Monday, April 25, 2011

Synopsis 12: Redux 2

Duality

(The revision is 948 words and the author wants help in cutting it down and/or to make it 1 page.)

Resuscitated after a cardiac arrest, DIMA wakes with panther DNA spliced to hers and without her memory. The newest success of a government-funded project to create mercenaries, Dima must learn to tame the aggressive animal that’s taking over the blank spaces in her memories. One wrong move against the Humani Project’s scientists could lead to termination, and she can’t find out anything if she’s dead. For now, the mystery surrounding her mutation and amnesia will have to wait.

Dima can’t manage her new nature, and her bravado infuriates head scientist FREDERICK JAMES, who sees the Humani as breakable animals instead of human test subjects. The physical assessments he designed—ranging from scent tracking to combat—are intended to help Dima balance her dual nature. However, before she’s fully adjusted to her new DNA, James orders her into the lab’s deadliest assessment: a kill-or-be-killed combat exam against four non-human hybrids. He has no concern for Dima’s safety, only results. After her final opponent nearly kills her, Project founder DR. LORENZO breaks protocol to save her life. He apologizes before she passes out, calling her Janelle and sparking in her a need to discover what the scientists are hiding.

No one’s talking, but their scents betray their emotional states. Dima can detect their fear, joy, heartbreak, even lies, and she uses the advantage to develop her hypotheses. Each time she’s near James, she only picks up on his hatred. With Lorenzo, she detects a surprising affection. Whether he cares for her as a test subject or something more, she’s not sure. She’s equally shocked to realize that, while she blames him for turning her into a monster, she feels something for him, too.

During her recovery, Dima must attend a lab-sanctioned public display at a San Francisco convention center. The scientists force her into a cage, claiming it’s for her protection. Each passing moment leaves her feeling like a show animal, and she can almost feel her humanity slipping away. When a faulty generator sparks a fire, she takes satisfaction in watching the chaos, until she realizes that Lorenzo is potentially lost in the sea of panicked humans.

Thankfully, Lorenzo finds her and frees her from the cage, but Dima’s keeper is missing. Without hesitation, Dima looks for her keeper and finds her nearly trampled to death with a broken ankle. Dima half-drags her through a maintenance hallway toward an exit. Two masked gunmen stop them and try to convince Dima to come with them. She refuses and fights them off, slicing one’s face open and shredding the other’s thigh, undisturbed by her violent reaction.

Weeks after their return to Phoenix , Dima meets her new keeper, KIEFER MOORE, who seems to have as many secrets as the rest of the scientists. By his scent, she recognizes him as one of the San Francisco gunmen. He tells her that his boss, a human rights activist, seeks to shut down the Project, which has gained infamy for using abducted humans and for using endangered animals. His first step is to “liberate” the Humani and relocate them to his boss’ Edinburgh compound. Dima refuses to leave for fear of what James would do to Lorenzo in her absence. She asks Kiefer to take care of the other two Humani. But as more people undergo the process, Kiefer’s plan takes on greater urgency.

Finally, the tension between James and Dima culminates in an attack. She’s thwarted his every attempt to subjugate her; her performances in the physical assessments are receiving massive amounts of praise, leaving him without a means to terminate her. James enters her enclosure and goads her into attacking by telling her that he “made sure” she forgot her past. For Dima, her two sides finally merge. She strikes. He nearly tazes her to death.

She survives, but Lorenzo isn’t convinced she’ll endure another “visit” from James. He asks Kiefer to talk to his boss about planning an escape that includes all five of the Humani. As much as the idea hurts, Dima knows it’s for the best. She works closely with Kiefer and acts as a go-between, leaving messages for the other Humani during their recreation periods. However, the new set of Humani is already in production, and security is doubled because of the amount of wild animals and the possible volatility of the new Humani. They risk it, though, to take advantage of the lab’s three-month security check, which will leave the system offline for ten minutes.

Dima asks Lorenzo to visit before the escape so she can say goodbye. When he does, she begs him to leave, knowing that James will try to punish him for aiding them. He tells her he can’t. He wants to steer the Project back to its original, benevolent mission to restore quality of life to people with various diseases or physical defects through animal DNA. He also says that he hopes someday she understands what her place was meant to be.

