12.29.2005

#53 Crapometer

Genre: Action, thriller, sci-fi adventure (as in Jurassic Park)

RACING THE MOON SYNOPSIS


In Alaska, geneticist DORIAN KAPADONIS runs for his life. In Wisconsin, AMANDA McCOURT desperately searches for a lost charm aboard a plane. Headed for Anchorage, she'll begin an internship at the Epidemiology Intelligence Service (EIS) with her uncle Dorian.


ok, right away you lose me here cause I have no idea of the WHY of any of this.

MAJOR WYATT DERMOTT, of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is working undercover as an Alaskan parajumper investigating a strain of rabies, thought to be released by a group of rebel Inupiat. The Afuyakti-nuna (Soldiers of the Earth) oppose oil drilling on the North Slope.

and giving animals in the wilderness rabies will preseve the North Slope how?

Amanda's brother died of Leigh's Syndrome of which she is a carrier. Angry with God for cursing her bloodline, she has replaced spiritual faith with scientific belief and devoted her life to finding a cure. When she learns Dorian is missing, she will risk all to find him.

He’s working on a cure for that disease? News to us.

At Dorian's destroyed campsite, Wyatt and his team find frozen, mutilated bodies. He recovers journals that describe an impossible, crazy theory. A very ill Dorian awakens to find himself in the elderly hands of a man who introduces himself as TAATKI, an Inupiat shaman.

Tracking Dorian's last known activities, Amanda is briefed on a rash of statistically impossible outbreaks of genetic diseases within the Inupiat population. Wyatt meets her at the morgue as the EIS crew arrive to identify the bodies found at the campsite. Amanda is overwhelmed with relief when Dorian isn't among the dead.

Taatki explains to Dorian his aid is needed to save children who were inadvertently infected with some unknown virus. When Dorian asks to alert the EIS to his whereabouts and is rebuffed, he fears he wasn't rescued, but taken prisoner. Wyatt witnesses the horrific and unexplainable effects of the virus on a family and realizes they are not suffering from a new strain of rabies at all. The journals have new meaning.

Dorian meets Taatki's grandsons. The eldest is an attorney and leader of the Soldier's of the Earth. As Dorian watches, they transform into werewolves. Amanda tries to reinstate the search, but unless she can find proof her uncle is still alive, another rescue team won't be sent.

You're mixing the event threads in the paragraph. The book can do that, but in a synopsis you shouldn't. It looks jumbled.

Here are your sentences re-organized for clarity:

Wyatt witnesses the horrific and unexplainable effects of the virus on a family and realizes they are not suffering from a new strain of rabies at all. The journals have new meaning.

Amanda tries to reinstate the search, but unless she can find proof her uncle is still alive, another rescue team won't be sent.

Taatki explains to Dorian his aid is needed to save children who were inadvertently infected with some unknown virus. When Dorian asks to alert the EIS to his whereabouts and is rebuffed, he fears he wasn't rescued, but taken prisoner. Dorian meets Taatki's grandsons. The eldest is an attorney and leader of the Soldier's of the Earth. As Dorian watches, they transform into werewolves.


werewolves? when you describe this genre as like Jurassic Park you led me to think you’d be writing about something within the realm of possibility. I know you die hard fantasy lover will be shocked at this news, but werewolves aren’t real.

Dorian flees for his life after witnessing the morphological phenomenon and seeks refuge in a nearby village. Wyatt gives Amanda the journals and accompanies her to visit an afflicted family. When she fails to motivate the mother to seek treatment, Amanda blames herself. Wyatt finds himself drawn to her dedication and horrified by how far spread the disease may have become.

Dorian calls Amanda and she ecstatically relays the message to the rescue team. Wyatt receives orders to report for an emergency rescue. Dorian's host mutates and he finds himself surrounded by werewolves. As the helicopter arrives and the first responders are brutally murdered, Dorian realizes the werewolves have kept him alive on purpose, suggesting intelligence even in their animal state. Wyatt fights his way to the geneticist and they escape on a snowmobile.

Werewolves can’t out run snowmobiles?

Amanda anxiously awaits word of her uncle, but instead, receives orders to return to EIS headquarters. Risking her career, she refuses. Dorian and Wyatt agree they are dealing with werewolves, no matter how insane it sounds.

The military moves in, declaring the Soldier's of the Earth a terrorist threat. Amanda and the EIS team arrive on the scene and ask to be allowed to stay, and in return, they will help the military's geneticist combat the new, biological weapon the rebel Inupiat have unleashed.

Wyatt and Dorian meet Amanda at the mobile lab and are happily reunited. After they are interrogated, the military refuses the deal and tells Wyatt and the EIS to return home. Dorian convinces Wyatt and Amanda to help him find Taatki and hopefully a cure for the Lycan Virus. When their plan is uncovered, soldiers are ordered to take out the terrorist sympathizers. The EIS team and Wyatt fight for their lives in a three-way battle between them, the military and a pack of werewolves Taatki sent to facilitate the EIS's escape.

