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The Sum of Who We Are (Synopsis)

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#1 eric balson

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 01:59 PM

In the near future, a train crash revolutionizes the lives of two teenagers.

 

Eighteen-year-old music savant, LUKE, loses his mother, causing a resurgence of his self-destructive impulses, and stifling his composing abilities.

 

Nineteen-year-old neuroscience student, RILEY, who almost boarded the train, develops a renewed sense of purpose after suffering through two devastating events—her brother’s death by Huntington’s, and being raped by her uncle. She resumes working with an institute building the AMRED—a memory-erasing device to replace the now outlawed ones that triggered side effects. Upon completion, Riley seeks to eradicate the traumatic memories of her assault.  

 

Riley’s plans are stalled when the mayor diverts funding for the AMRED towards establishing the Mental Health Database—a watch list for monitoring mentally ill citizens prone to violence. This is a move by the mayor, who in hoping to get re-elected, capitalizes on mental illness stigmatization that spikes after it’s revealed the train’s driver was schizophrenic. Riley’s PTSD places her on the watch list.

 

Luke, who’s been home-schooled since his first suicide attempt at twelve, after his dad left, enrols in high school. He does so under the persuasion of GARY—a board member who was romantically involved with his mom.

 

After the demise of the school’s music teacher, Riley—who was his assistant—is appointed as an interim replacement. A former songwriter, she’s tasked by Gary with helping Luke rekindle his creative spark in time for his concert. At the end of class, the two bond over their mutual passion for music.

 

Luke’s serenity is disrupted when he fails to control his impulses, and gets into a fight. Luke gets entered into the watch list. Feeling marginalized, he succumbs to the seductions of his impulses, resolving to kill himself. But after a bonding experience with Riley during class, Luke’s impulses are calmed. He realises to beat his demons, he’ll need help. Gary finds him a therapist—DR. FERRELL.

 

Luke’s appointment ends in disillusionment, with Dr. Ferrell showing disinterest to his troubles. Bored, Luke attends a recovery meeting where he runs into his history partner, ASH, a recovering addict. They agree to work on their assignment after Ash gets clean.

 

Meanwhile, Riley visits her parents, and learns her mother put her uncle up to raping her—the revelation reopening Riley’s emotional wounds. She renews her search for funding the AMRED. She proposes the idea to her old professor—Ash’s Dad, who successfully pitches it to a research institute.

 

When Ash leaves rehab, he and Luke visit of a historical site, where they encounter advocates of the database. In the ensuing confrontation, Luke learns Ash’s also on the watch list. Ash, feeling their partnership has evolved into a friendship, gives Luke a birthday present. Fuelled by his impulses, Luke terminates their friendship. Overcome by depression, Ash turns to drugs to numb his Luke-inflicted pain. This time, he fatally overdoses.

 

After Ash’s funeral, Luke puts a gun to his head. Riley—who’d stayed behind with Ash’s dad—stops Luke from pulling the trigger, persuading him he’s redeemable. Luke surrenders the weapon to her, and the two share an intimate moment.

 

Later that night, Luke is awoken by the symphony in his dreams, and begins scribing it. He’s interrupted by SKYLAR—his half-sister living with their dad. She hands him a package mistakenly sent to their address by Ferrell. Luke quickly discards it.

 

Riley visits a police station to handover Luke’s gun, only to be informed it was reported missing by Gary. Her predicament is exacerbated when they discover she’s in the database. Riley’s spared incarceration by Gary’s intervention. He leaves her the gun for her protection.

 

Luke completes his symphony in time for the concert. Riley asks him to meet her before performing. Still shaken from the incident with the police, she intends to propose to him the idea of leaving their town—which’s becoming increasingly unsafe for the mentally ill—for the institute’s town where she’ll complete building the AMRED, and thereafter they’ll delete the traumatic experiences which birthed their demons.

 

While Riley awaits Luke, she opens the package she also received from Ferrell, which contains a USB stick. She plays it and a video pops up showing her thirteen-year-old self and her mom in a meeting with Ferrell, who’s prepping Riley for a procedure to wipe the memory of watching her brother jump to his death after getting into a suicide pact with Luke.

