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How interested were you after reading the synopsis?

  1. Very Interested

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. Kind of Interested

    3 vote(s)
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  3. Not interested

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. Veltman

    Veltman New Member

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    How strong do you think this synopsis is?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Veltman, Sep 13, 2017.

    I just came up with this plot idea staring at the ceiling from my bed when I went to sleep last night, it just clicked and made me feel like I have to write this story, please guys, I want you to read the synopsis and tell me if this is a book you would read:

    Berlin, May 1945. Germany has surrendered to the allies. U.S. Army Corporal Owen Harrell is part of a mission to mantain order in the american occupation zone, where he meets a beautiful blonde german lady he takes a liking to. When tension starts to escalate between the western allies and the soviet union, Harrell helps the german dame escape the soviet occupation zone, but when he discovers her father was a high-ranking nazi official, he must make a choice between escaping germany with them to South America to prevent his punishment, or going back to his country. Before it is too late, he must also determine whether she truly loves him or is just using him to escape.
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It feels like it could be tightened up a bit - by giving her name and also trimming some words

    Berlin, May 1945.. U.S. Army Corporal Owen Harrell is part of the mission to maintain order in the American occupation zone, where he meets Magda (or whatever her name is) a beautiful German woman. When tensions erupt between the western allies and the Soviet union, Harrell helps her escape the Soviet occupation zone, but when he discovers Magda's father was a high-ranking Nazi, Harrell must choose between the woman he loves and his duty to his country. Before it is too late, he must also discover whether she truly loves him.
     
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  3. Veltman

    Veltman New Member

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    I see, I haven't gotten around to giving all of them names and all that. It's a complicated process as they have to sound just right to me. Even the protagonist's name will probably change. But anyway, what do you think about the synopsis and the premise in general?

    This is the first time I have a crystallized idea before I start writing something, so it might be a little rough around the edges. I'm open to ideas on improvements.

    Bring on the feedback people! :)
     
  4. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Contributing Member

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    It's definitely not a weak idea. I likey.

    EDIT: I do not likey moose's revised version.
     
  5. archer88i

    archer88i Contributing Member

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    I like the idea. I feel your wording is a little bit sterile, and Moose's focus on duty makes it feel a little more cliche. Also, for the purposes of guiding a story--not necessarily selling it--I like the idea of baking these things into a single sentence.

    Further, I would deemphasize the Nazi thing. If you aren't writing about Indiana Jones, you have no business fighting Nazis anymore.

    Here's what I got:

    As the Iron Curtain falls in East Germany, Corporal Owen Harrel must choose between home and family and a breathtaking romance with a would-be Aryan war bride--one who just happens to be the daughter of an infamous war criminal.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Sorry, because we are in publishing query and cover letter I thought you were talking about a completed manuscript - hence my moving the description to a quick summary and as few words as possible

    as not, the general premise is sound although the "beautiful blonde" is a bit of a cliche, its also doubtful that an american corporal would have the means to help someone escape the soviet zone - and there's a question about what she's doing in the soviet zone anyway, if he meets her in the american zone. (I assume she is in the american zone, but her father is not ? )

    Theres also a bit of dubiousness about whether he would be in trouble for helping a Nazi escape the soviet zone - rather than helping them escape the allies in general as if they escape to the american or british zones her father would still be subject to allied justice - its pushing credibility that he could manage to get them on a flight out , let alone a flight to south america
     
  7. Veltman

    Veltman New Member

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    @Mouthwash Great to hear you like it! What exactly did you dislike about moose's version?

    @archer88i I loved the way you described it. That's the exact kind of mood, or vibe, that I'm going for.

    @Moose On your last post. The idea here is that at first he helps out the man escape the soviet zone without any worries of reprisal from his superiors, the US Army and the western allies. After they find evidence of his war crimes, this changes and he needs toescape in order not to be judged by the Nuremberg Trials. It was a bit too long for a synopsis, so that's why it's not described more clearly there.

    I'll rework the synopsis based on the feedback here, will probably post it tomorrow. Keep it coming.
     
  8. Midge23

    Midge23 Member

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    Seems like you have plenty of opportunity for conflict with that period in history, a love interest (or is she using him, so intrigue and more conflict), a potential father-in-law from hell etc., and a real dilemma for your MC at the end. You'd need to bury your head in research (unless you are already extremely knowledgable about this part of the war).

    One thing that jumped out was he is in the American zone, but he helps her escape the Soviet zone. So how did they meet and start a relationship? I'm no WWII expert, so perhaps this something that can easily be explained.

    All in all, could be a great and interesting story. Get to work!

