Fiona says: "Please find attached my synopsis for my debut novel, Ghost In The Machine, 86,000 words. The genre is techno-thriller and it's for adults. I hope it appeals to men and women, but especially women, because I like reading stuff like this, so I've written my own, because girls like gadgets too.[NM intervenes: Fiona, you need to remove your double character spaces before each sentence. Regardless of personal preference, it's really important only to have one nowadays or you'll cock up all the eformatting.]
What's wrong with it? *Sigh* It doesn't seem to be interesting enough to elicit a full manuscript request. One problem could be that I haven't got the genre quite right. Another problem could be that the ending needs to be stronger, and if I used another 4,000 words to do that, I would have a novel at a nicely rounded length of 90,000.
I'd describe it as 'techno-thriller with romance'. The thing is, it's not 'blokey sci-fi' and it's not quite women's commercial fiction (or is it...?) I don't know. I'm having a horrible bout of critical crisis at the moment so I've stopped subbing until I feel better.
I've added some notes as I go along. Bits crossed out indicate details that can disappear. Obviously, once those details are omitted you'll sometimes need to clarify things differently.
My comments: this reads too much like an outline, listing all the things that happen - which is useful in lots of ways but not quite a synopsis. When you do this you lose the atmosphere of the novel. It tells me that yes, you've put the plot togther, but it doesn't feel elegant enough. It focuses too much on details rather than giving an overal sense of the story. By cutting out lots of details and telling it in a more story-telling way, you'd make it read better. So, what we're looking for is more style and motivation, more generality and less detail. More emotion, more motivation, more interaction between characters. I think you'll find my post of Monday helpful.
And, by the way, I wouldn't normally expect to enjoy a techno thriller (or however you'd describe this kind of sci-fi?) this is but I thought this sounded intriguing!
What does everyone else think?