 

Luke arrives. Terrified by what she’s learned, Riley pulls out the gun. As he tries to placate Riley, she inadvertently sets off the weapon, injuring him. Scared and confused, she calls Gary about Luke, and races to find Ferrell.

 

At the hospital, Luke awakens to find Ferrell in his room. He leads Luke to his office where he finds Riley—whom Luke apologizes to but is shunned. Ferrell proceeds to divulge to Luke how he made a suicide pact with Riley’s brother, but bailed. To cure his remorse-ridden mind of his betrayal, he underwent a memory-erasure procedure—which deleted his memories but didn’t wipe the guilt emotions linked to those memories. Luke learns his impulses are a manifestation of this guilt.

 

Wary of additional damage tampering with memories might do, Riley abandons the AMRED, and joins a research fellowship at a foreign university with the hope of finding a cure for Huntington’s—which while it didn’t claim her brother’s life is slowly making strides in ending hers.

 

Months pass, and Riley still hasn’t made progress, unlike her disease. Realizing she has limited time left, she returns home to a town with a new mayor, and a closed database. Her search for Luke leads her to their old music class. Luke—devoid of Riley to help tame his impulses—has learned to cope without her after finding companionship in Skylar. The two share one final heartfelt moment before she bids him goodbye.



#2 NCruz

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 05:35 PM



In the near future, a train crash revolutionizes the lives of two teenagers.[Start with the first event of the book. This reads like a hook, not something that is directly related to the plot progression.]

 

Eighteen-year-old music savant, LUKE, loses his mother, causing a resurgence of his self-destructive impulses, and stifling his composing abilities.[How does he lose his mother? Is this backstory or does this happen in the book? At the start of the book? The synopsis should be a chronological summary of the plot. If there is backstory, it should be mentioned as it relates to the progressing plot. Random example: He doesn't go to the graveyard because it reminds him of (short backstory).]

 

Nineteen-year-old neuroscience student, RILEY, who almost boarded the train, develops a renewed sense of purpose after suffering through two devastating events—her brother’s death by Huntington’s, and being raped by her uncle. She resumes working with an institute building the AMRED—a memory-erasing device to replace the now outlawed ones that triggered side effects. Upon completion, Riley seeks to eradicate the traumatic memories of her assault.  [I'm not following the plot progression. Where are we starting (before or after the train crash?). I don't know how the train crash relates to RILEY.]

 

Riley’s plans are stalled when the mayor diverts funding for the AMRED towards establishing the Mental Health Database—a watch list for monitoring mentally ill citizens prone to violence. This is a move by the mayor, who in hoping to get re-elected, capitalizes on mental illness stigmatization that spikes after it’s revealed the train’s driver was schizophrenic. Riley’s PTSD places her on the watch list.

 

Luke, who’s been home-schooled since his first suicide attempt at twelve, after his dad left, enrols in high school. He does so under the persuasion of GARY—a board member who was romantically involved with his mom.[I'm not seeing a flow between events. Each paragraph leads jerkily to the next.]

 

After the demise of the school’s music teacher, Riley—who was his assistant—is appointed as an interim replacement. A former songwriter, she’s tasked by Gary with helping Luke rekindle his creative spark in time for his concert. At the end of class, the two bond over their mutual passion for music.[I don't understand how the plot pieces together.]

 

Luke’s serenity is disrupted when he fails to control his impulses, and gets into a fight. Luke gets entered into the watch list. Feeling marginalized, he succumbs to the seductions of his impulses, resolving to kill himself. But after a bonding experience with Riley during class, Luke’s impulses are calmed. He realises to beat his demons, he’ll need help. Gary finds him a therapist—DR. FERRELL.

 

Luke’s appointment ends in disillusionment, with Dr. Ferrell showing disinterest to his troubles. Bored, Luke attends a recovery meeting where he runs into his history partner, ASH, a recovering addict. They agree to work on their assignment after Ash gets clean.

 

Meanwhile, Riley visits her parents, and learns her mother put her uncle up to raping her—the revelation reopening Riley’s emotional wounds. She renews her search for funding the AMRED. She proposes the idea to her old professor—Ash’s Dad, who successfully pitches it to a research institute.