    Edited to say you have probably answered my question about how he meets her above.
     
  9. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Contributing Member

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    I thought the wording wasn't as good. Too much is left out.
     
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    That's because I thought it was a query letter - you don't put the whole story in one of those , also its not necessary to tell people for example that germany has surrendered as the fact that berlin is occupied implies that
     
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  11. Veltman

    Veltman New Member

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    That wouldn't be a problem as I'm a big history buff. Early 20th century is my comfort zone. If any of you need any help with history, I'm here to help as well as be helped.

    @Moose I intended to post this in general writing, I don't know if it has been moved or I made a mistake, probably the latter.

    However I'm curious, what would you alter, now that you know it's not a query letter? I'm interested in your version, the previous one was good, I think.
     
  12. Veltman

    Veltman New Member

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    As promised, here is the reworked synopsis:

    May 1945. Germany has surrendered to the allies. U.S. Army Corporal Alex Hoffman is tasked keep order in the American Quarter of Berlin, where he meets a charming german lady named Hertha that lives in the soviet side. When tensions between the western allies and soviet union starts to clearly divide west and east Germany, Hoffman decides to help her and her father slip to the american occupation zone. When evidence surfaces that Hertha's father is an infamous war criminal fearing a harsh sentence at the Nuremberg Trials, Hoffman must decide whether to return to his home and country and leave everything behind to escape with her, and find out if she really loves him, or is using him as an expendable tool to helping her father.

    How better is it? Do you guys like it more now, is the plot explained more clearly here?

    Also, I want to ask another favor. Can anyone recommend any method or guide to help me outline the general plot and major set pieces of the story before I start writing it?
     
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    If shes in the soviet zone how does he meet her in the american quarter ? People didn't move freely between them

    (also at this stage no one cares about the exact wording of the synopsis since its only for you to guide your writing and will probably change anyway)
     
  14. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Contributing Member

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    A butt load of research. The reconstruction of Berlin is an enormously complicated period of history with a miscellany of actors often working at cross purposes to each other. Your set pieces alone will require a reconstruction of 1945 Berlin before it was de-Nazified. And your timeline will pose a lot questions as to how Nuremberg, Occupation Zones, and tensions with the Soviets unfold.

    Also there are probably a lot of books that have adopted this premise to one degree of another. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you'll have to read all of them to avoid too much derivation. I'd recommend starting with Armageddon by Leon Uris... lots of similarities to what you are planning.
     
  15. Veltman

    Veltman New Member

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    Not later on. But in the immediate aftermath of the war the city was very disorganized and people managed to.
     
  16. archer88i

    archer88i Contributing Member

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    My method is what I described above: I write one line to describe the story, and then I write a story that fits the line. :p

    Any more planning than that just doesn't work for me.
     
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    true but that then begs the question of why if shes in the american zone she returns to the soviet zone after he meets her the first time.... at the end of the war germans already knew that soviet occupation was going to be a problem and refugees tended to make a one way trip to the western zones

    It also begs the question of why her father the war criminal is not also able to make it into the western zones

    Also how does he manage to smuggle her and her father out of west berlin to 'south america' ... given that flights out were tightly controlled and went only to military destinations and ground travel would have been near impossible as it would have meant going back into the Russian occupied surrounding countryside.
     
  18. Lifeline

    Lifeline Out of the Night Supporter Contributor

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    This is not a resource, but you might want to watch 'Anonyma - A woman in Berlin' for ideas/inspiration about the woman :)
     
  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Trailer here


    Be aware that in the UK it was known as 'The downfall of Berlin, Anonyma' (theres a book as well btw)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017 at 8:09 PM
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  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    this might also be useful - although not happy going

     
  21. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    and these, although you can expect a high degree of propaganda



     
  22. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds like it would make a fantastic book.

    That being said, I'm disappointed that all you have to show is an unfinished idea and, worse, that you would feel the need for approval from other unpublished writers. If you don't believe in your own inspirations, how are you supposed to pump out ~100,000 words, not too mention suffer through a bunch of revisions, and then ultimately try to query a bunch of (awful) agents?
     
  23. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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  24. Veltman

    Veltman New Member

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    It's not really the need of approval of others. It's more like I want to put it under scruitiny very early on so I can check if there are fundamental problems I need to address through research before I get started, as those above mentioned. Some plot points might have to be altered to ensure historical accuracy, so I have to work on that as well.

    All I can say after all this is I'm very eager to get started, will start my own progress thread in the forum and post it here when I get it going.
     
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  25. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's a GREAT idea. Really gets the romantic in me going. They can end up together, even, as long as there's no clear happy ending.
     

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