First of all, writing a synopsis has to be one of the hardest tasks for an author. My specialty seems to be cutting these things down, so if I cut anything vitally important, ignore me. Hope some of this helps!
Fifteen-year-old Roosevelt Prejean, the son of a master criminal, craves the respect that comes with an ensignís rank and dress whites to complement his pass-for-white existence. After his parentís divorce, amid 1980ís economic free fall, he moves with his mother to Lawton, Oklahoma. There, he finds ambition, academic excellence and dogged adherence to the law leaves him no less hungry. Hustling for work, Roosevelt sells nickel and dime bags to help his mom pay the rent. Then she moves in brutal drunk
, Benny Randall.
over Rooseveltís dog with Benny turns violent and he Roosevelt ends up in the county hospital as a John-Doe patient. Waking with a multiple injuries, his new awareness shapes Rooseveltís perception and instills a confidence to strike a new path. After a day of planning, he slips out of the hospital with the intention of returning to his hometown streets and a life free of neglect, abuse and hunger. Arriving at his momís house, Roosevelt finds his dog and stashed money gone. Unwilling to detour, he continues into the night, scoring enough speed to buy a ride out of Oklahoma, home to Houston.
In Dallas a teen prostitute guides Roosevelt past a police sweep, while attempting to recruit him for her pimp. He saves the girl from a knife-wielding bum and loses his coat. The girlís pimp makes his pitch but takeís Rooseveltís rejection in stride, offering him a ride to buy another coat and promises a bus ticket for saving the girl. Police descend on the store arresting the pimp as Roosevelt slips out the back with a coat but not enough money for the bus. Because I haven't read your story, I'm not sure how to simplify here, but I think you can cut down on some details. There's a lot in here and I think it would flow better if you kept it to the general story instead of so many details. It makes me wonder why the coat is so significant instead of focusing on Roosevelt.
A freight train makes for a convenient exit out of Dallas. After a 24-hour odyssey of freezing temperatures, walking and hiding in a model home, Roosevelt steals a car for the final 50-mile push. After selling the car for living money, he finds a skid-row apartment and hard-scrabble neighbors along with fliers for missing men all over Houston.
Revitalized, Roosevelt sets out in search of his cousin, Doc, and the car theft ring
, Doc he runs. When he Roosevelt finds his cousin, Doc is reluctant to bring R oosevelt him into the game and only agrees after seeing recent events on Rooseveltís face. I'm not 100% sure what you mean. Say it simply. At Docís urging, Roosevelt reconnects with his godparents and his antagonistic father. Meanwhile, he learns everything Doc will teach him and more fliers appear as more men disappear.
Roosevelt is confronted by a Mike Shirley, a cop demanding to know his source for the drugs heís moving. This confused me because he was hustling drugs at the begining. Make it clear that this is a false accusation if it is false. Bewildered, and unable to claim innocence by grand theft, Roosevelt has no names to give the cop. He narrowly avoids arrest but takes a beating. Returning to his apartment, Roosevelt finds out his neighbor, Morris Bell, a devious pimp, turned the cop onto him in the belief that Roosevelt is dealing drugs. Morris threatens to unleash the cop if Roosevelt doesnít give up his drug source. I think you could simplify by leaving out names in this paragraph - I'd say his neighbor turn him in to the cops on false charges of drug dealing in an attempt to blackmail him. Only you'd say it much better than that. But I'd cut it back to the bones.
Doc proposes a getaway plan as well as a prime heist
as when they stumble into a police crackdown on car theft operations and Roosevelt is forced to split on foot as both dodge cops. They manage to slip the cops but their car theft action is permanently derailed. Though he originally scoffs at the credit union heist, Roosevelt sees the hold up as his only means of getting away from the cop and pimp. A mutual contact goes missing 24 hours after Roosevelt scores a bottle of cough syrup from her. A lot going on here again - keep it simple. I'm not sure where the pimp came from (Dallas?) Why is the cough syrup important? Is cough syrup so hard to find that you needs to be scored off the street? And I think I'd put the heist in it's own paragraph. Right now it's split over a couple and that makes it kind of confusing.
Roosevelt begins planning the heist with his cousin, while playing for time with the pimp. Morris sends crackheads to get the supposed drug connection from Roosevelt. They take him to a farm with the intent of murder clear, Roosevelt defends himself, killing both. While dumping the crackheads, he finds bodies from the missing-persons fliers. He also finds his missing contact. I'd take this storyline out entirely. In a daze, he
walks the farm and breaks into the farmhouse only to find it belongs to Mike Shirley, the cop.
With no one else to turn to, Roosevelt runs to his father who helps him clean up the loose ends and sets a trap in motion for the cop. With Morris in check, why is he in check now? I'm trying to follow too many story lines in such a small space. Roosevelt invests fully in planning the heist, while Docís other hoods raise questions of a traitor in their midst. And here's another story line. In a a full novel, you need all of those side plots, but in a synopsis, it makes it really confusing.
Days before the heist, Morris ambushes Roosevelt and he only survives with the help of another of the pimpís victims. After killing Morris, Roosevelt dumps his body on the copís farm, narrowly avoiding capture. Shirley, the cop, is arrested and Roosevelt holds up with the heist crew.
They take the credit union, beginnerís-luck clean, but one of the crew kills another, swearing the dead man planned a double cross. With no choice, Doc leaves Roosevelt with the remaining hood, in a safe house while laundering the money.
After the money is divided, the hoods split up. Roosevelt meets the man that helped him kill Morris and gives him start-over funds. On his way to his new apartment, Roosevelt sees a car barreling at him. Fearing Shirley, the cop, is after him, Roosevelt runs a three-mile chase before heís wrecked and forced to make a stand in a tree-lined park. Wounded and back into a corner, he kills the cop as Shirley attempts to finish him off.
Weeks later, Roosevelt is recovering from his injuries when his father makes a last attempt to get him to leave the street life. Roosevelt explains his determination to live life on his own terms, his own way and tells his father how the heist was the only thing heíd ever felt totally in control of. Roosevelt drives into the city as the sun rises, content with the choice heís made.
Ok, you have a really, really good start. But as you went on, you pulled in a lot of names & details that kind of bogged it down for me. For mine, I left out all but the most important characters. For me, that helped the story shine. There's less to keep track of for the reader. I'd stick to the main story line - an agent will know there's a lot more in there. What they're looking for is a general story arc and they want to see that you can tell a complete story. I think if you simplify a bit, you'll have a really good synopsis.