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Far From Warm Arms-Synopsis (1 Viewer)

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nicebutdim

It's my first attempt at writing the synopsis for, well, anything really;usually I just dive straight in, but I decided I'd rather be able to remember half the plot for this so I decided to write one. It's a sort of pre-victorian (just) romance, but hopefully a bit more interesting than a straight love story. I'm also looking for a better title, so any ideas on that would be welcome. There's an overview first, followed by the synopsis. Anyway, enough of my prattling, enjoy (I hope).

Overview

Begins in 1836, and concerns the arranged courtship of the eldest son and eldest daughter of two noble families. Initial distaste for one another transforms slowly into love as the reason and the courtship spirals beyond what both sides had planned, and soon the reason for Mister Stuart Farol-Williams initial reserve becomes apparent; the serious mental illness and hereditary weak heart of his mother whom he refuses to leave for any lengthy period of time. However, it remains a barrier between them, and Stuart never fully opens up to Miss Jennifer Harringdon. Eventually, mere weeks before their arranged wedding in 1837, matters come to a head between them and Jennifer leaves for Spain in defiance of her family. On the advice on his mother, who dies moments after he leaves the room, Stuart rides after her, collapsing halfway there due to his weak heart. Jennifer turns back at the port and finds him dying on the road. He finally opens up to her as he lies dying in her arms.

Synopsis

Act One
Begins with the arranged courtship between Stuart and Jennifer being disclosed to both of them by Sir Geoffrey and Duchess Helen respectively shortly before a ball at Harringdon House where it is to be announced in public. Both are shocked by both the suddenness and the choice; Jennifer wastes no time in informing her confidant while Stuart argues with Sir Geoffrey. The ball takes place and the pair has the first dance together, during which they both remain silent. After the dance, Stuart is encouraged to stay on for a week at Harringdon House by the Duke, but he declines saying she has urgent business to attend to (in reality he wishes to return to his mother); instead a visit is arranged to Becksley Manor, Stuarts home for the following week. Jennifer takes this as a sleight on her, and her frosty goodbye leads him to believe she is displeased with the choice her father made. Stuart journeys home and attempts to discuss it with his mother, but she throws a tantrum and he leaves to make arrangements for the impending visit. Meanwhile, Jennifer is busy deriding Stuart to her friends.

Act Two

The Harringdons arrive at Becksley Manor to be greeted by Stuart and a number of other local dignitaries. While formalities are being exchanged between the local and visiting dignitaries, Stuart and Jennifer go for a stroll around the grounds where the ice between them begins to thaw as Stuart charms her while she impresses him with her extensive knowledge and forthright manner. At the banquet thrown in honour of the Harringdons, Jennifer enquires as to why the Duchess hasn’t come to the banquet, and Stuart informs her she is ill. Although they do dance with each other and dine together, the measure of friendly ease that existed as they strolled together has dissapeared as Stuart becomes wary. However, at the end of the night, he walks her to her room and kisses her on the cheek before bidding her goodnight. Both stay awake until early morning discussing the day’s events with their confidants.
On the second day of the visit, the party goes on a hunting trip, during which Stuart spends the majority of time with Jennifer, though in the company they are stiffly correct with one another. The next four days pass, with just a conversation which Stuart and Jennifer have together in a sitting room being shown, where they are once again at ease with each other and discuss their lives-though when she asks about his mother, he avoids the question. Later he visits his mother and she doesn’t recognise him. When the party departs, the two are on good terms. A turn of the seasons from spring to winter is shown, and the two are walking together through the snow at the country house of a mutual friend, arm in arm-as the snow gets heavier the two head back for the country house, where as the two dry off in Stuarts room, she kisses him which leads to them having sex. Stuart leaves early the next morning with just a brief goodbye.

Act Three

Jennifer sends Stuart a letter in which she confesses to loving him. He writes back expressing similar emotions and she comes to see him at Becksley Manor with a few friends, where she spends a week-at the end, he declines to spend a week at Harringdon House. Sir Geoffrey confronts Stuart after she leaves, saying he has to let go sometime-Stuart punches him and Sir Geoffrey leaves. Stuart writes to Jennifer saying that although he loves her, he needs time. She rides to Becksley Manor through a raging storm and the two have a screaming argument in the Duchess’s room, and she tells him she is leaving for Spain in the morning by herself. She storms out of the room, and Stuart’s mother in a rare moment of recognition tells him to stop worrying about her and go after Jennifer. He does so, and she dies moments after he leaves the room. Sir Geoffrey saddles Stuarts horse, and the two shake hands, Stuart apologising. He rides swiftly after her after her, with flashbacks of the times they spent together. He collapses due to his weak heart halfway there. Meanwhile, Jennifer turns back near the port and rides back to him. She finds him dying on the roadside-he finally opens up to her while he lies dying in her arms.

My apologies if the synopsis isn't in the right format-I think I got it right, but not sure. Any comments or criticism greatly appreciated. Cheers, nicebutdim.
 

branbran

Senior Member
I think this synopsis comes across to me as more of a novel type story. I would suggest doing some backstory work to the families and their history. This might open up some more obstacles for your characters.

Maybe these two hate each other in the beginning. They have always known of the other, but maybe something happened or happens that causes some hatred. But, the families see this as something that must happen to improve the political side of things within the country. So they are set to be married. Then you have the whole story of each of them not wanting the other. They fight to stay apart, which in the end leads them to each other as they really fall in love...

Just brainstorming with you here, not sure where you want to go with it...But there needs to be some serious conflict in the story besides a dying mother. The story should have serious obstacles, in the beginning its not wanting to be with each other. Maybe he is or she is in love with someone else, but we see its not right. We eventually want them to be together, but they spend their energy on staying apart and never see what they might have between them. Then when we finally see that they do want to be together, something comes along to tear that apart as well.....

Just my opinion.....
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
a screenplay synopsis must be no more than a single page, single-spaced in times new roman... this seems a bit on the long side, plus shouldn't have an 'overview'... and you don't break it up into titled acts, though each of the three paragraphs should gibe with the 3-act structure of the script...

also, you'll need to adopt a more interesting and compelling 'voice' in telling the storyline of your screenplay, if you hope to interest an agent or producer in it... and watch your spelling, as there are some goofs that should be caught with a good proofread...

i mentor lots of aspiring screenwriters, so if you need any help, don't hesitate to drop me a line...

love and hugs, maia
[email protected]
 
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