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Come Home, Stephanie Claybourne (Commercial Fiction)2nd Revision-Post #6


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#1 buttercup1387

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

If you view this, please try to read this. I want to know what people think and it's discouraging when there are 26 views and no replies. Even if it sucks, say so in the comments. Thank you!


“There is just something about this kid. She is special and is going to make you all very proud one day. That’s right, little Stephanie. You are going to make this entire family very proud. You are very special.”

Words posthumously foretold on the day of STEPHANIE CLAYBOURNE’S birth paved the way for her bright future. Now grown up and a Hartford University graduate, she begins a tour in Tehran, Iran for nine months to practice as an army nurse.

“Hurry up and come back home, alright? Come home, Stephanie Claybourne.”

Those words spoken by her true love never rang true in importance and boarding the plane to her fateful future, his words of sentiment disappeared from memory.

8,000 miles away seventeen year-old TALIA SOMADI prepared to become a wife. Her future husband, PRESIDENT ANDREW AMIR AMOUSH TEHRANI was all but the ideal match. Going with the motions of an arranged marriage she attempted listening to her heart and waivered her innocent life by plotting to escape.

Busy with meetings overseas in India and Beijing, Andrew was astonished when Talia unexpectedly bolted down the aisle leaving him stranded alone and embarrassed.

“I will find her.”

Trapped in a life of luxury and security, Talia turns to a meek housemaid for a permanent escape leading to homelessness. Kidnapped and beaten by Andrew’s men, her battered body is dumped at Camp Hope Medical where Stephanie was stationed.
Rushing to save her in a brush against time, a little baby girl is birthed in the process. Soon, an unwarranted explosion rocks the camp; an unforeseen warning from Andrew.

Andrew and his officials ambush the hospital in search of Talia. Escaping onto a dilapidated fire escape, she falls into the safety of Black Ops member NATHANIEL BARRYMAN, but not without a price. A second explosion ignites the campus; the Black Force and Andrew scathingly slipping away.

Vulnerable scars haunt Stephanie as she zips in a Humvee to deploy back home. Her vehicle is dismantled from an IED blast which leaves her for dead. Captured, she is whisked away while THE CLAYBOURNE FAMILY is left mourning. Their family continues to fall apart but not before a grainy YouTube video is broadcasted nation and worldwide. The United States President links with the Black Ops to take Andrew down and rescue her. In a hostile takeover of the Tehrani Estate, Stephanie tangos with life although deadly new discoveries are made. Stephanie returns home to her family and adjusts to a new life in Connecticut where things will never again be the same.
If you want to make God laugh, just tell him YOUR plans.

#2 annierab2

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:05 AM

Hi, Stephanie.

I have ti admit I'm not the gentleist critic, but if you can bear it, here's my advice:

Synopses are written in PRESENT TENSE. The beginning paragraphs here are told in PAST TENSE, and I think your mind heard it that way becuse iIT'S ALL BACK STORY.

If you begin where the actual STORY begins, putting us in the middle of it, your mind will tell it in PRESENT TENSE. If you automatically start in pst tense, stop and find the beginning of the plot, the story, and present tense will be easier. And I really wouldn't quote the dialogue at all in the synopsis. You, author, must tell it, show it, from the character's voice, but may paraphrase what she remembers, sans quotes. Here, the quoteed phrases seem to come from outside her.

As Laurence Block advises, Don't start at the beginning, before the story is underway.

Keep on keeping on; hard work pays off.

#3 JonathanFerrara

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:40 PM

If you view this, please try to read this. I want to know what people think and it's discouraging when there are 26 views and no replies. Even if it sucks, say so in the comments. Thank you!


“There is just something about this kid. She is special and is going to make you all very proud one day. That’s right, little Stephanie. You are going to make this entire family very proud. You are very special.” (do you have any other hooklines for your synopsis, any back-ups? I like it, but it seems like there could be a more exciting one. I wrote down a few extra hooklines for my book, more like a list of ten haha and asked my friends which sounded the best)

Words posthumously foretold on the day of STEPHANIE CLAYBOURNE’S birth paved the way for her bright future. Now grown up and a Hartford University graduate, she begins a tour in Tehran, Iran for nine months to practice as an army nurse.

“Hurry up and come back home, alright? Come home, Stephanie Claybourne.”

Those words spoken by her true love never rang true in importance and boarding the plane to her fateful future, his words of sentiment disappeared from memory.

8,000 miles away seventeen year-old TALIA SOMADI prepared to become a wife. Her future husband, PRESIDENT ANDREW AMIR AMOUSH TEHRANI was all but the ideal match. Going with the motions of an arranged marriage she attempted listening to her heart and waivered her innocent life by plotting to escape.