 

When Ash leaves rehab, he and Luke visit of a historical site, where they encounter advocates of the database. In the ensuing confrontation, Luke learns Ash’s also on the watch list. Ash, feeling their partnership has evolved into a friendship, gives Luke a birthday present. Fuelled by his impulses, Luke terminates their friendship. Overcome by depression, Ash turns to drugs to numb his Luke-inflicted pain. This time, he fatally overdoses.

 

After Ash’s funeral, Luke puts a gun to his head. Riley—who’d stayed behind with Ash’s dad—stops Luke from pulling the trigger, persuading him he’s redeemable. Luke surrenders the weapon to her, and the two share an intimate moment.

 

Later that night, Luke is awoken by the symphony in his dreams, and begins scribing it. He’s interrupted by SKYLAR—his half-sister living with their dad. She hands him a package mistakenly sent to their address by Ferrell. Luke quickly discards it.

 

Riley visits a police station to handover Luke’s gun, only to be informed it was reported missing by Gary. Her predicament is exacerbated when they discover she’s in the database. Riley’s spared incarceration by Gary’s intervention. He leaves her the gun for her protection.

 

Luke completes his symphony in time for the concert. Riley asks him to meet her before performing. Still shaken from the incident with the police, she intends to propose to him the idea of leaving their town—which’s becoming increasingly unsafe for the mentally ill—for the institute’s town where she’ll complete building the AMRED, and thereafter they’ll delete the traumatic experiences which birthed their demons.

 

While Riley awaits Luke, she opens the package she also received from Ferrell, which contains a USB stick. She plays it and a video pops up showing her thirteen-year-old self and her mom in a meeting with Ferrell, who’s prepping Riley for a procedure to wipe the memory of watching her brother jump to his death after getting into a suicide pact with Luke.

 

Luke arrives. Terrified by what she’s learned, Riley pulls out the gun. As he tries to placate Riley, she inadvertently sets off the weapon, injuring him. Scared and confused, she calls Gary about Luke, and races to find Ferrell.

 

At the hospital, Luke awakens to find Ferrell in his room. He leads Luke to his office where he finds Riley—whom Luke apologizes to but is shunned. Ferrell proceeds to divulge to Luke how he made a suicide pact with Riley’s brother, but bailed. To cure his remorse-ridden mind of his betrayal, he underwent a memory-erasure procedure—which deleted his memories but didn’t wipe the guilt emotions linked to those memories. Luke learns his impulses are a manifestation of this guilt.

 

Wary of additional damage tampering with memories might do, Riley abandons the AMRED, and joins a research fellowship at a foreign university with the hope of finding a cure for Huntington’s—which while it didn’t claim her brother’s life is slowly making strides in ending hers.

 

Months pass, and Riley still hasn’t made progress, unlike her disease. Realizing she has limited time left, she returns home to a town with a new mayor, and a closed database. Her search for Luke leads her to their old music class. Luke—devoid of Riley to help tame his impulses—has learned to cope without her after finding companionship in Skylar. The two share one final heartfelt moment before she bids him goodbye.

 

[I'm not going to read through the whole thing because the issues in the first paragraphs likely continue. This should strictly be a summary of events. Each paragraph should cohesively lead into the next one. The first paragraphs were difficult to follow, and I wasn't grounded in the progression of events.]



#3 eric balson

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:51 AM

After she survives a train crash, nineteen-year-old neuroscience student, RILEY, develops a renewed sense of purpose having suffered through two devastating events—her brother’s death by Huntington’s, and being raped by her uncle. She resumes working with a research institute building the AMRED—a memory-erasing device that will replace the now outlawed ones which triggered debilitating side effects. Upon completion, Riley seeks to eradicate the traumatic memories of her assault. 

 

Riley’s plans are halted when the mayor diverts funding for the AMRED towards establishing the Mental Health Watch List—a database for surveilling mentally ill citizens prone to violence. This is a move by the town’s leader, who in hoping to get re-elected, capitalizes on mental illness stigmatization which reaches flash point after it’s revealed the driver responsible for the crash was schizophrenic. Riley’s PTSD qualifies her for the Watch List.

