I’ve read a lo…

I’ve read a lot of words of wisdom on this synopsis business, but I don’t know why I am so horrifically stuck. 

Hey, I’ve had a lot of fun writing a DSM for Writers, but that is a distraction. Obviously. 

So, my desperate act is to ask if anyone out there is a fast reader who likes YA fiction with a dark side and would be willing to give this novel a read and help me out. Just a thought. Maybe I could give you some art for your trouble. 

But I am trying on my own. Yep. 

8 thoughts on “I’ve read a lo…

    1. Yes. I’d be up for a swap. What would you want as feedback? Help with a synopsis or thoughts on the plot or general editing or something else?

      You can email me at mapelba (at) gmail (dot) com.

  1. Sophie

    Marta, I’m a third through my re-read of TBJ. I’m struggling to compare it to any YA book I’ve read thus far, because the material and the dialogue (which is brilliantly done by the way – particularly the local color you use in Janey Lee’s voice) is much darker than is typical of the YA set. But, then there’s the magic and the relatable storyline of two girls 18 yr. old girls, just out of high school, dealing with an abusive dickwad. I’m going to keep reading and check out book descriptions on Amazon for the YA set to see if I can find something to compare it to in that genre. But, as of now, I’m thinking it should be in the adult literature section.

    Re: your book flap. There’s a happy middle between the two synopses you’ve already written, but I ever so humbly suggest that you do NOT start the blurb with a question. The potential reader already has a question about the book in hand and if blurb is written as above, then you’re answering a question with a question, which is never an attractive conversation starter. Instead, maybe include one or both of these observations by Fran:

    1. This summer Fran and Chesnie kept their conversations on what was in front of them, the chores or the garden or the houses along Milla’s street, and they did not make plans for more than a few days ahead. Fran, knowing she had no college to head to in the fall, could barely stand any talk of the future. One bad moment had bled into every other aspect of her life, like a drop of ink on paper. She was stuck staring at the blot, afraid to turn the page for fear the ink had soaked through to the back of the book. It was maddening how one spot ruined everything.

    2. (p.46 Chesnie & Fran conversing about what other ppl. are thinking about “that night’ & Chesnie says Fran has nothing to be ashamed of…) Fran: “Too much for anyone to know about another person. Makes me feel that the more that is known about me, the less I am.”

    Both of these thoughts struck me between the eyeballs. (I printed out the Ink Blot and put it inside my bathroom mirror. High honor.) If you’ve got to make it super short, do not ask your reader any
    questions. Perhaps let Fran’s summation of that night in the last half of quote #1 up there tell your reader just enough. The ink blot visual is genius. I think if you incorporated it with a meld of Synopsis Events #s 1 & 2, you might be on to something. Share your characters, let one of them speak a tiny bit of her worst fears to her audience, blend in a few chronological events as you’ve done, and I ever so humbly think it would work.

    But, I’m not the writer. You are. Play around with everyone’s dollars and cents until you find your happy space. And, my love, there is a Happy Place book flap in you. Keep tossing us versions and we’ll support you as best we can.


    1. Wow again. Thank you for rereading the book and taking the time to write down your thoughts. I want to say that I wrote the book thinking it was adult literary fiction. YA never occurred to me, but the agent brought it up because the leads are teens and YA is the bog market these days. It seems that if you have a teenage heroine, the industry will label it YA. And I’ve tried to think of a novel I’ve read where the main character is a teenager and it isn’t YA…nothing written in the last 20 years comes to mind. Though I haven’t read everything, so I could be wrong. Oh. And since I’m a woman writer, I think this label is applied more quickly.

      Thanks for your support! I’ll keep trying.

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