When the night arrives, Kiefer and Lorenzo gather the Humani. Moving through the lab during the guards’ shift-change allows them sufficient cover and gives Dima and Lorenzo a chance for one more goodbye. He embraces her and hesitates before telling her to learn everything she can. But she knows what his real message was. She follows the scents of Kiefer and the other Humani to a small cargo plane. Every part of her wants to turn back, but the freedom is Lorenzo’s final gift to her and her companions. As the plane takes off, she looks out of the window at the imposing laboratory and silently tells Lorenzo that she loves him, too, finally accepting who—and what—she is.

Comments

This is soooo much better! I do love that it has an ending now that feels like it provides closure for the reader.

My edits below take it down to about 770 words. Honestly, a 1-page version usually means a complete re-envisioning of the events. It's not so much an edit as a re-crafting. For your 1-pager, I've highlighted the bits I think can be left out.

Resuscitated after a cardiac arrest, DIMA wakes with panther DNA spliced to hers and without her memory. The newest success of a government-funded project to create mercenaries, Dima must learn to tame the aggressive animal that’s threatening to takinge over. the blank spaces in her memories. One wrong move against the Humani Project’s scientists could lead to termination, and she can’t find out anything if she’s dead. That means, fFor now, the mystery surrounding her mutation and amnesia will have to wait.

As Dima struggles to can’t manage her new nature, and her bravado infuriates head scientist FREDERICK JAMES, who sees the Humani as breakable animals instead of human test subjects. The physical assessments he designed—ranging from scent tracking to combat—are intended to help Dima balance her dual nature. However, before she’s fully adjusted to her new DNA, James orders her into the lab’s deadliest assessment: a kill-or-be-killed combat exam against four non-human hybrids. He has no concern for Dima’s safety,only for results. After her final opponent nearly kills her, Project founder DR. FIRSTNAME LORENZO breaks protocol to save her life. He apologizes before she passes out, calling her Janelle and sparking in her a need to discover what the scientists are hiding. Just before she passes out, his cryptic apology—along with calling her Janelle—reminds her there are secrets still to uncover.

No one’s talking, but their scents betray their emotional states. Dima can detect their fear, joy, heartbreak,even lies,and she uses the advantage to develop her hypotheses. Each time she’s near James, she only picks up on his hatred. With Lorenzo, she detects a surprising affection. Whether he cares for her as a test subject or something more, she’s not sure. She’s equally shocked to realize that, while she blames him for turning her into a monster, she feels something for him, too.

During her recovery, James forces Dima must to attend a lab-sanctioned public display at a San Francisco convention center—caged, no less, "for her protection." The scientists force her into a cage, claiming it’s for her protection. Each passing moment The spectacle leaves her feeling like a show animal, and she can almost feel her humanity slipping away. When a faulty generator sparks a fire, she takes satisfaction in watching the chaos, until she realizes that Lorenzo is potentially lost in the sea of panicked humans.

Thankfully, Lorenzo finds her and frees her from the cage, but Dima’s keeper is missing. Without hesitation, Dima looks for her keeper and finds her nearly trampled to death with a broken ankle. Dima half-drags her through a maintenance hallway toward an exit. Two masked gunmen stop them and try to convince Dima to come with them. She refuses and fights them off, slicing one’s face open and shredding the other’s thigh, undisturbed by her violent reaction.

He hasn't been, but when he frees her from the cage, they discover Dima's keeper is missing. Without hesitation, Dima tracks her down and finds she's been injured. As Dima's dragging the keeper to safety, she's confronted by two masked gunman who try to force her to leave with them. Instinct kicks in: She slices open one's face and shreds the other's thigh. Still, she stops short of killing them.

Weeks after their return to Phoenix, Dima meets her new keeper, KIEFER MOORE, who seems to have as many secrets as the rest of the scientists. By his scent, she recognizes him as one of the San Francisco gunmen. He tells her explains that his boss, a human rights activist, seeks wants to shut down the Project, which has gained infamy for using abducted humans and for using endangered animals. His first step is Moore has been hired to “liberate” the Humani and relocate them to his boss’ Edinburgh compound. Dima refuses to leave for fear of what James would do to Lorenzo in her absence.