 

To prove she’s a contributing member of society despite her illness, Riley enrols as a music tutor at a local high school. She’s tasked by the school’s director, GARY, with helping his eighteen-year-old stepson, LUKE, rekindle his creative spark in time for a concert. Luke, a music savant, has been struggling with self-destructive impulses, since his mom died, that have negated his composing ability. When he attends his first class, Riley remembers him from when they were kids since they had the same therapist, DOCTOR FERRELL—whom Luke is seeing again, albeit begrudgingly. At the end of class, the two bond over their mutual passion for music, immediately striking up a friendship.

 

Later that night, when Riley experiences symptoms of what she suspects might be Huntington’s, she visits her parents for answers. She not only learns she has the disease but that her mother put her uncle up to raping her. The revelation reopens Riley’s emotional wounds. Desperate to purge her mind of her trauma, she renews her search for funding the AMRED. She meets with her old professor to whom she proposes the idea.

 

Afraid his burgeoning attraction to Riley makes her a target for his impulses, Luke avoids her, opting to spend time with the professor’s son—ASH, after the two are assigned as history partners. Weeks later, the pair visit a historical site where they encounter advocates of the Watch List. In the ensuing confrontation, they each learn the other is on the database.

 

Ash—feeling their shared experience makes them more than partners—gives Luke a birthday present. Fuelled by his impulses, Luke rejects the gift, and terminates their friendship. Lonely and marginalized, Ash turns to Vicodin to numb his Luke-inflicted pain. This time, he fatally overdoses.

 

After Ash’s funeral, Luke puts a gun to his head. Riley—who’d stayed behind with Ash’s dad—stops Luke from pulling the trigger, making a fervent speech about how he’s redeemable. Touched by Riley’s impassioned words, Luke surrenders the weapon to her, and the two have an intimate moment. Later that night, his impulses tamed, Luke experiences a deluge of creativity and embarks on scribing his next symphony. During his writing, he receives a package from Ferrell, which he quickly discards.

 

Riley visits a police station to handover Luke’s gun, only to be informed it was reported missing by Gary. Her predicament is exacerbated when they discover she’s on the Watch List. Riley’s spared incarceration by Gary’s intervention. He leaves her the gun for her protection.

 

Luke completes preparations for the concert, and Riley asks him to meet her before performing. Still shaken from her incident with the police, she intends to convince him into leaving their town—which’s becoming increasingly unsafe for the mentally ill—for the new research institute’s town where she’ll complete building the AMRED, and thereafter they’ll delete the traumatic experiences which birthed their demons.

 

While Riley awaits Luke, she opens a package she also received from Ferrell, which contains a USB stick. She plays it and a video pops up showing her thirteen-year-old self and her mom in a meeting with Ferrell, who’s prepping Riley for a procedure to wipe the memory of watching her brother jump to his death, having made a suicide pact with Luke.

 

Luke arrives to meet Riley. Terrified by what she’s learned, Riley pulls out the gun. As he tries to placate her, she inadvertently sets off the firearm, injuring him. Scared and confused, she calls Gary about Luke, and races to find Ferrell.

 

At the hospital, Luke awakes to find Ferrell in his room. He leads Luke to his office where  Riley has been processing the night’s events. Luke tries to apologize to her but is shunned. Ferrell proceeds to divulge to Luke how he made a suicide pact with Riley’s brother, but bailed. To cure his remorse-ridden mind of his betrayal, he underwent a memory-erasure procedure—which deleted his memories but didn’t wipe the guilt emotions linked to those memories. Luke learns his impulses are a manifestation of this guilt.

 

Wary of additional damage tampering with memories might do, Riley abandons the AMRED, and joins a research fellowship at a foreign university with the hope of finding a cure for Huntington’s—which while it didn’t claim her brother’s life is slowly making strides in ending hers.

 

Months pass, and Riley still hasn’t made progress, unlike her disease. Realizing she has limited time left, she returns home—to a town with a new mayor, and an abandoned database. Her search for Luke leads her to their old music class. The two share one final heartfelt moment before she bids him goodbye.



#4 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 03:17 PM

Thanks for taking a look at mine! Hope you find my comments helpful.

 

After she survives a train crash, nineteen-year-old neuroscience student, RILEY, develops a renewed sense of purpose having suffered through two devastating events—her brother’s death by Huntington’s, and being raped by her uncle. She resumes working with a research institute building the AMRED—a memory-erasing device that will replace the now outlawed ones which triggered debilitating side effects. Upon completion, Riley seeks to eradicate the traumatic memories of her assault. Good opening.

