Write your novel synopsis following “How to Write a 1-Page Synopsis” by Susan Dennard. Be sure to see the end section “Putting It All Together” and follow that synopsis format.https://www.janefriedman.com/how-to-write-a-novel-synopsis/
The Welshman at the Door
It was a bleak chilling winter eve. Hours slipped by and the clock above the hearth struck twelve. Midnight. He was reading old family genealogies in his study aligned with a thousand books. Lit by only a single odd floor lamp rusted from another century. He was alone after all, his wife had left to care for a dying aunt in another city far away.
His great grandfather, Black William, was a poet. A poet laureate in his native country. This was his house, passed down from generations. His great grandson had spent years studying this relative who wrote eulogies for the dead and preached at weddings and funerals. Admired and revered by his countrymen. He wished in vain that he could meet him. Unlikely, since he had been dead for over two hundred years.
Soon he was startled from his readings by a knock at the door. It was two in the morning .He had dozed. The house is isolated, two miles down a dirt road with a locked gate! This was the eve of William’s death. His grave is on the hillside overlooking the house.
The man rises unsure if he heard a knock or was dreaming. The knock occurs again. Louder! Lights flicker in the house. Lighting strikes a near by tree. The knocking continues.
A flashback to his childhood. Being left alone while his parents went out. Waking up frightened. Searching everywhere for his parents. Running down the road and blinded by a car carrying his parents. Switching to another past vision of a tall man walking toward him in the desert carrying a black bible and speaking another language. All images of past freights.
Moving toward the front door a strange smell envelopes him with a scent of something not living. The walls light up and William appears at the door.
Suddenly it is 1848 and William offers him a drink. It is daylight with a thousand sunflowers out the back door. He is not in America anymore but in Wales, the country of William’s birth.
There is a meeting of bards, poets. A weekend of prose and poetry spoken in competition. Hundreds of people have come to compete for the grand prize.
There are minstrels, orators, clowns. This festival goes on forever. Many events happen filling up pages of hymnals and novels. He has discovered more about Black William than he could ever learn in a book.
He becomes accustomed to living in Wales. Twelve years pass!
As night appears the man is alone once again. It is morning and the sunflowers are gone.He is awakened by his wife. Confused, dazed. Holding in his hand the coin of the bards. Inscribed from a distant relative in Welsh from his night visitor Black William. The man smiles.
Not Your Place
In an Indian village left desolate by British Colonial rule, there is a community of poor, uneducated farmers. Generations of poverty have stripped the community of hope, and few are able to break the cycle.
Yusra Singh is a bright 19 year old woman, who has never traveled beyond the outskirts of her village of Yamana Praddu. Although her family survives hand to mouth as small farmers, Yusra has dreams of one day leaving her village and exploring the outside world.
Yusra must balance caring for her family while pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. To do so, Yusra must overcome several obstacles: the hostile and old-fashioned villagers, the disapproval of her traditional mother, and the frightening English qualifying exam for medical school.
In a bizarre twist of fate, Yusra is forced to take charge of her family’s affairs when her father’s legs get caught in a combine harvester. She meets a compassionate doctor who cares for her father and inspires her to pursue medicine as a career.
Yusra has enormous difficulty accomplishing even basic steps to her goal. Her first teachers refuse to help her, insisting that her place is in the home, taking care of her disabled father. Financial difficulties make it hard for Yusra to afford books, materials, and transport to school. Although initially disheartened, she presses on with the firm belief that with enough hard work, her situation could get better than it was yesterday.
Yusra faces her greatest challenge when she is confronted by a group of local villagers. Feeling that Yusra is abandoning her family, the locals give her a nasty beat-down, leaving her physically and emotionally damaged. On the verge of giving up, she comes across the doctor from earlier, who offers her some hard advice, and mentors her along her career path. Yusra stays steadfast through the recovery process, gradually rebuilding strength while simultaneously studying for the English exam.
It all culminates when Yusra goes to attend the exam. Due to a drawn-out dispute with her mother, Yusra arrives late. The sympathetic procter – having deduced a bit of Yusra’s past struggles, allows her to take the exam late.
Upon finishing, she returns home, where her mother apologizes for the earlier conflict. Yusra discovers that her mother once had similar aspirations to leave the village, but was married off at a young age, and was ridiculed for her dreams. Yusra realizes her mother had been trying to save her from the same fate.
In a few weeks, Yusra discovered that she received a passing score on the exam, and thus qualifies for admission into medical school. Having made peace with her family and with a renewed sense of strength, Yusra leaves Yamana Praddu with the solid belief that things have changed for the better.
