Author Topic: THE ONE WHO HELD AN ECHO - synopsis  (Read 75 times)

Offline JoV

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THE ONE WHO HELD AN ECHO - synopsis
« on: November 20, 2021, 07:35:22 AM »
Hello Fellow Writers,

I'd appreciate your input. Is the outline of the story clear enough, do you think?

Best wishes,
Jo.
______________________________


Kingston-upon-Thames, West London

13-year-old Edward’s father Adam (software programmer, 38) is based abroad, so when his mother Louise (director of communications, 42) doesn’t return home from work, solitary Edward braces himself for the worst news. The stress triggers flashbacks of a Scottish girl Jane in early 1900s. Edward has experienced them throughout challenging moments in his life, but only now begins to ask why.

Police arrive to say that Edward’s mother has been taken to A&E after an accident, but the relief of not losing her fails to appease his deep-rooted conviction that he’s been torn away from someone.

Louise’s concern for her son’s mental state deepens when he says that Jane is his former self and that people close to him in this life had also been present in the previous.

Adam flies home to convince Louise that she and Edward should join him in Gdansk, Poland. He believes that being together will give their son the stability he needs.

Since injury prevents his mother from travelling, Edward agrees to make a preliminary visit to Gdansk without her.


Gdansk

Unfolding events from Edward’s former life show that Jane, aged 17, had travelled to the same place to join her migrant brother. Edward realises that situations in his current life trigger flashbacks of parallel moments in Jane’s, and he begins to explore his past memories willingly.

Edward is introduced to Alicia (26), the counsellor at his prospective new school, who is researching the history of her Scottish ancestors in the city. Edward sees her as a kindred spirit.

Adam convinces his son that sub-conscious grieving for Kathryn, Edward’s childminder till he was three, is at the root of his disorder. Kathryn had been asked to leave the family abruptly and was never allowed to see Edward again.

While his father is at work, Edward explores the Old Town on his own. Despite embracing his father’s theory, memories of Jane do not stop. Edward relives Jane settling in the Neu Schottland district, her head-or-heart dilemma in choosing a suitor and setting up a tailor shop with her brother. Retracing Jane’s footsteps leads Edward to a family he has a new-found courage to befriend, experiencing remarkable closeness to their youngest child Klaudia (2).

Adam gets drawn into the neighbourly relationship with Klaudia’s family.

Edward goes missing. Klaudia’s parents help Adam in the search for his son.

Having visited Alicia at the school, then recklessly explored the city, Edward finds his way back and tells his father he’s made sense of everything: Kathryn, his beloved carer, must have died. Memories of his past life have led him to the truth: in the same way he is Jane, Klaudia is Kathryn reborn.


Kingston-upon-Thames, West London

Back in the UK, Edward is now keen to relocate so he can return to the friendships he had made. Louise agrees to the move.

New flashbacks of Jane mirror Edward’s settled feelings. She marries and has a child. But his conviction that he had worked everything out is shattered when Kathryn turns up. Edward submits to his parents’ and psychologists’ view: Jane is a fabrication. Although he expects memories of the past century to stop, flashbacks of Jane losing her three-year-old daughter to illness haunt him.

Edward relives a moment that makes everything fall into place: Jane vows to remember her life when she materialises in the next. Refusing to accept the loss of her daughter, she promises to find her. Edward realises Klaudia is Jane’s child reborn.

On their relocation flight to Gdansk, Adam gives Edward a package from Alicia. It contains proof of ownership and a newspaper article from the launch of Jane’s shop, corroborating Edward’s memories.

Offline susan-louise

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Re: THE ONE WHO HELD AN ECHO - synopsis
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2021, 12:33:37 AM »
Hi Jo.   Synopses are wretched things to craft,  I think you need to remove the titles and tell the story without them.  Also,  put into CAPS the character names (ages in brackets) the first time you mention a name.  I found this article from Jerichowriters really helpful for writing mine, so in case you've not seen it, here's the link:

https://jerichowriters.com/how-to-write-a-novel-synopsis-with-an-example/


Kingston-upon-Thames
13-year-old Edward’s father Adam, 28, a software engineer is based abroad, so when his mother, Louise (director of communications, 42) doesn’t return home from work, solitary Edward braces himself for the worst news. The stress triggers flashbacks of a Scottish girl, Jane, who lived in the 1900s. Edward has experienced them throughout challenging moments in his life, but only now begins to ask why.

I'm wondering if the opening could be a littler clearer : we have Edward, the parents and their ages and professions, and it tends to distract from the unfolding story.

