Monday, December 03, 2012

Synopsis 32

Guess the Plot

For War and Glory

1. Champion Dachshund War falls hard for a lovely Great Dane named Glory at the Westminster Dog Show.

2. Hawkish college sophomore Jed Witz is hopelessly smitten with Glory Jones, chair of the campus peace group. For some reason his attempts to change her views aren't winning her heart. What to do? He can't be... For War and Glory.

3. War (short for Warington Jackson III) wants Glory. Her fingernails drive him crazy, all twelve of them. The way she runs those nails down his instep, well, he'd like to more than tip her. Glory never wants to touch a foot again. She's got a supply of synthetic nail fungus, and she's prepared to fight for her freedom.

4. The planet Gorgonia boasts a long lineage of war-loving, slug-like creatures intent upon other-world domination. Unfortunately, the world they are planning to conquer has just gained a new ally, a small Earth girl who is utterly ruthless. Can Thullu and Phtumu defeat the eight-year old, or will love for each other conquer them, and bring peace to the warring planets? Also, tips for cleaning a slime trail.

5. Billy and forty-three of his classmates, class of ’15, join the New Zealand Division following their December graduation. They are quickly trained, shipped to France, and settled in near the River Somme. At 6:20 AM, September 15th they go over the top. On November 12th, Billy and his three remaining classmates – all invalids -- are shipped home.

6. A galactic war among insectoid, reptilian, human, etc. races leads to the Court Martial of one Riley O'Hara. Also, a cyborg.

7. When Jeff finally unlocks the fiendishly tricky secret level on "For War and Glory", weird men in black are at the door, helicopters buzz the house, and his folks disappear. All he wanted was to see some video game sex. Guess that's not gonna happen now, so he might as well skip school.

Original Version

Synopsis - Lokians: Book 3  For War and Glory

Captain Riley O’Hara of Earth Navy sits before the Judge Advocate. A barrage of questions and accusations accost the young Captain regarding his recent abandonment of his Naval post. O’Hara defends himself during the Court Martial by telling his story. Several crimes were committed during his stint, including but not limited too [to], giving Human Intel to aliens, bringing in alien satellites to restore communications, dropping a race of alien, monsters in the battlefield, and kidnapping the President of the North American Union.

Gray mother ships positioned over government buildings around the world while alien hybrids took control from behind the shadows. [The last two sentences are in past tense. Is that because those two sentences are O'Hara's story at the Court Martial? Or is the whole thing his testimony?] [Also, behind the shadows? When a shadow is cast on something, that thing becomes darker, but I don't think it's behind the shadow, as the shadow isn't an object. Sometimes people are said to be hiding in the shadows. And of course it's possible to be behind The Shadow.] With Thewlian allies faring poorly after one of a precious few Carriers was destroyed, O’Hara and the remnants of his former crew must utilize NOAHH, the cyborg, to subvert alien communications, hunt down the reptilian overlord, Oloroc, remove the immense Gray vessels wreaking havoc planet side, and disavow the entire situation as The Bureau predicates.

The situation continuously deteriorates as Gray Sentinels knock out NOAHH, preventing the use of Earth’s satellite weaponry, this just after the successful destruction of a single enemy communications relay. All the while, added tons of mass on Earth distorts atmospheric pressure providing the D.O.D. an excess of difficulty while the Grays are privy to zero-gravity engines.

A temporal discordance caused by the defeat of the Lokians behind space-time alters the flow of time. This effect puts more pressure on the already wore out [worn-out] crew as they scramble through abandoned alien facilities for Intel, dodge careening wreckage in New York, and finally plan the ultimate strike against an unwavering enemy.

O’Hara focuses on one task at a time, allowing his former crew to grow and flourish on their own. With new roles for old characters comes a unified explanation tying all the races together, from the illusive [elusive?] travelers to the obscured Reptilians.

Once Lieutenant Commander Swain restores NOAHH, Fitzpatrick [Who? There's been no Fitzpatrick mentioned.] leads a ground strike on D.C. to locate and demolish the alien hybrids. Korit, the Thewl, [defeats Jabba the Hutt and then] leads a mission to destroy a Gray harvesting facility. O’Hara is forced to recruit a civilian pilot to fly into a Teragon, practically a suicide mission and The Bureau does their best to cover everything up, though they do lend quite a bit of support.

Naturally, most everything comes out into the open, at least to the D.O.D., who finally capture O’Hara and prosecute. Admiral Lay steps in to help, and President Montrose twists the truth to come out like a rose. In the end, O’Hara and crew work hard to return where everything began, planet Eon, where benevolent alien races unite to create a new system, a united, galactic front. [Not a chance.]

Author's note: (The title Lokians has nothing to do with Loki and I had not considered until after the first book was published. It's just the name I gave to the insectoid aliens.)


I note you have reptilian and insectoid aliens. Are there also amphibian, avian, and fishy aliens? Actually, that's not a bad idea. I recommend abandoning this project and writing a book in which the various classes of animals all send one champion to a competition that will determine which class gets to rule the planet. The fish, of course, would send a shark. Reptiles would send a crocodile. Mammals would probably go with a human, even though we'd be better off with a gorilla or a whale or a bear or a rhinoceros. We're too conceited to admit other mammals are better than we are at anything. Insects would go with a bee. They wouldn't have a chance. Neither would birds, although its ability to fly would make a hawk or eagle hard to catch. But birds are kind of stupid, so they'd probably send a chicken and lose in the first round. Unless it was the chicken from Family Guy.

This is just a list of stuff that happens, with little elaboration on any of it. Which probably describes most synopses, but
here, almost every paragraph is a list. If you could focus the whole thing on the story arc of one character rather than bringing in such minor occurrences as dodging wreckage, destroying a harvesting facility, recruiting a civilian pilot to fly into a Teragon . . .

