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Monday, September 12, 2011

Stand Out Synopsis/Query: A Russian Historial Saga

 
 
 
I have received the first entry for "Stand Out Synopsis", and I want to thank  Carrie-Anne Brownian for allowing us to help her out. Carrie's work is a period novel, set in Russian and extends to America. Take a peek and add your thoughts in the comments.  My comments will be posted below.
 
These are the synopsis paragraphs of my Russian historical saga set from 1917 to 1924.


Seventeen-year-old Lyuba Zhukova is left behind in Russia when her mother and aunt immigrate to America, forcing her to go into hiding from the Bolsheviks and sometimes flee at a moment’s notice.  By the time the Civil War has turned in favor of the Reds, Lyuba has also become an unwed mother.  But she still has her best friend and soulmate Ivan Konev, a cousin, and a band of friends, and together they’re determined to survive the Bolsheviks and escape to America.

As Lyuba runs for her life from during the terror and uncertainty of the Civil War, she’s committed to protecting her daughter and staying together with Ivan, her on-again, off-again boyfriend in addition to her best friend and the man who’s raised her child as his own since the night she was born.  The race to get out of Russia, into Estonia, and over to America intensifies after Ivan commits a murder to protect her and becomes a wanted criminal. 

Once in America, Lyuba discovers the streets aren’t lined with gold and that she’s just another Lower East Side tenement-dweller.  Ivan brings in dirt wages from an iron factory, forcing them to largely live off the savings they brought from Russia and to indefinitely defer their dream of having their own farm in the Midwest.  And though the Red Terror is just a nightmarish memory, Lyuba is still scarred in ways that have long prevented her and Ivan from becoming husband and wife and living happily ever after.
 
In the lines below I have added my comments as promised.  Please notice the red lines, and comments.  
 
 
 Seventeen-year-old Lyuba Zhukova is left behind in Russia when her mother and aunt immigrate to America, forcing her to go into hiding from the Bolsheviks and sometimes flee at a moment’s notice.  By the time the Civil War has turned in favor of the Reds, Lyuba has also become an unwed mother.  But she still has her best friend and soulmate Ivan Konev, a cousin, and a band of friends, and together they’re determined to survive the Bolsheviks and escape to America.
(I'm dying to know why she was left behind)

As Lyuba runs for her life from during the terror and uncertainty of the Civil War, she’s committed to protecting her daughter and staying together with Ivan, her on-again, off-again boyfriend(the man who stole her heart) in addition to her best friend and the man who’s raised her child as his own since the night she was born.  The race to get out of Russia, into Estonia, and over to America intensifies after Ivan commits a murder to protect her and becomes a wanted criminal. 


Once in America, Lyuba discovers the streets aren’t lined with gold and that she’s just another Lower East Side(lower case) tenement-dweller.  Ivan brings in dirt wages from an iron factory, forcing them to largely live off the savings they brought from Russia and to indefinitely defer their dream of having their own farm in the Midwest.  And though the Red Terror is just a nightmarish memory, Lyuba is still scarred in ways that have long prevented her and Ivan from becoming husband and wife and living happily ever after.
 
As you can see I didn't have to much to add or change.  Carrie I think you did a great job, and I'd love to see the final work.  Yes, that means I'd love to read this book.  It's the type of book that is right up my ally. 
 
Okay world, your turn to add your comments.  Let Carrie know how she did.  And don't forget to submit you synopsis or query for review.
 
 
 
 
 

12 comments:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful story. My biggest question was... why was she left behind (like you mentioned.) It sounds like an emotional read that would keep you turning pages though so that is good. Very interesting synopsis. :)

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  2. Sounds like a great story full of well-rounded characters. As far as a synopsis goes, I'm not sure I would include the very last paragraph because that gives away the ending.

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  3. This sounds like a very interesting story! I'm with the others - dying to know why was she left behind??? I love all the history, and the sound of the parts with running and escaping - very exciting - definitely piques my interest. I'm not sure about the last paragraph. I've read that editors want to know where you're going and that you shouldn't leave them guessing. It's not quite the same thing as the publicity blurb for your book. That said, your ending sounds a bit depressing - like things really didn't turn out the way she hoped and she ended up disappointed - and while this may be realistic, readers might hope for some sense of fulfillment somewhere...

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  4. The ending is definitely happy, although they don't get to leave the city and get their farm till the second book. Do you think it would be a better idea to leave out the last paragraph, which in essence sums up Part II, and just have the paragraphs focusing on Part I? There's still quite a bit of story to go after they get on the ship to America, but I know leaving out the American part of the story could create more suspense.

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  5. Carrie- I re-read your synopsis and took your question into consideration. If there is another book continuing the story I would definitely reword the last paragraph. Give hints that there is more to come, without giving the ending away, because when you think about it, this is not the ending. I think I would keep the part about life in America being hard and dirt wages, leave out the part about the Red Terror, and hint at their dreams of the farm because I'm guessing that comes in the next book. Try that. I'd love to see the revisions so we can work on this with you further.

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  6. Sounds like a fantastic book and you have done an amazing job crafting this. My only comment is about this line:

    As Lyuba runs for her life from during the terror and uncertainty of the Civil War, she’s committed to protecting her daughter and staying together with Ivan, her on-again, off-again boyfriend(the man who stole her heart) in addition to her best friend and the man who’s raised her child as his own since the night she was born.


    I am a huge fan of long complicated sentences, but this one seems to have a lot going on, especially in the way of defining a character. I would consider slimming as such:

    As Lyuba runs for her life from during the terror and uncertainty of the Civil War, she’s committed to protecting her daughter and staying together with Ivan, the man who stole her heart and raised her child as his own.

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  7. Wow! This sounds like an incredible and intense story! Thanks so much for sharing it here! Great blog:) New follower

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  8. I agree, intense and exciting story. I need to disagree, however, with our blog hostess on making Lower East Side lower case, however, The Lower East Side is a neighborhood in NYC (and known for its tenements in that time period), and therefore would be capitalized.

    As to the last paragraph, it depends on what this synopsis is for. A synopsis that accompanies a submission must include the ending. If you're going to use this in a query, don't give away the ending - leave the reader wanting more.

    Good luck!

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  9. Good point Brooke! I was reading it more as an area. But after looking into it you are right. Thanks for pointing it out. :-)

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  10. I'm a new follower and what a day to come on! I'm a huge fan of this piece, very intense, strong and powerful. I agreed with several commentors so I don't feel like I have anything extra to add.

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  11. Hi Cynthia. I'm here from Rachael's campaign blog, and am now your newest follower.

    Nice to meet you!

    As to your piece: wow. Love it. Personally I'm terrible at synopses, so I don't have any other feedback to add.

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  12. Synopses are SO hard! Good job with yours. The biggest question I had was if this was for a query or for an actual synopsis. If it's for a query, it's a bit long. If it's for an actual synopsis, I've read from agents and editors that you need to put in the ending.

    That said, it really sounds like an interesting book! Best of luck with it. :)

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