On a bright sunny day in an unnamed city in California a young woman, named Clara, moves into her new apartment. She’s an up and coming realtor who is starting a social media podcast and has a couple of thousand followers. In the apartment next to her building lives a slightly depressive mid-thirties digital humanities and photography instructor, Robert Ocaso. He recognizes her as the lady who had rejected him from a dating app years ago and had been following her social media for years. Soon he becomes obsessed with her and stalks her.
When he’s not imparting his wisdom to college students, he spies on Clara through his apartment window and follows her to places and learns a lot about her and her social circle. Ocaso’s realtor friend Daniel hires him for real estate photoshoots. Daniel works with the same real estate organization as Clara, and they have a fling. Daniel passes along Ocaso’s contact information to Clara, and Clara hires him for real estate photoshoots.
Since Ocaso is an average-looking man and is socially awkward and fails to establish a warm relationship with Clara–and she doesn’t seem to recognize him from the dating app–Ocaso becomes frustrated and tries to grab her attention on the dating app by impersonating male models. He manages to talk to her through one of the dating apps, but she soon requests to have a video chat, and Ocaso deletes her from his matches.
As an act that he considers symbolic vengeance, he impersonates Clara on chat rooms and establishes online relationships with random men. Using his skillset in the digital arts, he manages to manipulate Clara’s images to pass them off as her in the online world.
One dangerous man becomes obsessed with the image of Clara and through research on his own manages to find out who she is. He tells the impersonator that he wants to meet her. Suddenly the man sets a day and time when to meet her at her workplace. Ocaso is in a panic. The man visits Clara and is overtly lewd towards her. Clara is baffled and doesn’t understand the situation. Clara brushes him off by calling security.
One night while Ocaso observes Clara through the apartment window, the man breaks into her home and tries to rape her. Ocaso runs to her apartment and kills the man with a knife. Clara calls the authorities, and they carry the corpse away. Clara is still in shock and Ocaso tries to console her. Clara warms up to him and they gradually form a relationship.
Ocaso thinks that he is now living the dream with Clara. However, authorities conclude their investigation and arrest Ocaso. The authorities state the text messages and manipulated images of Clara originated from Ocaso’s IP address.
Clara is absolutely disgusted with Ocaso and seeks counseling. Ocaso, on the other hand, loses his job at the university and is sentenced to a few years in prison. Ocaso seems to accept his fate and admits that something is wrong with him and should be punished.
Style of Novel: Magic Realism
Thirty years ago, in Sawyer, Indiana, twins, a girl, and a boy were born at night on the side of a deserted highway. The town of Sawyer is a quiet, unremarkable, small midwestern town except for how time there has a tendency to slow down, speed up, go backward, or disappear altogether.
Aida Walkins, one of the twins born on the side of the highway, is adopted with her twin brother, Eli, and they grow up in a regular suburban household in Chicago, IL. Thirty years later, Aida’s brother, Eli, dies in a suspicious car accident that the police suspect was a suicide.
When going through her dead brother’s personal items after the funeral, Aida finds surprising detail that Eli had been looking for information about their birth parents, which led him to visit Sawyer, Indiana, months earlier without her knowledge. Notes about his trip are strange and full of odd detail that makes no sense. Reeling from grief, she has no choice to pick up his trail and visit this town for herself.
Traveling with her brother’s ashes, Aida arrives in town and meets the nurse who rescued them that night on the road, her biological grandparents, her birth father, and learns that her birth mother had gone missing the night Aida and Eli were born. She also meets a quirky pie-maker/diner owner who becomes a love interest.
After some time, Aida realizes this town is not what it seems and that there are strange occurrences that help to make sense of Eli’s notes about his visit. She also realizes that the people she has met and the people of this town are hiding something. Aida is determined to figure what is going on in this town and determine the cause of her brother’s death.
Aida struggles to believe the magical things in this town, but after spending time there, she believes that her brother’s death is an accident. Then, the official police report rules his death as a suicide. Aida is devastated by the police report and spirals into renewed grief. However, she is more determined than ever to figure out the details of their birth and what is exactly going on in this town.
Aida gets the first-hand experience with the strange nature of time in Sawyer, which allows her to speak to Eli. After talking to him, she finds out what really happened to him and learns that his death was an accident, despite the police report.
With proof of her own experience and her ability to speak to her brother, Aida makes peace with his death. Aida sits at the local lake with Eli’s ashes and lets them go. She then goes to a local diner to get some pie, having decided to stay.
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