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The Summer of My Demise

Non-Fiction Crime

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#1 weasel

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 07:41 PM

It’s the 11th of August, 1991 in Fayetteville, North Carolina and a simple trip to a convenience store is about to go horribly wrong for a former Fort Bragg soldier. An unprovoked confrontation results in a near fatal stabbing. Law enforcement arrives quickly and an abundance of witnesses make justice seem a foregone conclusion.

 

But when a detective visits on the evening before discharge from a 10-day hospital stay, expectations for justice begin to wane – that’s not the way it happens in movies and forensics shows. Weeks later, classes resume at the local community college and a cover story of illness to explain weight loss and missed time is roundly accepted. After all, no newspaper or television report would exist to suggest otherwise. This memoir is an unsettling examination of racism and police indifference in America.



#2 giffordmac

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 01:11 AM

I'm not too familiar with memoirs, but if the rules are the same as fiction, this reads less like a hook&  more like a short synopsis. A hook's job is to set up the conflict of the book and essentially has three parts:

 

Introduction of the MC

His goal

What stands in his way

 

So the first two sentences would work if you tighten them up, as they show who the MC is and why he's looking for justice. But from there, you'd go on to show the specifics of what happens without giving away the end. EG: But when the police dismiss the eyewitness testimony, MC wonders if justice will be obtained.

 

You can do better than that -- it's just a suggestion of how you want to leave the reader/agent/editor hanging, and anxious to read the MS to find out what ultimately happens.

 

Best of luck!


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

~~~

 

 

 

 


#3 weasel

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 09:01 PM

thanks for the feedback mac

you are spot-on in your assessment

this is what the agent site specifically asked for:

 

"Synopsis (up to two paragraphs)

Briefly pitch your project, indicating what makes it unique and compelling. Imagine writing the jacket copy for your book."

 

your break down of the query helpful is helpful as well



#4 giffordmac

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 05:29 PM

I'm a bit confused now. This is in the Hook forum, not the synopsis forum. And is the agent is asking for a 2 paragraph synopsis as part of the query? That's pretty common practice.

 

Either way, I don't see a statement of the theme as part of it -- the theme, which you've stated as: an examination of racism and police indifference in America should become self-evident in both the query & synopsis.

 

However, if you're doing a proposal for non-fiction, the fiction rules might not apply. But I've heard/read that a memoir should be treated as fiction (eg: a completed manuscript, query & pages/synopsis if requested by the agent), so you might want to check a little further.


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

~~~

 

 

 

 


#5 weasel

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 06:15 PM

i didn't even notice the synopsis forum

the agent mentioned jacket copy and that made me think "hook"

 

what I've read on memoir is that typically a book proposal would be required which is a bit of a laundry list but I'm going to start working on that soon
 

thanks again  :smile:







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