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Author Topic: Two-Page Synopsis for The Keeter Cycle  (Read 4874 times)

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« on: September 25, 2015, 12:46:54 PM »

I've written this two-page, single-spaced synopsis of my MG novel for agents asking for a synopsis of this length. Please let me know what you think.


More than anything else in the world, eighth-grade cycling enthusiast JACOB KEETER wants his dad back. He refuses to believe what his mom and others have accepted--that his father, who went missing two years ago while working in Iraq, has likely been killed and isn't going to return. Jake and his dad were best buddies. He still remembers the cheerful family he had when his dad was home. Now his mom is overworked with two jobs and hasn't time for him except to be hypercritical, a situation that's driving Jake toward resentment, bitterness, and the kinds of antics that have caused the local deputy to have his eye on him.

On the morning that his not-on-the map, Nebraska town is buzzing about a UFO sighting the night before, Jake meets an adult newcomer, BILL HARTNELL. Bill is riding an unusual bicycle he calls Hypertachyon. He says he's come to town to start a new bicycle shop. Ordinarily, that alone would get Jake's heart racing. But what really has Jake worked up is Bill's astonishing resemblance to his dad. Jake thinks he must really be his dad who, for reasons Jake is determined to find out, is acting under cover. Jake has just enough smidgeon of doubt to make him reluctant to outright ask Bill, so he recruits his recently orphaned friend SOPHIA to help him investigate Bill's true identity.

Jake now finds that whenever he cooks up some mischief, Bill happens to come by and put a damper on things. Also, Jake's teachers suddenly become tolerant toward his offenses, and Jake learns that Bill recently had a meeting with his principal. Then Sophia overhears a conversation between Bill and an unseen man, and they talk about Jake as if he's the subject of some kind of experiment.

Seeing Bill on the other side of town, and knowing that the old garage Bill is intending to use for his bike shop has a faulty lock, Jake and Sophia rush over there to snoop around. Inside, they find an old photograph of Jake's family that's identical to one Jake owns, a backpack that seems to have no opening, and a bicycle stand for Hypertachyon that changes color and lights up with strange symbols when it's touched. Suddenly, a peculiar, gray-haired man in blue coveralls, MR. GEAL, confronts them. From his distinctive accent, Sophia recognizes him as the person who talked to Bill about Jake as an experiment.  When Jake gets home, Bill is waiting for him. He asks Jake to work for him in his shop, and Jake accepts.

Later in the week, Jake and Sophia save Bill's life during a flash flood, but Bill is severely injured. Before passing out, Bill tells them that he isn't Jake's dad; he's Jake from twenty-three years into the future. He proves it by showing Jake a unique scar that Jake also has. He tells Jake where to find a letter he's left for him at the shop that explains his mission. Because it is so much faster than his bike, Jake cycles through the storm on Bill's Hypertachyon and gets help.

Later, riding Hypertachyon, Jake flips an unfamiliar lever near the shifter. In a heartbeat, he finds himself sitting on the bike in a strange building. Mr. Geal is there, and he explains that they are in a space station 40.7 light years from Earth. Hypertachyon, depending on the direction the lever is flipped, is capable of instantly returning to one of its two stands. One is in the space station, and the other is in the bike shop. Mr. Geal tells Jake that Bill has a cerebral hemorrhage. He says that although Jake rescued Bill from the flood, he must save him again. The data he needs to do so is in the letter Bill left for him. He sends Jake on Hypertachyon to the stand in the shop.

In the letter, Bill explains that he and Jake are one and the same person and that he is the subject of a time-travel experiment concerning the possibility of changing the past. It's being conducted by Mr. Geal, who is really Ge-Al, an alien from a distant planet. Ge-Al gave him the identity of Bill Hartnell. The experiment is to last exactly 1,022,400 seconds. Hypertachyon, besides being able to move through space, has been programmed to return Bill to the future. When the experiment's time is up, Bill must be on Hypertachyon on the stand in the shop to return to his time. If he doesn't meet the deadline, he will cease to exist past the moment when the experiment began.

Bill details how he's been changing things to keep Jake out of trouble and says that he hopes Jake's life will now take a different course. Bill mentions that there's still one major change that he must make, but since it doesn't directly affect Jake, he doesn't say what it is. He adds that their dad's remains will soon be found. He also tells how to unfasten the future-tech backpack. After reading the letter, Jake opens the pack. Inside, he finds his father's baseball cap and glove. Jake mourns his dad's death. Back home, he calculates that the 1,022,400 seconds of the experiment will be up at 6 p.m. the next day. But Bill is still unconscious in the hospital. Jake will somehow have to get Bill onto Hypertachyon and back to the stand in the shop before the deadline. If he doesn't get Bill there in time, Jake will cease to exist in twenty-three years.

After school the next day, Jake cycles on Hypertachyon to the hospital. Bill is still unconscious. Jake can't think how to get the bicycle into the hospital room and Bill onto it. At around 5:15, Jake manages to rouse Bill to consciousness. Because he's injured, Bill has no choice but to assign Jake the one task left in his mission--he must save their mother's life. At 5:40, an armed robber will shoot their mom while she's working at the donut shop. Only Jake can now stop this from happening. No one will believe him if he simply calls the police. If Jake takes Hypertachyon across town to the donut shop--besides possibly being shot himself--he may likely not make it back to the hospital in time with the bike. But he decides that his existence may as well end right now if he doesn't risk it to save his mom.

Jake now races to the other side of town and barely succeeds in tackling his mom out of the line of fire as the robber shoots at her. The deputy arrives and wounds the robber in a shootout. Jake works his way through the chaos to dash back to the hospital. He gets there just as an ambulance arrives. In the confusion, Jake brings the bicycle into the hospital and into Bill's room. He manages to get the weak Bill onto the bike and flip the lever. The bike transports them both to the shop. Ge-Al is there. He points out that when Bill returns to his time, he will no longer be injured and will have no memory of the incident from an adult viewpoint, but he will have Jake's memory. There are goodbyes and Bill, sitting on Hypertachyon, disappears.

Back home, Jake's mom says that her behavior toward Jake was the result of overwork and her parents destroying her confidence when they told her she would never be able to raise her kids and support them at the same time. Jake now sees his mom for who she really is and the sacrifices she's made. His desire for his dad's return is not realized but his bitterness is defused and his family circumstances changed.
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 06:39:03 PM »


I don't know if you still visit QT, but I just discovered your synopsis after not being on QT myself for some time.

Just want to say that I think the synopsis is well-written and very interesting. It focuses on points in the the story that make a significant difference in the course of events.

I'm also writing a novel where two kids go snooping to find out the truth, including whether a certain man is the boy's father, but mine is an adult book and the details are quite different.

I will PM you to let you know I did respond to your post. Sometimes you see "no message" when there is only one reply.

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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2016, 09:23:45 AM »

Love the concept. Not sure if you're still in need of any critiques on this. If you do, please either PM me or leave a reply here.
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