Busy with meetings overseas in India and Beijing, Andrew was astonished when Talia unexpectedly bolted down the aisle leaving him stranded alone and embarrassed.

“I will find her.”

Trapped in a life of luxury and security, Talia turns to a meek housemaid for a permanent escape leading to homelessness. Kidnapped and beaten by Andrew’s men, her battered body is dumped at Camp Hope Medical where Stephanie was stationed.
Rushing to save her in a brush against time, a little baby girl is birthed in the process. Soon, an unwarranted explosion rocks the camp; an unforeseen warning from Andrew.
(would like to see more of this type of storytelling, you had me wanting to read more here.) :)

Andrew and his officials ambush the hospital in search of Talia. Escaping onto a dilapidated fire escape, she falls into the safety of Black Ops member NATHANIEL BARRYMAN, but not without a price. A second explosion ignites the campus; the Black Force and Andrew scathingly slipping away.

Vulnerable scars haunt Stephanie as she zips in a Humvee to deploy back home. Her vehicle is dismantled from an IED blast which leaves her for dead. Captured, she is whisked away while THE CLAYBOURNE FAMILY is left mourning. Their family continues to fall apart but not before a grainy YouTube video is broadcasted nation and worldwide. The United States President links with the Black Ops to take Andrew down and rescue her. In a hostile takeover of the Tehrani Estate, Stephanie tangos with life although deadly new discoveries are made. Stephanie returns home to her family and adjusts to a new life in Connecticut where things will never again be the same.


Overall: Strong middle part for your synopsis, I kind of get lost towards the end though because there are a lot of different things going on. I'm working on my synopsis too, and it's honestly a lot harder than i thought, the thing I tried to do was focus on one major plotline, and I had to cut a lot of characters and situations out so that it didnt look too jumbled. I'm still revising mine as we speak though.
Hope I could help a little.

#4 buttercup1387

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:38 AM

Hello there!
Thank you for taking the time to read and critique my synopsis! I haven't worked on it in a while because I have been busy trying to tackle the dreaded task of writing the query letter. -____________- Not the easiest thing in the world! :-) I plan to re-work the synopsis soon! Thank you again!
If you want to make God laugh, just tell him YOUR plans.

#5 buttercup1387

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:00 AM

Hello everyone!

I have finished the query...(FINALLY!!) for the book and now I have the first draft of the synopsis. Feel free to pick it apart. Given the fact that it's nearing 3 am here, I am sure that there will be a few mistakes. Thank you all in advance and I look forward to your feedback! :-)


You never know how much faith you have-until that faith is tested.

Leavenworth native, STEPHANIE CLAYBOURNE graduates from University of Saint Mary’s with a nursing degree. Happy she’s found success in furthering her education, she feels the need to uncover her underlying faith. Determined to find it, she enlists in the Army; just as her grandmother did during World War II.
Her parents are proud of Stephanie for following in her grandmother’s footsteps, but are weary after her health takes a turn for the worse. Skeptical, Stephanie goes to training in San Antonio hopeful that her grandmother will be better upon her return. At the end of her ten week training period, Stephanie has dream of her grandmother when she was in the Army, and takes it as sign she is doing the right thing.

Stephanie returns home to find out her grandmother has passed. Devastated, she questions if she really should continue to pursue her career in the Army. Before the funeral, her father gives Stephanie the necklace her grandmother wore during the war along with an encouraging letter. The letter redeems Stephanie’s hope and she vows never to second-guess her choice again.

A couple weeks prior to her employment at Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center, Stephanie meets a young man, who is the son of a woman she’s befriended on the flight to Texas. A budding relationship occurs, but is cut short after he is paralyzed in an accident. Refusing to have a relationship with her, he pushes her away and Stephanie is heartbroken. Despite her efforts to rekindle their flame, she leaves for the Fort.

In Tehran, seventeen year old TALIA SOMODI has fallen victim to her parent’s demands of an arranged marriage. Wed to a wealthy diplomat’s son, she plans an escape back to the United States; however things prove difficult when she finds out she is pregnant. Away at a routine doctor’s visit, Talia befriends the housemaid; who helps her escape.

Stephanie finds that her rotation at the hospital isn’t what she expected. She enjoys taking care of wounded soldiers and locals living nearby, but she is unsatisfied with the pace of things. However, an adolescent is abandoned by a medical supply van. As the girl goes into labor, Stephanie; with the aide of another doctor, tries saving her. Delivered by cesarean section, the baby is born but the girl falls into cardiac arrest. Stephanie revives her, but she is in a coma.

Two weeks pass and the girl is recovering from the coma. Stephanie and another doctor need to find out who she is and who her insurance carrier is, but the girl trusts no one and remains silent. Stephanie tries to coax any information out of her, including her name but she is unsuccessful.

