View Full Version : Thoughts on The Collective

April 30th, 2017, 12:50 AM
Posting my synopsis, to see if it sparks interest. This story can be epic, but I need to develop my writing skills better. I have 2 chapters done, but I will go over them with that which I've already learned on here. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Chris and Craig are brothers, identical twins. They share a secret they don’t want anyone to know, not even their parents. Their mother, Corinne, has a secret of her own. After being electrocuted during a near fatal car crash, Corrine has no recollection of her own secret. The boy's father, Brent, an ambulance officer present at Corinne's accident. The two formed a bond while she recovered in hospital, eventually leading to marriage and children. Even as babies, Corinne and Brent could see the boys had that strange connection only identical twins possess. As they grew, it became more evident. They know things about each other without communicating, where each other was and what each other felt. Yet despite being identical, the twins couldn’t be more different. One likes to sing, dance and act in school productions. The other plays lots of sport and trains in as many martial arts styles as he can find. But Brent and Corinne know there is something more to the boys, something they are hiding.
An accident at home causes Corrine’s memories to return. Fearing her past will catch up with her family, she disappears while in hospital. Brent is determined to find her, even though the note she left, plus details for a small fortune, warn him not to come looking. Brent goes looking anyway, leaving the boys in the care of his brother. While their father looks for his missing wife, the boys grow up. With more freedom, the boys get a better handle on their secret as they head off to university. With one a natural actor and the other proving to be an amazing stuntman, the boys push their collective studies towards the movie industry.
Brent, who unwittingly missed large chunks of his son's lives, has gotten closer to finding his missing wife after years of searching. Brent learns there's an international government agency looking for her as well. Not to mention a mysterious group of people that seem to know all about her previous life, who would prefer the government agency don’t find her. They want to help Brent track her before the agency does, but they may have their own agenda.
After making an award-winning short movie about two super heroes in conflict, the boys are propelled in to Hollywood fame. But this draws attention from an unwanted source, the group that searches for their mother. It’s leader somehow already knows their secret, as well as everything about their mother, Corinne. Could an offer from this shadowy individual be everything the boys want, revealing the truth about the origin of their secret? Or is it a trap, for the group to get their hands on the boys for their own purpose?

Jay Greenstein
April 30th, 2017, 02:15 AM
First, it's 452 words. A blurb should be 250 or less.

Next, the idea isn't to tell them the story, it's to make the reader want to turn to page one and begin reading. And that is its only job. In this you're presenting the story synopsis, not a blurb.

Think of the voice-over for a theatrical preview and focus in the big ticket emotional item. The reader wants to know what the problem is, why our protagonist is thew only one who can solve it, and what happens if they don't.

Query Shark is a good site for getting a feel for what a query should look like. And if you search on successful query letters you'll find lots.

Just don't react to a rejection like Bernard (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7IToccZqKc).

April 30th, 2017, 02:30 AM
It is a synopsis for the competition I entered the Prologue and chapters in to, not a blurb. I did read up on how to write a good synopsis.

Doesn't mean I wrote a good one, but I did read up about it. :P

Jay Greenstein
April 30th, 2017, 05:47 PM
Whoops...I really shouldn't post tired.

But...as a synopsis, it's okay till, "Could an offer from this shadowy individual be everything the boys want, revealing the truth about the origin of their secret?"

A synopsis is a linear progression of the story, through to the end. This line could well be an automatic rejection to an editor, because it says you're not familiar with what the synopsis is. And of course, the length complexity of the story determines how long the synopsis must be. So that muddies the waters, so far as judging. Try writing a synopsis for War and Peace in two pages, meaningfully. ;)

The reason I made the mistake is: who has a contest for synopsis? The synopsis is a stand in for the rest of the novel when you send in only a writing sample. If they like the sample they look to see if the plot flows well and resolves cleanly. It is not a sales tool, and editors/agents know writers have to write them. So the idea of a contest for "My synopsis is better then your synopsis," seems silly.

April 30th, 2017, 11:00 PM
They asked for a synopsis and the first few chapters. I sent in the synopsis, Prologue and 2 chapters.

It was, as you said, a way for the editors/judges to get an idea of the story without reading the chapters.
Didn't hear back, so I figured I didn't do very well.

But I'm learning more about writing and such, so will keep going, as the story concept has so much potential.

On a side not, even I would think a synopsis only would seem strange.

May 2nd, 2017, 03:47 AM
Hello, again, MadMickyG,

This is not a bad idea at all! It's got my attention. You could trim the synopsis down a little bit, of course, but you've got the essence of it there and I think that's an important first step. I especially liked the end of it that allows the viewer the room to think about it and consider the possibilities-- in my opinion that was a good, and smart, move. From what I remember about synopses you may consider cutting down a little on the length and relating only the information that is absolutely fundamental. I learned this from looking at film and book taglines (I think that is the correct term)-- which were only about a sentence or two long. I think that what you have here is good but that will make it even better.

Just my two cents! Write on!

May 9th, 2017, 10:32 AM
This is the prologue for The Collective. Have done some editing, but mostly the same as first written.

