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rdesai2013's avatar

Would the following synopsis convince you to read the novel it describes?

Asked by rdesai2013 (30 points ) December 26th, 2012

In a world in which life-changing technologies are being developed at an ever-increasing rate, Exemplar Industries leads the pack. Helmed by the brilliant innovator Augustus Guerra, Exemplar Industries’ actions change lives on a daily basis. This massive corporation, valued at upwards of one trillion dollars, is the place to be if you want to get noticed.
Navarre Sans, the ambitious young protagonist of Incorruptible, seeks a place at Exemplar in order to prove his worth to the world. After capturing Augustus Guerra’s attention, Navarre rapidly becomes part of a life in which money and power run as freely as water. His pursuit of glory will grant Navarre the life he’s always dreamed of, but will it be worth it? Or will he become corrupted by obtaining the influence and wealth he so craved?

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I would need a lot more than a plot synopsis to persuade me to read something. Discussion of character, dialog, quality of writing, pace, wit, originality and readability are useful for a book review.

Unbroken's avatar

Like reading the back of the novel at an airport and decide to read it.

Probably not. I have the whole story right there. It gives too much info, unless you have a unique writing style innovatitive or deep characters or some other draw that alone would not make me want to pick it up.

Less info more about writing style, some sort of flow, or maybe a great review or two. That would help.

wundayatta's avatar

Not me. That makes it sound like a pot boiler with no soul. Pure, hackneyed themes. I’m not the audience for that book. But I’m sure there is an audience, and that synopsis would speak to that audience. It just isn’t me.

iphigeneia's avatar

There’s nothing here particularly intriguing. It sounds like it belongs on the ‘cheap books’ table of a train station or airport news agency—which isn’t to say that it is necessarily a bad book, but this synopsis doesn’t make me want to know more about the characters or the world they live in; it’s a very ‘general’ tale and may be entertaining enough, that’s all.

Jeruba's avatar

No. It sounds like a description written by someone who is enamored of a concept and a fictitious world of his or her own creation and has not yet managed to come up with a strong plotline and a central conflict to go with them. This is an author who will expect readers to absorb a lot of background in order to be ready for the good stuff that comes later on, forgetting that the reader has to have a reason to turn every page from the first one onward. How will the reader know there’s ever going to be any good stuff? A situation is not a plot.

I am reading one such work of fiction right now and am about to abandon it. A hundred pages and six chapters in, the author has introduced dozens of characters and six different worlds, and I still haven’t the beginning of a clue what the story is about or even who the main character is. No sooner do I begin to develop a little interest in a focal character than we move on to another whole set of new ones, with so much expository detail that I’ll never remember it all if they ever come round again. With more than 400 pages to go, I’m losing my confidence that anything is going to happen to reward my attention and endurance. This is one reason why I seldom have the patience for science fiction any more.

I don’t mean to be negative or discouraging, but in the present world of self-publishing without gatekeepers, somebody has to speak up for the interests of a reading public that is being increasingly drowned in verbiage on which no quality control whatsoever has been performed.

Jeruba's avatar

P.S. Any author who intends to write in that genre (or any other) ought to have read a great deal in the genre—and in fiction in general—so he or she will know what the conventions and reader expectations are, what the cliches are, what the hackneyed plotlines are, and what originality and skill look like.

ETpro's avatar

It would turn me away from picking up the book. Too trite. The protagonists even have names and come from places or organizations that scream at you what their character is.

LostInParadise's avatar

I have a problem with the last two questions that you give. In whose view is the main character subject to corruption? Certainly not that of the main character. How often do you hear of someone who walks away from wealth and power because he felt that he was corrupted by it? On the other hand, the view can’t be that of the reader. Who is the reader to decide it “it was worthi it”?

Seek's avatar

Anything that begins with “In a world…” immediately makes my brain jump to Movie Trailer Voice Guy, and turns every following word into a running joke.

So, bad start.

Second: that whole first paragraph: “life-changing technology”, “brilliant innovator”, “valued at a trillion dollars”... whatever. That’s just talking a whole lot without actually saying anything.

A synopsis should give an actual… well… synopsis. All we have are brand names, with no mental image for what they stand for. What technology is “changing lives” so thoroughly you had to use the term twice in one paragraph? What the frak is “Incorruptible” and why does it need young protagonists? What is this story about? Because I’m getting absolutely no plot out of this.

In fact, I’m not even getting a genre out of this. Is it Sci-fi? Crime drama? What?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Unfortunately no. In my vast experience with the written word, it has to be very easily understood and descriptive to make people buy it and read it.

“In 2015, in a far world called __________, ” – make it very clear.

susanc's avatar

I really enjoy the two guys’ names, though. Really. I mean it.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^Such a pleasure. Don’t disappear again.

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