Synopsis for Twenty-Five

Okay, friends, I need feedback on this synopsis.  I have to send it out to an agent and I need to know if it grabs your attention.  Any places that are too boring, too confusing?  Is the writing good?  Does it make you want to read the whole book?  WARNING SPOILERS hahahahaha   If you want to be surprised by the ending of the book, don’t read this!

 

When twenty-eight year old BEN HARRIS’s car crashes into ABIGAIL BRONSEN on her twenty-fifth birthday, neither is prepared for the instantaneous attraction they both experience.  It isn’t until a month later at a chance encounter that the sparks reignite.  They make arrangements for a first date, one of many to come.

Abigail is wary of the relationship at first, having never had a serious boyfriend.  Ben is also hesitant as memories of a cheating ex-girlfriend haunt him.  And Abigail’s reluctance doesn’t help.  But slowly, Abigail learns to trust Ben.  Her trust is tested when she opens herself up and reveals a personal decision: to remain a virgin until she gets married.

Ben is surprised and confused by the news.  What is the appropriate response to that sort of news in this, the twenty-first century?  And, how is it possible that such a gorgeous girl can still be a virgin at twenty-five?  Abigail explains her decision to wait is based on a story her mother told her as a teenager and on the desire to be truly connected and loved by the person she shares such a special experience with.

Ben isn’t sure he’s prepared to give Abigail that commitment, but his own sexual history makes it easier for him to try.  In his last several relationships, sex complicated things, leaving Ben with nothing more than memories and a broken heart.  He doesn’t want to risk hurting Abby, as he’s come to call her, or himself by getting intimate too quickly.

As the couple struggles to build their relationship without sex and in the midst of career troubles for both, Ben finds a list Abby made in high school.  “25 Things I Want to Accomplish by Age 25.”  He always knew her age was a touchy subject and the list tells him why- she hasn’t crossed anything off.  Ben embarks on a secret quest to help her complete the list.  He convinces her to donate blood, ride a motorcycle, go scuba diving, and learn how to surf, falling deeper in love every step of the way.

One thing he can’t help her cross off is item #4, “Write a column in a national magazine or newspaper.”  At least, he can’t help her directly.  But his push for her to give blood leads her to write an article titled “Facing Your Fears,” which the editor of the magazine she works for decides to publish.

Everything in Abby’s life now seems perfect.  She’s in love with a wonderful man who’s helping her tackle her fears and insecurities and writing a monthly column for the magazine where only a few months ago she worked in the mailroom.

On her twenty-sixth birthday, Abby experiences a new collision, of a very different nature than the previous year.  Her editor offers her a new column, “An American in Europe,” which would require her to move to London.  Before Abby can discuss the opportunity with Ben, he presents her with a photo album showing all the list items he’s covertly helped her cross off over the year.  It ends with a promise that he will marry her someday.  The amazing gift floods Abby with doubts about the decision she must make.

She is forced to choose between moving to London to advance her career and staying in the United States with Ben, the first man she’s ever loved, the man she wants to marry.

She chooses to take the job, knowing she would have always regretted passing it up, leaving both herself and Ben brokenhearted.

Ben can’t understand why the new job is so important to her when she already has a column and his love in the States.  He’s too hurt and stubborn to ask her to do long distance and she doesn’t want to force him to attempt it.  Her old insecurities flare up and she convinces herself that he’d be happiest without her.  She is incredibly wrong.

With Abby in London, Ben tries to forget about her, to move on.  But everything reminds him of her: a pink baseball hat, the scent of vanilla, riding his motorcycle.  He tries to date again, but the vapid blonde he chooses is so devoid of interesting conversation she only reinforces the qualities he loved in Abby: a good sense of humor, modesty, her struggle for independence.

He throws himself into his work, the one place he can be free of Abby-reminders, until he learns she recommended him to a journalist friend for a human-interest story on his athletic complex in Sports Illustrated.  He’s thrilled about the opportunity, but perplexed by Abby’s involvement in it.

When the article comes out, his first instinct is to call Abby to celebrate, but the fact that she can’t be there in person for him weakens his desire to speak with her and ignites his anger with her all over again.  Meanwhile, Abby in London reads the article and has the same instinct to call, but loses her nerve, thinking he’d only be upset to hear from her.

Not long after the SI article is published, Abby comes back to the States to attend the wedding of Ben’s best friends MATT and TRISH.  She’s hoping to reconcile, but Ben is determined to get closure once and for all.  He vents all of his frustration out, bringing Abby to tears, and declares that he never wants to see her again.  Her plans of kissing and making up torn to pieces, she returns to London, broken in heart and spirit.

A few weeks later, Trish confronts Ben about his behavior at the wedding and encourages him to read the articles Abby has written since she left him.  Each one details how much she misses and loves him, how she never would have had the courage to go after her dreams without his support, and how badly she wants him back.  The final article pleads for a second chance at Matt and Trish’s wedding.

Ben realizes not only that he is still very much in love with her, but also how wrong he was not to encourage her new job opportunity.  He rushes to the airport and takes the next plane to London, praying he hasn’t lost her for good.  He waits for hours on her doorstep for the chance to beg her forgiveness.  Reading her articles over and over, he holds out hope for a future with the girl who stole his heart when he smashed into her car.

When she arrives, she’s confused to find him, but he explains he hadn’t read her articles before the wedding.  They both apologize for the mistakes in judgment that led them to break up and live in misery for eight months.  Ben presents Abby with a new list, “What I Want to Accomplish Before I Die.”  It includes ten items, all about their reconciliation and new life together.  He gets down on one knee and proposes while a crowd of on-lookers cheer them on.

Abby grabs his shirt collar and raises him to his feet.  Her kiss says it all.  Yes.  Of course she’ll marry him.

4 thoughts on “Synopsis for Twenty-Five

  1. Hey Rach,

    I’m not an expert on the synopsis thing, but gosh darnit I had to write one too 😉

    What I will say is, you DO know how to write a synopsis, especially so AFTER the first four paragraphs. What I mean is, the first four paragraphs read more like an extended query letter, as you’re talking about the story more abstractly, vs. letting the agent know exactly what happens chapter-by-chapter but in a shorter version. Not all chapters carry the same weight in your synopsis, some may hardly be referenced, but thinking about it as a chapter outline and cutting down sometimes helps.

    For example, your opening line should literally be “The story begins when Ben crashes his car into Abby’s, which sets them on a course neither could have ever expected.”…or something..you know? Saying it like that lets the agent know what is happening in the pages as clearly as possible from the beginning. Also, you don’t want to be using rhetorical questions in a synopsis, since the point is to give them ALL the answers, they shouldn’t have to think or ponder over anything.

    You do have the benefit of sending the first 3 chapters, and agents will put more weight on your actual pages, which is another reason why synopses annoy me (just read the pages! LOL).

    I guess the synopsis really helps them see you were able to write an entire story with a good ending, which I believe the rest of your synopsis shows 🙂

    So I think this is pretty damn good, but again, I’m no expert 😉

    Good luck!

    -Romi

    1. Thanks Romi! One site I read about synopsis said to get through your first 50 pages in the synopsis as quickly as possible because the agent or screener will have already read them (theoretically, because you put the chapters on top in the submission packet) so maybe that’s why the first four paragraphs feel off, I tried to get through that stuff too quickly so I could get to the main conflict. I’m revising as I speak!

  2. Aw, that’s a sweet story, Rachel!

    I’m so excited you got the agent request!! You must be all nerves right now.

    Very best of luck to you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s