Despite the dark clouds over head, it was a nice evening drive home for Brent and Corinne. The moon’s rays beamed through thin sections of the clouds, making Corrine grin like a child, believe she was in some far-off magical land. Her husband Brent, was a far more practical person. Corinne, being three months pregnant, knew her emotions were all over the place, heightening her feelings about everything. She rubbed her bulging belly, wishing the baby growing inside her could see what she saw. They’d spent a few hours earlier that day getting a check on the baby’s progress. Corinne could still picture the sonogram on the monitor, as the doctor pointed out parts, advising the baby appeared perfectly healthy. After the appointment, as a surprise, Brent took Corinne to dinner at a Hogs Breathe Café restaurant, as Corinne had this insatiable craving for juicy steaks since becoming pregnant. Brent watched her devour two large steaks, with large helpings of mashed potato and vegetables. She left nothing on either plate. Corinne burped a little, the smell of steak filling her nose. She wound the window down a fraction after seeing Brent wave is hand in front of his face. Corinne chuckled, making her belly bounce, as the fresh cool air filled the car.

“Smells like rain,” she sniffed, her nose detecting the moisture in the said as the cool air touched her face.

“It does,” Brent said nodding his head, his eyes never leaving the road. She turned to look at her husband. She loved his disciplined ways, the way he rose early every morning to work out at the gym, but would be home in time to help her out before he headed off to work. His evening run, if he wasn’t on the evening shift. It was actually because of his job that he and Corinne met.

She’d been in a serious car accident a few years ago. He’d been the first ambulance officer on the scene. After suffering a serious head injury in the crash after hitting a power pole, the impact caused some cables loose. Nobody knew this until they were trying to free Corrine from the car. One of the power cables separated from its connector, falling and landing on the car. Corinne and a fireman cutting the jammed door on her car, were electrocuted. The other firemen managed to get the cable off the car safely, but both Corrine and the fireman were dead. Brent and the other ambulance office managed to get both victims breathing again. When Corinne came to in the hospital, she had no idea who or where she was. The only reason she knew the story was because Brent had told her. He visited her at the hospital every day, between shifts, or before heading home, checking to see if her memory returned. When nobody turned up to see Corinne in hospital, even after a month, Brent took it upon himself to investigate, to find out who she was.

He found out she’d just finished her job at a private research laboratory. The hotel where she’d lived the past few years, confirmed she’d checked out for good the morning of her accident. The car she crashed, was a hire car, being driven back to the Gold Coast where it was originally hired from. Despite his repeated requests, Brent got no help or information from the lab, due to confidentiality agreements. All they told him was Corinne had finished whatever research she was doing, which was why she left. With no memory of who, where or why, and having nobody that knew her, Brent invited Corinne to stay with him for a while. They both hoped that with time, her memory would return. But, after a year, it still hadn’t. What did happen, however, was the two became so close, they eventually got together. To try and help Corinne’s recovery, the pair moved to the Gold Coast. Brent managed to get a transfer to the Queensland Ambulance Service, landing a job on the Gold Coast. They managed to find a place to rent. Although Corinne couldn’t remember anything about herself, she could still recall, what must have been, years of medical training. She got some volunteer work at the Gold Coast University hospital, eventually paving the way to paid work. Nothing officially medical, but her knowledge did come in handy. She was looking at doing some training and courses to get back in to working directly in the medical field. Just after she had scheduled some night classes to get started, she discovered she was pregnant.

Corinne smiled, sitting in the car as she remembered the look of surprise and joy on Brent’s face when she told him. And now they were driving home, with their baby growing in her belly.
Corinne blinked as she felt a few wet drops splash her face. She wound the window up as the rain started lightly, before increasing in intensity. Corinne looked at Brent, leaning forward slightly as he flicked the wipers on to high, water covering the windscreen as fast as the wipers cleared it. Brent’s concentration increased as it became more difficult to see the road. Bright lights ahead from an oncoming car made it difficult to see

“Turn the high beams off you idiot.” Brent squinted, raising his hand as if to block the glare of the lights as they grew bigger quickly, the oncoming car obviously traveling faster than was safe in the current weather conditions. Suddenly, the headlights ahead of them swerved, heading straight at them. Brent swore, wrenching the steering wheel to the left as he swerved to get out of the way. Sweat dripped from his forehead, his grip on the wheel tightening as he tried desperately to avoid the oncoming vehicle. Corinne watched as he changed from full concentration to fear. Corinne realised they were drifting sideways, Brent’s hands on the steering wheel totally cosmetic, the wheels grinding as they hit the gravel on the side road. Without warning, the side of the car hit something sturdy, flipping the vehicle over. If she hadn’t been so scared, Corinne would’ve thrown her hands in the air and cried “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”, the feeling of a roller coaster ride was overwhelming. From her own, bizarre motion, Corinne counted the car roll three times before coming to a stop. Corinne was up high, on her side, her head spinning. A sharp pain in her stomach, as though someone was cutting the child out of her. The seatbelt felt constrictive, painfully squeezing her engorged belly. The hammer smashing her skull behind her eyes made her vision blur and dim. She knew she was going to feint. She managed to squirm her head around, looking down at Brent with concern. He wasn’t moving. Despite her pain, she reached out, placing her aching arm on his chest. He was still breathing! Her arm dropped limply like a rag doll as she lost consciousness.