 

Riley’s plans are halted when the mayor diverts funding for the AMRED towards establishing the Mental Health Watch List—a database for surveilling (spelling?) mentally ill citizens prone to violence. This is a move by the town’s leader, who in hoping to get re-elected, capitalizes on mental illness stigmatization which reaches flash point after it’s revealed the driver responsible for the crash was schizophrenic. Riley’s PTSD qualifies her for the Watch List.

 

To prove she’s a contributing member of society despite her illness, Riley enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. She’s tasked by the school’s director, GARY, with helping his eighteen-year-old stepson, LUKE, rekindle his creative spark in time for a concert. Luke, a music savant, has been struggling with self-destructive impulses, since his mom died, that have negated his composing ability. When he attends his first class, Riley remembers him from when they were kids since they had the same therapist, DOCTOR FERRELL—whom Luke is seeing again, albeit begrudgingly. At the end of class, the two bond over their mutual passion for music, immediately striking up a friendship.

 

Later that night, when Riley experiences symptoms of what she suspects might be Huntington’s, she visits her parents for answers. She not only learns she has the disease but that her mother put her uncle up to raping her. This is strange enough to require further explanation. The revelation reopens Riley’s emotional wounds. Desperate to purge her mind of her trauma, she renews her search for funding the AMRED. She meets with her old professor to whom she proposes the idea.

 

Afraid his burgeoning attraction to Riley makes her a target for his impulses, Luke avoids her, opting to spend time with the professor’s son—ASH, after the two are assigned as history partners. Weeks later, the pair visit a historical site where they encounter advocates of the Watch List. In the ensuing confrontation, they each learn the other is on the database. Between the professor and the professor's son, you might have an excess of characters for a synopsis.

 

Ash—feeling their shared experience makes them more than partners—gives Luke a birthday present. Fuelled by his impulses, Luke rejects the gift, and terminates their friendship. Lonely and marginalized, Ash turns to Vicodin to numb his Luke-inflicted pain. This time, he fatally overdoses.

 

After Ash’s funeral, Luke puts a gun to his head. Riley—who’d stayed behind with Ash’s dad—stops Luke from pulling the trigger, making a fervent speech about how he’s redeemable. Touched by Riley’s impassioned words, Luke surrenders the weapon to her, and the two have an intimate moment. Later that night, his impulses tamed, Luke experiences a deluge of creativity and embarks on scribing his next symphony. During his writing, he receives a package from Ferrell, which he quickly discards.

 

Riley visits a police station to handover Luke’s gun, only to be informed it was reported missing by Gary. Her predicament is exacerbated when they discover she’s on the Watch List. Riley’s spared incarceration by Gary’s intervention. He leaves her the gun for her protection.

 

Luke completes preparations for the concert, and Riley asks him to meet her before performing. Still shaken from her incident with the police, she intends to convince him into leaving their town—which’s becoming increasingly unsafe for the mentally ill—for the new research institute’s town where she’ll complete building the AMRED, and thereafter they’ll delete the traumatic experiences which birthed their demons.

 

While Riley awaits Luke, she opens a package she also received from Ferrell, which contains a USB stick. She plays it and a video pops up showing her thirteen-year-old self and her mom in a meeting with Ferrell, who’s prepping Riley for a procedure to wipe the memory of watching her brother jump to his death, having made a suicide pact with Luke.

 

Luke arrives to meet Riley. Terrified Why scared? I get why she'd be upset or angry, but why terrified? by what she’s learned, Riley pulls out the gun. As he tries to placate her, she inadvertently sets off the firearm, injuring him. Scared and confused, she calls Gary about Luke, and races to find Ferrell.

 

At the hospital, Luke awakes to find Ferrell in his room. He leads Luke to his office where  Riley has been processing the night’s events. Luke tries to apologize to her but is shunned. Ferrell proceeds to divulge to Luke how he made a suicide pact with Riley’s brother, but bailed. To cure his remorse-ridden mind of his betrayal, he underwent a memory-erasure procedure—which deleted his memories but didn’t wipe the guilt emotions linked to those memories. Luke learns his impulses are a manifestation of this guilt.