Thirteen-year-old EDWARD is solitary boy who lives in London,  His father, ADAM (38) lives  works abroad so when his mother, LOUISE, (42) fails to return from work on evening, he braces himself for the worst news.  The stress triggers flashbacks  of a Scottish girl, JANE (17) who lived in the early 1900s.  Edward has experienced them (or just "hallucinations"?) throughout challenging moments in his life, but only now begins to ask why. 


If the accident triggers, for the first time, the appearance of Jane, even though he has suffered flashbacks all his life, then a bit more meat might be needed here to flesh out why this is so.

Police arrive to say that Edward’s mother has been taken to A&E after an accident, but the relief of not losing her fails to appease his deep-rooted conviction that he’s been torn away from someone.

Louise’s concern for her son’s mental state deepens when he says( announces?) that Jane is his former self and that people close to him in this life have also been present in the previous.

Adam flies home to convince Louise that she and Edward should join him in Gdansk, Poland. He believes that being together will give their son the stability he needs.

Since injury prevents his mother from travelling, Edward agrees to make a preliminary visit to Gdansk without her.

Gdansk

In Gdansk, unfolding events from Edward’s former life show that Jane had travelled to the same place to join her migrant brother. Edward realises that situations (crises?) in his current life trigger flashbacks of parallel moments in Jane’s, and he begins to explore his past memories willingly.

Edward is introduced to ALICIA (26), the counsellor at his prospective new school, who is researching the history of her Scottish ancestors in the city. Edward sees her as a kindred spirit.  (You mention Alicia, but then she doesn't appear again.   Might be something missing in this phrase...ie remembering your query letter a few weeks ago, didn't she help him unravel the mystery?)

Adam convinces his son that sub-conscious grieving for KATHRYN, Edward’s childminder till he was three, is at the root of his disorder. Kathryn had been asked to leave the family abruptly and was never allowed to see Edward again.  (I realise  it's pivotal to the outcome below, but I am wondering why the father wouldn't have told him this years ago, if indeed poor Edward has been plagued by these intrusive dreams/visions all his life.  Perhaps some tweaking needed here! 

While his father is at work, Edward explores the Old Town on his own. Despite embracing his father’s theory, memories of Jane do not stop persist. Edward relives Jane settling in the Neu Schottland district, her head-or-heart dilemma in choosing a suitor and setting up a tailor shop with her brother. Retracing Jane’s footsteps leads Edward to a family which  new-found courage leads him to befriend,. He experiences a remarkable (uncanny might be more appropriate??) closeness (kinship?"bond ? ") with to their youngest child KLAUDIA (2).

Adam gets drawn into the neighbourly relationship with Klaudia’s family.

Edward goes missing. Klaudia’s parents help Adam in the search for his son.

Having visited Alicia at the school, then recklessly explored the city, Edward finds his way back and tells his father he’s made sense of everything: Kathryn, his beloved carer, must have died. Memories of his past life have led him to the truth: in the same way he is Jane, Klaudia is Kathryn reborn. (oh this is interesting!!!)


Kingston-upon-Thames, West London

Back in the UK, Edward is now keen to relocate to Gdansk so he can return to the friendships he had made. Louise agrees to the move.

New flashbacks of Jane mirror Edward’s settled feelings. She marries and has a child. But his conviction that he had worked everything out is shattered when Kathryn turns up. Edward submits to his parents’ and psychologists’ view: Jane is a fabrication (of his imagination??)(This is the first time you mention a psych.  When do these sessions start?  Might be worth mentioning he is forced to see one as the visions become more intrusive) Although he expects memories of the past century to stop, flashbacks of Jane losing her three-year-old daughter to illness now haunt him.

Edward relives a moment that makes everything fall into place: Jane vows to remember her life when she materialises in the next. Refusing to accept the loss of her daughter, she promises to find her. Edward realises Klaudia is Jane’s child reborn.

On their relocation flight to Gdansk, Adam gives Edward a package from Alicia. It contains proof of ownership and a newspaper article from the launch of Jane’s shop, corroborating Edward’s memories.    (Just a question for you: does this proof of Jane's existence, free Edward from the burden of the past?  How does it transform him?  I know this isn't a query letter, but reading this synopsis twice, I am still wondering what happens to Edward!    :))
« Last Edit: November 22, 2021, 02:57:43 AM by susan-louise »

Offline JoV

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Re: THE ONE WHO HELD AN ECHO - synopsis
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2021, 12:06:22 PM »
Susan-Louise - thank you so much once again! I'll tweak some more but I won't re-post here. I feel I've taken up enough of your time. When I feel more confident about queries, synopses etc, I'll offer my feedback to others, to return - or rather to pass on - the favour. Best wishes, Jo. x

Offline susan-louise

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Re: THE ONE WHO HELD AN ECHO - synopsis
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2021, 01:31:55 PM »
Hi Jo.  Glad to have helped.  As I said when read you query, I would buy the book!