Once the girl is well, she is discharged from the hospital. Upon her release, she finally entrusts Stephanie and tells her name is Talia. Talia reveals that she is on the run after escaping an arranged marriage. Mentioning that terrorists are looking for her, she begs Stephanie to keep quiet or there will be tremendous consequences.
After Talia breaks her silence, authorities come to question Stephanie about what she knows about Talia. Nervous about what she knows, Stephanie lies and claims she knows nothing. Skeptical, the authorities leave.

As Talia is leaving the hospital the next day, terrorists raid the hospital to take her back. Determined to protect her, Stephanie helps to fight them off. Trying to escape and call for help, the terrorists knock Stephanie out. Talia runs as the vehicle used to transport her back home explodes. Confused, the terrorists swipe Stephanie away as Talia lays on the ground wounded; an unknown body of a female lying next to her.

In the aftermath of the explosion, Stephanie is presumed dead and the hospital campus is locked down. Talia is questioned by Army officials and authorities on what she knows. Revealing all the information, she is assumed to be a terrorist and is detained. After Stephanie’s parents are notified, they identify her body. Her mother is skeptical after there is no trace of the necklace Stephanie was given. Meanwhile, Stephanie is held prisoner in Tehran. Tortured and beaten, she is questioned about her involvement with Talia’s return.

Months pass and her parents seek to find closure about her death. It isn’t until a breaking news cast airs a video of Stephanie pleading for her life. Spiraling into frenzy, her parents seek out the Army to have her rescued and returned home.

Stephanie is rescued by a special task force after the terrorists refuse to give her up. During a violent shootout, Stephanie dances with death from a gunshot wound. Stabilized, she is housed at a hospital under high security protection. Talia is released from Army custody and sets out to start a new life with her newborn.
Stephanie returns home to her parents and the young man she befriended prior to leaving. Adjusting to life as a civilian, the aftermath of her torture leaves Stephanie scarred. Her mother is grateful that she is home, but she wonders who her daughter really is.
If you want to make God laugh, just tell him YOUR plans.

#6 buttercup1387

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:35 PM

Hey everyone.

Here is reworked version of the synopsis. I feel this one is a lot better. :-)

In military town Leavenworth, Kansas, Stephanie Claybourne enlists in the Army after graduating with a nursing degree from the University of Saint Mary’s. Stephanie, a determined yet insecure young woman who enjoys caring for others, seeks to find her true identity through her faith.

Returning from Army nurse training, Stephanie discovers a letter written by her grandmother just shortly after she passes away. She encourages her to stay faithful and always seek life’s purpose. Determined to strengthen her faith, she prepares to work on Fort Leavenworth at Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center.

The day of her departure for the Fort brings excitement but second thoughts still linger. As she leaves and says good-bye to her parents, she clinches onto her grandmother’s necklace given to her along with the letter. Reassuring herself that she’s doing the right thing, Stephanie realizes the hard work she’s done so far and she has no choice but to go forward.

Stephanie finds that the rotation isn’t what she expected and is unsatisfied with the pace of things. However, an adolescent abandoned by a medical supply van changes Stephanie’s outlook. Discovering the girl is pregnant, Stephanie; with the aide of another doctor, tries saving delivers the baby by cesarean section. Suddenly, the girl falls into cardiac arrest and falls into in a coma.

Weeks after waking up from her coma, Stephanie realizes the girl has no form of identification. Curious to know who she is, she asks for her insurance information. Fearful, the girl trusts no one and remains silent. Stephanie tries to coax her into reveal her name but is unsuccessful.

Upon the girl’s hospital release, she finally breaks her silence and entrusts Stephanie. Revealing that her name is TALIA SOMADI, she mentions her escape from an arranged marriage. Talia explains that terrorists are looking for her and begs Stephanie to keep quiet or there will be tremendous consequences.

It isn’t before long that authorities question Stephanie about her knowledge of Talia. Nervous about what she knows, Stephanie lies and claims to knows nothing. Skeptical, the authorities leave. However, after terrorists raid the hospital to take Talia back, Stephanie is determined to protect her and helps to fight them off. Trying to escape and call for help, the terrorists knock Stephanie unconscious. Talia flees as an unmanned vehicle explodes. Confused, the terrorists swipe Stephanie away as Talia lays on the ground wounded; an unknown body of a female lying next to her.

In the aftermath of the explosion, Stephanie is presumed dead and the hospital campus is locked down. Talia is questioned by Army officials on what she knows and she reveals everything. They assume her to be a terrorist and is put in custody. Meanwhile, Stephanie is held prisoner in Tehran. Tortured and beaten, she is questioned about her involvement with Talia’s return.