 

Wary of additional damage tampering with memories might do, Riley abandons the AMRED, and joins a research fellowship at a foreign university with the hope of finding a cure for Huntington’s—which while it didn’t claim her brother’s life is slowly making strides in ending hers.

 

Months pass, and Riley still hasn’t made progress, unlike her disease. Realizing she has limited time left, she returns home—to a town with a new mayor, and an abandoned database. Her search for Luke leads her to their old music class. The two share one final heartfelt moment before she bids him goodbye. The ending is a little vague. I think it's hard because your story has an open ending, but I had trouble telling this was the ending not just another paragraph.

 

Make sure you run spellcheck on this before sending it to agents. They tend to be really picky about that.



#5 Milady

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 03:25 PM

Hi, thanks for looking at my synopsis. :) 

 

After she survives a train crash, nineteen-year-old neuroscience student, RILEY, develops a renewed sense of purpose having suffered through two devastating events—her brother’s death by Huntington’s, and being raped by her uncle. I thought one of these events would be the train crash. I'm confused about how the train crash is relevant to these two events. She resumes working with a research institute building the AMRED—a memory-erasing device that will replace the now outlawed ones which triggered debilitating side effects. Upon completion, Riley seeks to eradicate the traumatic memories of her assault. 

 

Riley’s plans are halted when it's revealed the driver responsible for the train crash was schizophrenic. Capitalizing on mental illness stigmatization and hoping to get re-elected, the mayor diverts funding for the AMRED towards establishing the Mental Health Watch List—a database for surveilling mentally ill citizens prone to violence. This is a move by the town’s leader, who in hoping to get re-elected, capitalizes on mental illness stigmatization which reaches flash point after it’s revealed the driver responsible for the crash was schizophrenic. Riley’s PTSD qualifies her for the Watch List.

 

To prove she’s a contributing member of society despite her illness, Riley enrols as a music tutor at a local high school. She’s tasked by the school’s director, GARY, with helping his eighteen-year-old stepson, LUKE, rekindle his creative spark in time for a concert. Luke, a music savant, has been struggling with self-destructive impulses, since his mom died, that have negated (I think hindered would be a better word here) his composing ability. When Luke attends his first class, Riley remembers him from when they were kids since they had the same therapist, DOCTOR FERRELL—whom Luke is seeing again, albeit begrudgingly. At the end of class, the two bond over their mutual passion for music, immediately striking up a friendship.

 

Later that night, when Riley experiences symptoms of what she suspects might be Huntington’s, she visits her parents for answers. She not only learns she has the disease but that her mother put her uncle up to raping her. Why??? Seems we're missing a major detail here. The revelation reopens Riley’s emotional wounds. Desperate to purge her mind of her trauma, she renews her search for funding the AMRED. She meets with her old professor to whom she proposes the idea.

 

Afraid his burgeoning attraction to Riley makes her a target for his self-destructive impulses, Luke avoids her, opting to spend time with the professor’s son—ASH, after the two are assigned as history partners. Weeks later, the pair visit a historical site where they encounter advocates of the Watch List. In the ensuing confrontation, they each learn the other is on the database.

 

Ash—feeling their shared experience makes them more than partners—gives Luke a birthday present. Fuelled by his impulses, Luke rejects the gift, and terminates their friendship. Lonely and marginalized, Ash turns to Vicodin to numb his Luke-inflicted pain This time, and fatally overdoses.

 

After Ash’s funeral, Luke puts a gun to his head. Riley—who’d stayed behind with Ash’s dad—stops Luke from pulling the trigger, making a fervent speech about how he’s redeemable. Touched by Riley’s impassioned words, Luke surrenders the weapon to her, and the two have an intimate moment. Later that night, his impulses tamed, Luke experiences a deluge of creativity and embarks on scribing his next symphony. During his writing, Luke receives a package from Ferrell, which he quickly discards.

 

Riley visits a police station to hand over Luke’s gun, only to be informed it was reported missing by Gary. Her predicament is exacerbated when they discover she’s on the Watch List. Riley’s spared incarceration by Gary’s intervention. He leaves her the gun for her protection.