Too many characters. There's no need to throw in Swain, Fitzpatrick. Korit, and Lay if their roles warrant only one sentence. Do we need Grays and Thewls and Lokians and reptilians? Basically, there's a war going on between someone and someone else and O'Hara is given a mission? Is that the story? Or is the entire galactic war your story.

Start over. Tell us the story of O'Hara. What is his situation? What are his goals? What's preventing him from reaching them? What's he planning to do about it? The synopsis of Saving Private Ryan isn't a history of WWII.


Anonymous said...

A barrage of questions and accusations accost*S*

This is the first time I haven't been able to Guess The Plot even AFTER reading the Original Version.

khazar-khum said...

It looks like the GTP for O'Hara got smunched into another GTP.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

There are two major problems here. One is word choice. You're using the kind of language that belongs in a quarterly report, not a work of fiction. (Example: included but not limited to.)

The other is that Capt. O'Hara, who I assume is the protagonist, is just sitting there. These are the subjects of the sentences in this synopsis:

Captain Riley O’Hara
A barrage
Several crimes
Gray mother ships
The situation
added tons of mass on Earth
A temporal discordance
This effect

Etc. My point here is that by letting so many different things act instead of your protagonist, you're making your protagonist seem passive and at the same time creating the "history of WWII" effect that EE mentions.

I agree w/teh big E. Rewrite and keep it all about O'Hara, if he is who the story's about.

Aaron Dennis said...

Holy cow that was funny. On a serious note, what should be done if this is the third book in a series? One can't tell the whole story, that's what the previous 2 books were for. The synopsis was a run down of what happens in the third, and yes, the whole story is his testimony. I'd love more advice. You guys definitely know what's what.
-from the author of Lokians, Aaron Dennis

Evil Editor said...

Sorry about GTP. Fixed.

150 said...

Hi, Aaron. I guess my base question, before answering your question, is: what's the purpose of this synopsis? Is it meant to go to agents, or publishers, or serve as an Amazon description, or serve as a pre-writing outline, or what?

Either way, if the entire story is his testimony, that's more of a framing device than a plot point, and doesn't need to be mentioned until the story catches up with it (O'Hara is captured and prosecuted).

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

I would also wonder how narrative tension would be maintained if the entire story was testimony given in a court room.

See, a novel needs a certain "And THEN what happened?!" to keep us turning the pages in a novel. But if our protag is sitting in a court room, giving testimony, then we have a pretty good idea of what happened. He 1. survived and 2. got arrested.

Aaron Dennis said...

I already have a contract, so the book is all set. My purpose to send this synopsis was originally for entertainment. I spent about 15 minutes on it but I did try to make it..."good". I didn't know what kind of suggestions would be made but now that I see them, I like them. So, let us assume this is a synopsis for a literary agent. If this were the first in the series of books then I can see how it needs to be different but this book is, in actuality, going to Eternal Press, who has already printed the first two. Also, it needs to be known, that while O'Hara is technically he protagonist, there's a whole slew of characters with very active roles. That's why I gave the events that happen instead of what O'Hara does...I mean, he isn't alone. This is also why I named some of the characters. They've been there for 2 books. What do you think? and thank you for your time.

Aaron Dennis said...

You're totally misunderstanding and making assumptions when you have no clue how the book is written. Only the first and last chapters are in the courtroom, the other 30 chapters are standard narrative moving in chronological order. I'll be posting excerpts soon for those who are interested at

IMHO said...

My purpose to send this synopsis was originally for entertainment. I spent about 15 minutes on it but I did try to make it..."good".

Apologies, but I don't spend my time on items that the author only devoted 15 minutes to, for entertainment.

So, let us assume this is a synopsis for a literary agent.

Why? It is already in publication.

You're totally misunderstanding and making assumptions when you have no clue how the book is written. >

Which indicates the synopsis failed. If reveiwers here don't understand, an agent won't either.

Anonymous said...

Oopsy-daisy. I never saw you guys know what's what change to you have no clue so fast!

But speaking of entertainment, Piers Anthony's review of Eternal Press is pretty wild.

Aaron Dennis said...

Frankly, I don't care about Piers Anthony's review from 40 years ago. We have a new CEO and things are going well. All Ego's aside, I thought this was a site dedicated to entertainment but some of you want to insult a person instead of just insulting the synopsis. What I know is that I wanted to have some fun and it started off fine. I also know I make some cash here and there from my sales. Finally, if the people who run this site don't want to spend three seconds to give advice when someone asks just because a mere 15min was spent on the synopsis then it isn't a site for entertainment, it's just another peepee contest with people who want to sound tough over the internet. Let my sales tell my story, let my fans prove it. In another 2 years, when everyone's saying the name Aaron Dennis, remember I was right here. All the best, friends.

Evil Editor said...

Finally, if the people who run this site don't want to spend three seconds to give advice when someone asks just because a mere...

Hang on, pal. I run this site, no one else. And I provided the same kind of advice I provide everyone else, namely advice that's entertaining... to me. And, I hope, useful to some.

If you are attempting to sell this book to the publisher of the first two volumes, and they want to see a synopsis before deciding, then this is more than entertainment.

If you don't have any need for a synopsis for this book but seek advice on writing a synopsis in general, you've gotten some useful comments and some comments you can ignore. You can also read the other synopses on this site.

If you did this just for laughs, you aren't the first. There are a number of query letters on this site labeled "hoax." Most of those who've sent hoax material have attempted to be funny, rather than summarizing an actual work.

In any case, I prefer that the comment thread, like the rest of the blog, be either educational or funny or both, so no fighting.

james said...

It doesn't matter if the next 30 chapters is ass kicking stuff, the first 15 minutes of crap will get you kicked in the ass every time.