Months after her kidnapping, a special task force goes after the terrorists who refuse to give Stephanie up. She is caught in crossfire between her kidnappers and the task force, and is fatally shot. The kidnappers are killed and Stephanie is stabilized at a hospital under high security protection. Talia is released from Army custody and sets out to start a new life with her newborn.

Stephanie returns home to her parents to adjust to life as a civilian, but the trauma endured from her torture leaves her scarred. Even though she has a long journey to recovery, she realizes that her faith is what got her through her hardships and she can conquer anything in life worth fighting for.
If you want to make God laugh, just tell him YOUR plans.

#7 Malz

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:36 PM

Very nice work on the synopsis! I should be working on mine but I'm dreading it as always...On to yours, I like the latest version a lot. Its put together nicely, the only thing you missed is the capitalization of the main characters names. Other than that it is perfect.
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#8 buttercup1387

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:41 PM

Hey you! Thank you for the input! You have been so helpful to me and I am forever grateful! Don't dread the syopsis! Just do it! What helped me was making a scene list for everything that happened in the book. Then I weeded out what was important and what wasn't. Then I used this link: http://www.publishin...-page-synopsis/ to pull it all together! You can do it!!
If you want to make God laugh, just tell him YOUR plans.

#9 buttercup1387

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:43 PM

Corrected the capitilization errors. :-)

In military town Leavenworth, Kansas, STEPHANIE CLAYBOURNE enlists in the Army after graduating with a nursing degree from the University of Saint Mary’s. Stephanie, a determined yet insecure young woman who enjoys caring for others, seeks to find her true identity through her faith.

Returning from Army nurse training, Stephanie discovers a letter written by her grandmother just shortly after she passes away. She encourages her to stay faithful and always seek life’s purpose. Determined to strengthen her faith, she prepares to work on Fort Leavenworth at Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center.

The day of her departure for the Fort brings excitement but second thoughts still linger. As she leaves and says good-bye to her parents, she clinches onto her grandmother’s necklace given to her along with the letter. Reassuring herself that she’s doing the right thing, Stephanie realizes the hard work she’s done so far and she has no choice but to go forward.

Stephanie finds that the rotation isn’t what she expected and is unsatisfied with the pace of things. However, an adolescent abandoned by a medical supply van changes Stephanie’s outlook. Discovering the girl is pregnant, Stephanie; with the aide of another doctor, tries saving delivers the baby by cesarean section. Suddenly, the girl falls into cardiac arrest and falls into in a coma.

Weeks after waking up from her coma, Stephanie realizes the girl has no form of identification. Curious to know who she is, she asks for her insurance information. Fearful, the girl trusts no one and remains silent. Stephanie tries to coax her into reveal her name but is unsuccessful.

Upon the girl’s hospital release, she finally breaks her silence and entrusts Stephanie. Revealing that her name is TALIA SOMADI, she mentions her escape from an arranged marriage. Talia explains that terrorists are looking for her and begs Stephanie to keep quiet or there will be tremendous consequences.

It isn’t before long that authorities question Stephanie about her knowledge of Talia. Nervous about what she knows, Stephanie lies and claims to knows nothing. Skeptical, the authorities leave. However, after terrorists raid the hospital to take Talia back, Stephanie is determined to protect her and helps to fight them off. Trying to escape and call for help, the terrorists knock Stephanie unconscious. Talia flees as an unmanned vehicle explodes. Confused, the terrorists swipe Stephanie away as Talia lays on the ground wounded; an unknown body of a female lying next to her.

In the aftermath of the explosion, Stephanie is presumed dead and the hospital campus is locked down. Talia is questioned by Army officials on what she knows and she reveals everything. They assume her to be a terrorist and is put in custody. Meanwhile, Stephanie is held prisoner in Tehran. Tortured and beaten, she is questioned about her involvement with Talia’s return.

Months after her kidnapping, a special task force goes after the terrorists who refuse to give Stephanie up. She is caught in crossfire between her kidnappers and the task force, and is fatally shot. The kidnappers are killed and Stephanie is stabilized at a hospital under high security protection. Talia is released from Army custody and sets out to start a new life with her newborn.

Stephanie returns home to her parents to adjust to life as a civilian, but the trauma endured from her torture leaves her scarred. Even though she has a long journey to recovery, she realizes that her faith is what got her through her hardships and she can conquer anything in life worth fighting for.
If you want to make God laugh, just tell him YOUR plans.

#10 emilykcassidy

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:25 PM

I wanted to comment on your query and synopsis because you were so helpful in helping with mine, but your query is already done! Congratulations. I enjoy the plot of your story and the way two completely different lives intersect. I wish I had something helpful to add to your synopsis, but I really like it. I think you did a good job of covering the story of both women without making it confusing.




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