 

Luke completes preparations for the concert, and Riley asks him to meet her before performing. Still shaken from her incident with the police, she intends to convince him into leaving their town—which’s becoming increasingly unsafe for the mentally ill—for the new research institute’s town where she’ll complete building the AMRED, and thereafter they’ll delete the traumatic experiences which birthed their demons.

 

While Riley awaits Luke, she opens a package she also received from Ferrell, which contains a USB stick. She plays it and a video pops up showing her thirteen-year-old self and her mom in a meeting with Ferrell, who’s prepping Riley for a procedure to wipe the memory of watching her brother jump to his death, having made a suicide pact with Luke.

 

Luke arrives to meet Riley. Terrified by what she’s learned, Riley pulls out the gun. On Luke? As he tries to placate her, she inadvertently sets off the firearm, injuring him. Scared and confused, she calls Gary about Luke, and races to find Ferrell.

 

At the hospital, Luke awakes to find Ferrell in his room. He leads Luke to his office where  Riley has been processing the night’s events. Luke tries to apologize to her but is shunned. Ferrell proceeds to divulge to Luke how he made a suicide pact with Riley’s brother, but bailed. To cure his remorse-ridden mind of his betrayal, he underwent a memory-erasure procedure—which deleted his memories but didn’t wipe the guilty emotions linked to those memories. Luke learns his impulses are a manifestation of this guilt.

 

Wary of additional damage tampering with memories might do, Riley abandons the AMRED, and joins a research fellowship at a foreign university with the hope of finding a cure for Huntington’s—which while it didn’t claim her brother’s life is slowly making strides in ending hers.

 

Months pass, and Riley still hasn’t made progress, unlike her disease. Realizing she has limited time left, she returns home—to a town with a new mayor, and an abandoned database. Her search for Luke leads her to their old music class. The two share one final heartfelt moment before she bids him goodbye.

 

This isn't bad, but it's pretty long. I think there's a lot of subplot details you can cut, like Riley turning in the gun and the details of Ash's friendship. Remember this is supposed to be as bare-bones as possible. I think you can cut a lot of names as well, since it's getting confusing. Ash could potentially just be Luke's history partner, Gary could be cut altogether (Riley is tasked to help a music savant...). Hope this helps! :)


If you have time, any feedback would be much appreciated!  :wink: 

 

WRITTEN IN THE STARS(YA sci-fi) 

 

Query


#6 hermitage

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 12:48 AM

After she survives a train crash, nineteen-year-old neuroscience student, RILEY, develops a renewed sense of purpose having suffered through two devastating events—her brother’s death by Huntington’s, and being raped by her uncle. Doesn't that make three traumatic events, including the train crash? That's quite a lot of trauma to start things out with! She resumes working with a research institute building the AMRED—a memory-erasing device that will replace the now-outlawed (hyphenate) ones which triggered debilitating side effects. Upon completion, Riley seeks to eradicate the traumatic memories of her assault. This makes it sound like the project is already completed, but below it seems otherwise. 

 

Riley’s plans are halted when the mayor diverts funding for the AMRED towards establishing the Mental Health Watch List—a database for surveilling mentally ill citizens prone to violence. This is a move by the town’s leader is this a different guy than the mayor?, who in hoping to get re-elected, capitalizes on mental illness stigmatization which reaches flash point after it’s revealed the driver responsible for the crash was schizophrenic. a driver caused a train to crash?Riley’s PTSD qualifies her for the Watch List.

 

To prove she’s a contributing member of society despite her illness, Riley enrols (check spelling) as a music tutor at a local high school. She’s tasked by the school’s director, GARY, with helping his eighteen-year-old stepson, LUKE, rekindle his creative spark in time for a concert. Luke, a music savant, has been struggling with self-destructive impulses, since his mom died, that have negated his composing ability. When he attends his first class, Riley remembers him from when they were kids since they had the same therapist, DOCTOR FERRELL—whom Luke is seeing again, albeit begrudgingly. At the end of class, the two bond over their mutual passion for music, immediately striking up a friendship.

 

Later that night, when Riley experiences symptoms of what she suspects might be Huntington’s, she visits her parents for answers. She not only learns she has the disease but that her mother put her uncle up to raping her. Why?? How much more can this poor protagonist take? The revelation reopens Riley’s emotional wounds. Desperate to purge her mind of her trauma, she renews her search for funding the AMRED. She meets with her old professor to whom she proposes the idea.