At the rebel camp, the attorney has drafted a contract which protects the North Slope from drilling. When this contract is signed, they will divulge the antivirus. An agreement is struck and Taatki chooses Amanda to receive the cure. Against her scientific judgment, Amanda drinks the shaman's potion and has a spiritual transformation. Taatki gifts her with a bull-roarer - an ancient device meant to ward off wolves.

gift is not a verb. I don’t care what anyone else says, you don’t gift someone. You GIVE them a gift, you HAVE a gift - gift is a damn noun.

The military converge on the camp and after a tense stand off, reach a temporary truce in order to receive the cure. Dorian, Amanda and Taatki cultivate the antivirus. When she discovers the antidote relies heavily on silver, she reluctantly parts with her beloved charm bracelet.

An EIS agent is bitten during the first administration of the antivirus. The agent agrees to track the other werewolves and is fitted with a radio collar. Wyatt, Amanda and Dorian follow on foot. A fierce battle ensues and they're soon outnumbered. Amanda uses the bull-roarer to subdue the werewolf frenzy. They manage to cure all the werewolves.

Dorian, Wyatt and Amanda make plans for Thanksgiving, but later, their celebration proves too soon as Congress agrees to open the North Slope for drilling.

EPILOGUE
The Journal of the American Medical Association "The Lycan Virus” by Dr. Dorian Kapadonis.

If you’ve got werewolves, this is fantasy. As fantasies go, it’s not bad. A tad over wrought, but then, facing slavering werewolves, I’d be a tad over wrought myself.

Amanda doesn’t appear to bring much to the table as a heroic character. Where’s her crisis? Where’s her character development? What changes for her other that your very brief announcement of “spiritual transformation” which we don’t ever hear more about.

You've fallen into the trap of putting the synopsis into the same chrono order as the book. That gives you ten jumbled paragraphs with the three threads appearing in each paragraph. Isolate each thread, put it all in one or two paragraphs, then do the next one.

This might be a really good book but the synopsis doesn’t really show it.

10 comments:

McKoala said...

Do not fear Miss S; I'm sure that Killer Yapp can handle slavering werewolves and still have room for more..

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Uh, Miss Snark...I don't mean to be picky 'cause I know you're tired and 'crabby' but in my dictionary, the #2 meaning of gift is...the act, power, or right of giving!

Sorry, don't throw a gin pail at me!

Anonymous said...

Wait, weren't the werewolves in the movie Underworld called Lycans? Maybe the author should work on the name because I suspect I won't be the only tripped up.

Bernita said...

Since we're reading about a form of lycanthropy, the name shouldn't bother anyone, irrespective of what they were called in Underworld.
It's appropriate and natural to the pseudo-science of the story.
What would bother me would be the use of some cute rip-off of an Inuit/Native term like loup-garou.

Anonymous said...

Uh, does this writer realize they built the pipeline for the North Slope in the 70s? Drilling has been happening for around 30 years. Does the writer perhaps mean ANWR?

I'd swear the writer knows nothing about Alaska, but s/he managed to uncover our secrets...yeah, all Alaskans turn into werewolves...especially when it appears yet another writer wants to use our state in a setting without doing any basic research.

Anonymous said...

And every time I heard "Lycan" in that movie, I had to remind myself that they weren't talking lichen. The whole movie didn't work for me because I had a difficult time imagining big bad werewolves when what I kept picturing was rock fungus. It's a dumb name, especially out loud. "Were" or something else is much better.

Jo Bourne said...

Hi Bernita -

>>>What would bother me would be the use of some cute rip-off of an Inuit/Native term like loup-garou. <<<<

I don't want to nitpick ... but loup-garou derives from the Latin Lupus (wolf) and Old French garoul (werewolf). It comes to the New World from France, where it is still the term of choice.

Whether we may rip-off from Native American groups is, perhaps, moot ... but certainly the French are fair game.

Bernita said...

I stand etymologically and gerographically reproved.
And a little amazed at the purity of languages that permits no adoption.
If I had used the term "limikkin", or 'wendigo" I would still be geographically incorrect.
However feeble the example,I feel
the use of the word "Lycan" is preferrable to an inappropriate term such as "loup-garou" for the equivalent regional form of skin walker.

Jo Bourne said...

Hi Bernita -

Hmmm ...
the difference is that a werewolf (when human) looks like James Dean. A Lycan looks like Peter O'Toole. And a loup garou looks like Jean Paul Belmondo.

J.R. Turner said...

Thank you Miss Snark, for helping ferret out those icky trouble spots in my synopsis. As this is one of the BIG books, it was hard to condense it down and I think I did a poor job of that. I really appreciate your time!

As to my research, I actually worked for nearly two years researching this project before I began writing. This might be especially helpful for 'anonnymous' who may believe that since there's drilling in *areas* of the North Slope and the pipeline runs through there, there is no parts of the North Slope left untouched :)

http://www.wilderness.org/Library/Documents/AlaskaNorthSlopeDrilling.cfm

There's a heck of a lot more info out there, but that should get ya started ;)

Also, "Lycan" is only used for the name of the virus, otherwise, the werewolves are just called werewolves :)

Thank you again Miss Snark! Would have replied right away, but I was out of town for the holidays. This has been a real eye opener :)

Warmly,
Jenny:)