She asks Kiefer to take care of the other two Humani. But as more people undergo the process, Kiefer’s plan takes on greater urgency.

I'm not sure I understand what this means. Later on, we're told there are 5 Humani. As we met 4 hybrids earlier, I'm assuming they and Dima = 5. Who are the "other two" mentioned here? Maybe just delete these sentences and revise the last sentence of the paragraph to:
Though tempted by Moore's promise of freedom, Dima refuses to leave...

Finally, the tension between James and Dima culminates in an attack reaches the boiling point. She’s thwarted his every attempt to subjugate her; and her recent performances in the physical assessments are receiving massive amounts of praise, leaving have left him without an excuse means to terminate her. James enters her enclosure and He goads her into attacking by telling her that he “made sure” she forgot her past. For Dima's, her two sides natures finally merge. She strikes. He nearly tazses her—over and over. to death.

She survives, but Lorenzo isn’t convinced she’ll endure another “visit” from James. He arranges for Moore to smuggle out asks Kiefer to talk to his boss about planning an escape that includes all five of the Humani. As much as the idea hurts, Dima knows it’s for the best.

She works closely with Kiefer and acts as a go-between, leaving messages for the other Humani during their recreation periods. However, the new set of Humani is already in production, and security is doubled because of the amount of wild animals and the possible volatility of the new Humani. They risk it, though, to take advantage of the lab’s three-month security check, which will leave the system offline for ten minutes.

She works with Moore to prepare for the transfer. They'll have one chance to make their escape: when the security system is offline for ten minutes during the lab's quarterly security check.

When Dima asks Lorenzo to visits Dima before the escape so she can to say goodbye., When he does, she begs him to leave, too, knowing that James will try to punish him for aiding them. He tells her he can’t. He, however, intends wants to steer the Project back to its original, benevolent mission: to using animal DNA to restore quality of life to people with various defects and diseases or physical defects through animal DNA.

He gives her a last embrace, telling her to learn everything she can and that he hopes someday she understands what her place was meant to be (how much her contribution has meant to the Project?).

When the night arrives, Kiefer and Lorenzo gather the Humani. Moving through the lab during the guards’ shift-change allows them sufficient cover and gives Dima and Lorenzo a chance for one more goodbye. He embraces her and hesitates before telling her to learn everything she can. But she knows what his real message was. She follows the scents of Kiefer and the other Humani to a small cargo plane.

This part is nice, but a little too blow-by-blow. That's why I combined Lorenzo and Dima's last two meetings above.

I do have two concerns:
1) Would they really schedule a security check to coincide with a shift-change?
2) Are you sure you don't want to ratchet the excitement by having them at least spotted by guards and having a final chase to the plane? ;o)

Evading the guards, Dima and Moore usher the other Humani through the institute and toward the waiting cargo plane. Every part of her wants to turn back, but the freedom is Lorenzo’s final gift to her and her companions. As the plane takes off, she looks out of the window at the imposing laboratory and silently tells Lorenzo that she loves him, too, finally accepting who—and what—she is.

2 comments:

Wilkins MacQueen said...

I love this. I loved the query, this synopsis is so tremendous. I want to read this book.
Yeah here it is, do what Divine One suggests and personally, I'd like a touch more of her physical look, but that's me (Leo in the Western Zodiac, Tiger in the Chinese).

Meow. Going gangbusters with or without my 2 cents. Good job. Please make her her black and sleek with blue eyes. I love to see to see a writer hit it, I think you got the mark.
Not helpful, but awesome. Youza!

lexcade said...

Thanks, Wilkins! I really appreciate your continuous support and enthusiasm. I actually kind of enjoyed writing this (please don't tell LOL). I'm anxious to get this book SOLD.

Phoenix, as always your critique is awesome. I'd given some thought to a final awesome chase because it just feels too easy to me after everything else she's gone through in the book. So yeah. Nothing needs to be easy for Dima ;) I'll be working on that.