Corinne woke with a start, almost jumping off the hospital bed she found herself in. Her body ached, especially her stomach. She wrapped her bandaged arms around her bloated belly, concerned for the growing life inside her. She remembered the pain she felt after the crash. She called out, needing to know the state of her unborn child. A nurse came in, smiling.

“So good to see you awake,” the nurse said happily. She stopped next to the bed, resting her hand on Corinne’s.

“We were a little worried about you. You’ve been unconscious for a few days.” The nurse looked at the machines next to the bed, checking the readings. One showed Corinne’s heartbeat, which was steady and strong. The other machine was linked to some wires that ran under the blanket. Corinne realised they were measuring the heartbeat of her unborn child. She could see the heartbeat reading, but couldn’t understand the strange signal it was showing.

“Is my baby okay?” she asked, a slight frown of concern on her face.

“They’re both fine,” the nurse smiled, waving her hand in a dismissive gesture.

“Both?” Corinne asked, puzzled. “What do you mean both?”

“Your two little babies are fine, considering the accident you were in. It was lucky the seatbelt didn’t damage them at all.” The nurse pressed a button, then turned a dial. Corinne barked a short, almost-hysterical, laugh. The nurse cycled the screen through three heartbeats.

“You sound a little surprised,” the nurse said curiously, one eyebrow raised.

“I, um, didn’t know I was carrying two,” Corinne stammered. “We were told I only had one in there.”

“Really?” the nurse asked, then shrugged her shoulders. “It happens more than people think. If the heart beats beat at the same time, it can sound like one heartbeat. If one is behind the other, sometimes only one heartbeat is detected until later on in the pregnancy.” After making a few more adjustments to the machine, then checking the drips attached to Corinne’s arms, the nurse left the room. As she walked out, a familiar face appeared in the doorway.

“Brent!” Corinne squealed as the tears flowed from her eyes freely, unable to hold her emotions in check any longer. Brent raced over to the bed, grabbing Corinne as tight as he could without hurting her. She sobbed in to his shoulder for what felt like forever. Finally, after taking a few big breaths, she leant back against the bed. She wiped the tears from her face, smiling at her husband. Only then did she see the injuries he’d suffered in the accident. There were a few cuts on his face, probably from flying glass. Both his arms were bandaged the same as hers, plus his left hand had bandaging.

“Are you okay?” she asked, pulling him in for another hug with as much strength as she could. It hurt to do it, but she ignored the pain.

“I’m fine,” he mumbled in to her neck, a hint of erupting emotion in his voice. Corinne knew he was close to breaking down himself, seeing her strapped and bandaged as she was. She felt Brent’s hand move to her stomach, squeezing ever so gently.

“How’s our baby?” he asked. “I asked the nurses, but nobody would tell me anything?” Corinne released her arms and leaned back. Corrine's strange expression had Brent extremely concerned.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, his emotions ready to burst at what could only be bad news. She smiled, reaching up and caressing his face.

“Our babies are fine,” she grinned. She counted in her head, wondering how long it would take him to register what she’d said. One, two, three.

“Oh thank god,” he said, releasing a huge sigh of pent up anguish. She could see his body relax, his shoulders dropping a centimetre or two, his head dropping down.

Four, five, six. Then it snapped up again, his eyes wide.

“Wait a minute, what?” he stammered, his brow crinkled as his brain finally registering her words. Corinne thought she probably wore the same expression on her face when the nurse told her about the two babies she was carrying.

Seven she thought to herself, not bad.

“Did you just say ‘babies’?”

“I did,” Corinne said, breaking in to a huge grin. Brent moved down so that he was looking at her stomach under the blanket. He placed both hands there gently.

“How? The doctor checked you out plenty. How did he miss a second little body growing in there?”

“It happens all the time apparently,” Corinne said. She ran her bandaged hand through Brent’s hair.

“I’ve heard it happening before,” Brent murmured as he kissed the blanket, “but I never really believed it. I always thought it was just a doctor and nurse mistake they never admit to.” Corinne laughed a little, then groaned as her body ached from the movement.

“One thing’s for certain,” Brent said, standing slowly with a groan. He tilted his head to the left, then right, his neck cracking as the tension between the vertebrae released.

“What’s that honey?” Corinne winced, the sound of his bones crunching always made her cringe. He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. He moved down so his face was close to hers.

“We need more stuff for the baby room,” that cheeky grin said to her. He kissed her lightly on the lips. She laughed, then winced. She slapped him lightly on the shoulder.

“I better go and get the house ready for when you get released.” He stood up and headed towards the door. He stopped and looked back at her, his hand on the door frame.

“Two,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. He waved at her again as he left the room, heading for the main desk to sign himself out.

“I know,” Corinne thought to herself as she watched him leave. She snuggled down in to the bed, her body aching from all the activity of the past few minutes. She adjusted herself in to the least painful position possible, then closed her eyes. She was still thinking about how busy life would be with two children when she finally fell asleep.