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Crappy Synopsis: Unique Examples

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“Wyoming, 1902–Ranch foreman Charlie Welch suspects his boss’s daughter has returned home with purely selfish motives–she wants money. After being estranged from her father for years, Opal Bright hopes her homecoming will result in both reconciliation and a solution to help the orphanage she sponsors back home in Omaha. When Charlie and Opal find themselves mixed up with a ragtag group of bandits and trapped in an abandoned gold mine, they must risk everything to survive… including their hearts.” (Hearts of Gold)

When the aliens landed seventy-two years ago, the first thing they did was turn off the power. Then they ran for the hills. The aliens themselves killed very few people, but riots, looting, disease, natural disasters and the sheer brutality of a harsh life that no one had lived for  generations have reduced the population of Earth to a few tiny handfuls, scattered among the abandoned ruins of a lost civilization. Now word has come to Amarylla’s father, the chief civil engineer of the Federal Republic of New York, that an unknown man in the far northern plains may hold the key to turning the lights back on.

But when Amarylla sets out with her father to find this mysterious man, she is a just young girl whose life has been filled with operas and riding lessons and needlework, a young girl schooled only in the history of fashion, classical philosophers, and the proper navigation of knives and forks at a state diner. A young girl totally unprepared for the raw edges of life beyond the walls, totally unprepared for the closeness of a young guard named Marlowe, totally unprepared for danger. Can she become what she needs to be? Can she learn what she needs to know? Can she grow up in time, or will this alien dystopia kill her?” (Lightning of Her Own)

 

 “Salem 1692 – the name and date are synonymous with sorcery. But what caused the worst witch-hunt in U.S. history? What demons sent 20 innocent people to their deaths? Was it panic? Payback? Puritanism run amok? In this probing, brief 20-page eBook , Bruce Watson captures all the fear and fear-mongering while exploring the latest historical research into this unforgettable American tragedy.” (Salem 1692)

Can anybody figure out what exactly is wrong with theses synopsis? Do you know what is wrong with the information that the author poses in his or her own writing? If you are not trained to look at the writing samples, these brief descriptions can send you on a fruitless run, especially if the quality of writing is not good. Before I go into describing what is wrong with the books, let me recap what I said in the last post.

I said earlier that one of the few reasons I do not put much time into books that have poor quality is because the books do not have a good taste in its description (a.k.a. synopsis). Take a look at the middle description (Salem 1692); what do you notice about the description? I can tell you one thing about the trials; the trials were not handled properly. For the most part, I think the ‘Witch trial’ hysteria was a direct result of what happens when ministers give into hearsay and not apply reason. By this, I mean to say that scholarly men should really have looked into the cases where there actually was a series of witchcraft.

Unfortunately, this author has tried multiple times to get the reader to buy his work with all these provocative questions not only throughout the title, but also throughout the synopsis. Usually most authors don’t repeatedly ask the same questions without giving us a slight hint about a possible answer. Secondly, like I said in the earlier post, the synopsis falls too short. What else could be said about the topic of the Salem Witch trials? Why would people think the book deals with sorcery (which wasn’t)? What was the objective lesson about the trials? I think there can be a lot said about the way this 20 page document (which sell as an ‘e-book’ for some bizarre reasons) could be a lot more attractive.

Take a look at the second synopsis. What do you notice ? For starters, the author is definitely trying to bludgeon us with symbolism (‘hearts of gold’/’including their hearts’). I googled the title of the book to find that the name already belongs to other existing books and movies on the market, which makes me wonder if the author put enough effort to make sure that the book title is completely different. The last two things that are running on my mind about the synopsis that I find completely irritating are the character names and synoptic shortness of the description. Who one earth has ever heard of an ‘Opal Bright’? The only thing I keep thinking of when someone mentions it is the thought of a birthstone. Who really finds symbolism in a piece of jewelry? Could you say a little more about the overall plot to this story that uses concise vocabulary?

What about Amarylla, what’s wrong with the book? If you read the first sentence, you’ll know what I mean. The words ‘lightning’ and ‘alien invasion’ do not usually mix well together as a plot-line. No one really thinks of aliens when it comes to lightning. Second, the storyline already gives an unrealistic impression. The aliens are not harmful, the people panic, and there is overall sense of mass hysteria that comes along from something that sounds extremely bizarre and weird. This goes also without mentioning that somehow the aliens and amarylla are at odds with each other in this ‘dystopian’ world (a fancy word for a communist style regime) and the loaded questions that make the book sound like a 1950’s episode of Huckleberry Hound.

I would not expect everyone to understand the gist of this post if he or she feels that my criticisms are nothing but an excessive rant about the style of people’s writings. For those who are willing to take another look at their book’s description, I am sure you will take the  time to revise and edit the synopsis to make your book seem more sellable.

Parker

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