The Rebel’s Hero Synopsis

trh_smallDear Reader,

I kept with my ROW80 goals again this week, yay! I hit 750 words, and in so doing, changed an aunt to an uncle, rewrote sections of three chapters, and wrote the first draft to the back cover copy, as shown below. I’d love your feedback! I styled the back cover content on the back covers I’ve seen from other historical romance authors who went back to rewrite a beloved story.

The common way for authors to address the fact that the book in hand is a rewrite includes making it a personal letter from the author, explaining the history of the book, and giving a synopsis for new readers who don’t know of the original version. Have I covered my bases?

Dear Reader,

I began The Rebel’s Hero as a rewrite of my high school senior thesis, a Civil War romance called Catching the Rose. The original was written with all the innocence and energy of a seventeen-year-old. I was flattered and gratified that so many readers picked up Catching the Rose, not expecting a book by a teenager, but a first serious attempt at being an author.

After publishing my second book, Haunting Miss Trentwood, my thoughts drifted to Catching the Rose. I itched to begin it again, this time with a tighter plot structure and deeper character motivations. Out of that reworking came The Rebel’s Hero.

When Tempest Granville’s step-father announced he was marrying her off in between slurps of soup at dinner, she knew right then that her home was no longer a safe haven from the impending war between the states.

The night of a successful slave smuggling mission leaves Daniel Ritter exhausted, but jubilant. When a bedraggled Tempest appears on his doorstep, her presence does more than spark alarm. Suddenly Daniel is having visions of his past, the very past he has struggled to reclaim memories of for nine years.

Join Tempest and Daniel as romance flares, the war begins, and urgency builds as they realize Daniel’s missing memory is the key to a wicked and heartbreaking family secret.

Happy reading,

Belinda Kroll

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Article: Hold On to Your Plot Part 1

When we begin writing, we have this core idea, this main plot that keeps the story together. But as we get deeper into subplots and secondary/tertiary characters, sometimes we lose our main idea. We obsess over the little things. We forget the forest for the trees. We see the colors but not the rainbow. I could go on, but I won’t, for your sake. The following series of three entries will focus on Mike Phillips’s essay showing how he keeps his plot in line, with his hints on how to help you stay focused.

Article found here:

Losing the Plot?
by Mike Phillips

New Ideas from Old
Plots are always based on a story of some kind, and there are only a limited number of basic stories in any culture. Boy meets girl, for instance, or the eternal love triangle. Look hard enough at any story and you will always find the fingerprints of an earlier one.

My own first novel, Blood Rights, was based on a reworking of the story of Oedipus – boy meets dad, kills him and marries mum. This is a fairly unusual family crisis but, in principle, most plots draw on stories which have universal and familiar themes, both within history and for our own times. Exploring and developing stories of this kind is a reliable and interesting way of starting to construct a plot.

Exactly how you go about doing this is a matter of individual temperament. I have sometimes found that it requires nothing more than the impulse to get something down on paper, rather than having planned it out meticulously before I pick up a pen.

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Synopsis Writing

Jaguarpaddler pulled together all the rules he found for writing a good synopsis to send to an agent and/or editor, and I thought they were useful so here they are.

Before writing answer the following questions concisely.

  1. Who is the hero? (Why is he interesting?)
  2. What does the hero want? (External and internal goals)
  3. The door opens. (The hero meets the problem)
  4. The hero takes control. (After walking through the open door the protag takes control of the situation and experiences the illusion of early success.)
  5. A monkey wrench is thrown. (A screw-up happens. A new threat arises. A new character enters. Complications develop.)
  6. Things fall apart. (Bad things happen. Protag realizes that they are of his own making. Characters get a set of choices/decisions and try to find another way out without facing their fears and still getting it wrong.) List as many ways as you can think of for things to go wrong then condense into one sentence.
  7. Hero hits bottom. (Moment of truth) Time is running out. Hero is at the end of the line. Hero must choose. Character’s black moment.
  8. The hero risks all. (Finally gets it right)
  9. What does the hero get? (Reward)

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