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Author Topic: WF Mirror, Mirror... Synopsis  (Read 10386 times)
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« on: September 05, 2015, 04:17:18 PM »

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. It's a little less than 3 pages.

Thanks in advance,

Synopsis: Mirror, Mirror…

Twenty-seven-year-old CHRISTINA KNUCKLES is a software engineer who dresses far too fashionably to ever be called a geek. She has brains, beauty, and money. What she lacks is happiness. Bipolar disorder is the bug in her system, so she moves from New York to Colorado Springs to begin a new life and escape an old one.

Born-again Christian HOPE MALOTTE has to work three minimum wage jobs to survive. At age thirty-five, she knows it will get harder to find a husband, so she aims low: a roofer named BOBBY LEE SCHWIMM who is a recovering alcoholic and high school dropout. He loves her, treats her respectfully, and shares her Christian values. He tells her he’s not good enough for her…yet. Hope is frustrated because “yet” can also mean “never.”

All alone in a new town with nothing to do except work is playing havoc with Christina Knuckles’ delicately balanced mind. Then she has a chance encounter with Hope Malotte. She invites Christina along to meet her three friends at their weekly girl’s night out. Christina makes four new friends.

When Hope loses her job, Christina helps her get a job as office manager at a circuit design firm. Hope’s life is about to go from hard to tragic. She falls in love with her married boss, fifty-six-year-old millionaire DARNE WARD.
A diet and gym membership, paid for by Darne, slims the five foot three inch Hope down from one-hundred-fifty-seven to one-hundred-twenty-five pounds. Hope 2.0 thinks it’s only a matter of time until Darne divorces his wife and marries her.
Darne hires a new engineer, the daughter of a friend. There’s a conference in San Jose he has to attend, so he takes the new engineer, who Hope likes, with him instead of her. Before he leaves for California, Darne tells Hope he loves her. He has never said this to her before. And he never will again.

Darne’s wife is a violent, vindictive woman. Rather ask for a divorce from this lunatic, he chooses to lead a separate life instead. Mrs. Ward has had a P.I. on Darne and Hope for months. She follows her husband to San Jose and murders him. She kills the young engineer, too, leaving Hope guilt-stricken. She should have been the one to die alongside her lover not an innocent girl. Hope believes that God is punishing her for turning her back on Him and committing all seven of Seven Deadly Sins.

Christina returns to New York when her father suffers a stroke that renders him permanently comatose. Her mother, GWEN KNUCKLES, who suffers the same bipolar disorder as Christina, falls apart emotionally. Gwen overhears Christina telling a visiting friend she can never go back to Colorado Springs because she has to take care of her mother. It pains Gwen to hear this. She knows Christina’s happiness does not lie in New York, so she makes the ultimate sacrifice: she lets go of life and passes peacefully in her sleep. Thus, Christina is now free to return home to Colorado Springs.

To overcome her guilt, Hope needs His help. She goes to a Sunday service where she meets Bobby Lee by accident. He finally asks her to marry him. She came here to pray for His guidance. Is marrying Bobby Lee God’s will? Despite the fact that she no longer loves the man, she agrees. The date is set for the last Saturday in May, only four weeks away.

Hope’s affair has changed Bobby Lee, too, but not for the better. Like many Christian women with a wild past, Hope claims to have been born again into virginity. Before she took up with that rich man, Bobby Lee has struggled mightily to curb his enthusiasm. No more! They’re engaged, she’s his woman, and he’ll have her any dang time he wants! At one point, he comes close to raping her.

Christina returns the Springs, the only place she has ever been happy, to end her suffering. Christina truly believes that her entire life has been without purpose; she is determined that her death will not be. To save Hope from making a terrible mistake, Christina intends to kill herself outside the church. That will end the ceremony and give Hope time to will realize she can do so much better than a roofer with two names.

The last Saturday in May arrives. For Hope it is the beginning of a loveless marriage to a man she has outgrown. For Christina it’s the end of everything. She waits in her car in the church parking lot for Hope to arrive. She has the way, the gun in her purse, but her will is rapidly decreasing.

On the drive to the church, Hope tells the chauffer to stop at a state park so she can pray. She decides that this wedding is not His will. She will be miserable, and she will make her husband miserable. She orders the driver to take her home.
Hope decides that the best way to put a smiley face on the Supreme Being is to lead a more righteous life.

When Christina learns that the wedding is off, she wants to open her window and shout her joy to the whole world.

The five friends will have a lot to talk about next Friday.
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 06:32:24 PM »

Hi there -

Just a couple of small notes. I've heard a few agents say they are frustrated with novels that lead with or focus too much on appearance (without it being an actual theme), so do consider that.

Also <<A diet and gym membership, paid for by Darne, slims the five foot three inch Hope down from one-hundred-fifty-seven to one-hundred-twenty-five pounds.>> Twenty-two pounds does not a life-changing transformation make.  Perhaps be less specific here, if this is more nuanced in the story.

Generally, it's not clear to me who the main character is in this book, or what the main conflicts are. Perhaps those could be teased out and made more explicit from the start.

You mention a group of five friends early and late in the synopsis, but they don't seem to feature in it? Do Hope's and Christina's lives intersect? If not, what thematically ties them together?

It's also not super clear to me why Christina is so overjoyed that Hope is not getting married. Did I overlook a critical point there? (I may have.)

I think overall this could use some tightening up. But given you posted so long ago, perhaps you have already done so!

(I went back a bit hoping to give responses on posts that have none.)

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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 08:22:43 AM »

Thanks for the input, JD, but I've pretty much shelved this novel for the time being. I usually remove old posts. Guess I forgot this one.
I queried 93 agents for this novel, received only two partials, and those were rejected.

And now on to the good news: I queried 1 agent about another novel, a sequel to MIRROR, MIRROR ... and received a request for a partial the same day! Now I just wait.

Again, thanks for taking the time.
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