry dates women and Jack lives with another man, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from college. She warns him things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So for the first time Henry keeps a secret from Jack, sleeping with Althea to learn the secret, hoping he can use the insight to help Jack finally deal with his past. (I had to read this last sentence a few times.  Is there a way to rearrange it so it isn't so confusing?)

 

He does learn it, learns it eventually after he and Althea have been together for months. Years ago she loved Jack, but he ended it with her anyway.  Afterward she texted him while driving, ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and lied, saying the accident left her paralyzed. (ooooooohhhhhh, juicy)

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s realized Althea is lonely and realizes she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He’s been supporting Jack emotionally all these years, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed (manages to lure him to bed?) one more time. While he’s sleeping, she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is frantic to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his literature students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has turned to Henry for assistance. (This last part comes out of nowhere.  I was under the impression that Althea was calling Jack right away, but here it seems that a lot of time has passed.) Henry needs a plan, but doesn’t have one before Althea makes the call. It’s just him and Jack alone when she tells Jack where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. 

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. (Great describing words.  I love it!) Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as the emergency contact. Marc is dying but refuses to see his abusive parents. (Is there a way to make this less abrupt? Like, "Marc's abusive parents have shown up, but he refuses to see them.")  Henry is forced to confront them, and in a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack was focused on his own pain and had no idea what Henry has gone through. Jack decides it’s time to come back. Henry is released, and they discuss if they should finally move finally moving in together.

 

 

Overall,  this was really good.  I didn't get confused reading through it at all.  Poor Henry.  Poor Marc.  I hate Althea.  I didn't know I could get so invested in characters reading a synopsis.

 

And take my suggestions as a grain of salt.  I am very new to this community and don't know what I'm doing yet :P



#16 Emily804

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 08:18 PM

For two decades HENRY has shared an open relationship with the love of his life, JACK. But despite their love, neither fully commits because Jack is emotionally scarred from a past relationship, with a woman named ALTHEA. What happened between them is a secret Jack won’t tell. Jack refuses to explain what happened between them

 

Henry dates women and Jack lives with another man, each with each other’s blessing. It’s an arrangement that’s worked for years until Henry meets Althea at a club. Althea recognizes Henry from college. She warns him things went badly between her and Jack, but doesn’t say how. So for the first time Henry keeps a secret  something from Jack: he starts sleeping with Althea. Henry hopes to seduce Althea into revealing to learn the secret of what happened between Althea and Jack, hoping so he can use the insight to help Jack finally deal with his past.

 

He does learn it, after he and Althea have been together for months. Years ago she loved Jack, but he ended it with her anyway. Afterward she texted him while driving, ran headlong into a tree and almost died. Heartbroken that Jack didn’t even visit her in the hospital, she called him and lied, saying the accident left her paralyzed.

 

Now Althea is lonely and she’s realized she needs Jack back. She wants to apologize and reconcile, something Henry could make happen. But Henry refuses to broker a reunion. He’s been supporting Jack emotionally all these years, sometimes pulling him from abusive relationships. Henry resolves to stop seeing her, but she lures him to bed one more time. While he’s sleeping, she steals Jack’s number from his phone.

 

Henry is frantic to prevent Althea’s call, but he’s scared to broach the subject with Jack. He’s also distracted because he’s been sucked into the personal life of one of his literature students, MARC, who is suicidal, and has turned to Henry for assistance. Henry needs a plan, but doesn’t have one before Althea makes the call. It’s just him and Jack alone when she tells Jack where she got his number. Jack throws the phone to the floor, punches Henry, and leaves.

 

For the first time in his life, Henry is alone. He goes to work the next week and experiences a new level of emotional hurt as people see his bruised face. He feels they see into his most intimate pain. Ironically, it is because of being punched that Henry now understands what Jack means when he refuses to see him anymore. Just like Henry, Jack doesn’t want anyone to see his most intimate pain. 

 

Henry stops eating and going to clubs. He loses interest in women except for Althea, with whom he engages in a mutually hateful relationship. They have angry, abusive sex, drawing out the worst in each other as they feast on the remains of Jack they still find in one another. Even as Henry recognizes signs of a breakdown in himself, he continues fostering Marc, taking him in almost like his own child, but fearing he will fail to save him.

 

When Marc is hit by a car, Henry is called to the hospital as the emergency contact. Marc is dying but refuses to see his abusive parents. Henry is forced to confront them, and in a fit of rage, Marc’s father hits him.

 

Henry lies concussed in the hospital, crushed with the news that Marc died during Henry’s altercation with the parents. Jack appears in Henry’s room, having been informed of what happened. Jack was focused on his own pain and had no idea what Henry has gone through. Jack decides it’s time to come back. Henry is released, and they discuss if they should finally move in together.

 

 

I really like this! It's awesome! I want to read it!

There are a few things you should probably consider rewording. My suggestions are above. 


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