 

Afraid his burgeoning attraction to Riley makes her a target for his impulses, This is vague. Luke avoids her, opting to spend time with the professor’s son—ASH, after the two are assigned as history partners. Weeks later, the pair visit a historical site where they encounter advocates of the Watch List. In the ensuing confrontation, they each learn the other is on the database.

 

Ash—feeling their shared experience makes them more than partners—gives Luke a birthday present. Fuelled (check spelling) by his impulses, Luke rejects the gift, and terminates their friendship. Lonely and marginalized, Ash turns to Vicodin to numb his Luke-inflicted pain. This time, he fatally overdoses.

 

After Ash’s funeral, Luke puts a gun to his head. Riley—who’d stayed behind with Ash’s dad—stops Luke from pulling the trigger, making a fervent speech about how he’s redeemable. Touched by Riley’s impassioned words, Luke surrenders the weapon to her, and the two have an intimate moment. Later that night, his impulses tamed, Luke experiences a deluge of creativity and embarks on scribing his next symphony. During his writing, he receives a package from Ferrell, which he quickly discards. The writing here could maybe be improved. Does the prose in the book read like this?

 

Riley visits a police station to handover two words Luke’s gun, only to be informed it was reported missing by Gary. Her predicament is exacerbated when they discover she’s on the Watch List. Riley’s spared incarceration by Gary’s intervention. This doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. He leaves her the gun for her protection.

 

Luke completes preparations for the concert, and Riley asks him to meet her before performing. Still shaken from her incident with the police, she intends to convince him into leaving their town—which’s which is becoming increasingly unsafe for the mentally ill—for the new research institute’s town where she’ll complete building the AMRED, and thereafter they’ll delete the traumatic experiences which birthed their demons. 

 

While Riley awaits Luke, she opens a package she also received from Ferrell, which contains a USB stick. She plays it and a video pops up showing her thirteen-year-old self and her mom in a meeting with Ferrell, who’s prepping Riley for a procedure to wipe the memory of watching her brother jump to his death, having made a suicide pact with Luke. Wait what? 

 

Luke arrives to meet Riley. Terrified by what she’s learned, Riley pulls out the gun. As he tries to placate her, she inadvertently sets off the firearm, injuring him. Scared and confused, she calls Gary about Luke, and races to find Ferrell.

 

At the hospital, Luke awakes awakens to find Ferrell in his room. He leads Luke to his office where  Riley has been processing the night’s events. Luke tries to apologize to her but is shunned. passive voice Ferrell proceeds to divulge to Luke how he made a suicide pact with Riley’s brother, Why?? but bailed. To cure his remorse-ridden mind of his betrayal, he underwent a memory-erasure procedure—which deleted his memories but didn’t wipe the guilt emotions linked to those memories. Luke learns his impulses are a manifestation of this guilt. You use the word "impulses" a lot. 

 

Wary of additional damage tampering with memories might do, Riley abandons the AMRED, and joins a research fellowship at a foreign university with the hope of finding a cure for Huntington’s—which while it didn’t claim her brother’s life is slowly making strides in ending hers.

 

Months pass, and Riley still hasn’t made progress, unlike her disease. Realizing she has limited time left, she returns home—to a town with a new mayor, and an abandoned database. Her search for Luke leads her to their old music class. The two share one final heartfelt moment before she bids him goodbye. Well that is depressing. 

 

Hi there. I didn't used to be a stickler for things like this, but honestly I think this should be shorter: About 500 words is what most sources seem to recommend. Reading through your synopsis above, I definitely felt that there was plenty of stuff that you could cut. Make every word and every sentence count. Avoid repetition. Eliminate any information that isn't essential to understanding the main trajectory of the plot.

 

If you do that, then you can maybe make the most important developments more clear. Some of the character motivations are a bit puzzling.

 

Also, the writing in this synopsis is maybe not so great. There are ample typos, the language is a bit clunky and vague at times, etc. The prose in your synopsis should be as strong and engaging as the prose in your novel. 

 

Sorry not to be super encouraging, but this is my gut reaction. 







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