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  1. #11
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    Re: Post-Apocalyptic Synopsis

    Chris, YA can be very dark and high school kids don't read Captain Underpants. Also, YA readers come from all age groups. Genre is more often assigned by the MC's baggage rather than subject matter. Browse through Andrew Smith's blog. His has unique and interesting opinions on the whole YA thing and he's very successful with it. Just don't tell him he writes YA. That's where the bookseller shelves his novels, but it pisses him off!
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  2. #12
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    Re: Post-Apocalyptic Synopsis

    My novel is very dark YA. It involves the end of the world too. The majority of the world's population is killed. My MC's are teenagers with baseball bats and knives for protection. My editor actually encouraged me to go a bit more violent at the end.

    There's also the GONE series which I'm reading right now. Really violent and dark YA.

  3. #13
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    Re: Post-Apocalyptic Synopsis

    In the city of Santa Rosa, California, a sixteen-year-old high school student sits in his English class. His name is Samuel Aber.
    As he gets out of his seat, an earthquake hits his high school, sending him through the window of the class. He falls a full story and lands on hard dirt, suffering a broken leg, dislocated arm, and a punctured eye.
    He wakes in darkness, the voices of hundreds of screaming kids and teachers around him. He knows heís with them, another trapped victim of the earthquake, but somehow he feels different, separated. Like heís the only real thing in the world, and that everything heís experiencing is an insane mistake of his mind.
    The day of the earthquake is September 22nd, 2015. The biggest disaster in the recent history of the human race has just happened, as this earthquake is more devastating than anything before it.
    The world isnít as stable as it seems. With humanity having records of less than a hundred thousand years of human history, we have seen less than the blink of an eye in the Earthís geological lifespan. Every now and then, the natural world has a spasm, the kind of disaster that topples empires, wipes out entire species of animals.
    The earthquake begins in California and moves east. By the time the ground ceases shaking most of the United States is destroyed, lost to a disaster it never thought it would have to face.
    Sam is revived by a school janitor. With all the hospitals destroyed in Santa Rosa, he is brought to a temporary clinic set up in a city park. It is there that he has his eye removed and his limbs put in casts. He waits at the hospital for weeks, waiting for his only family, his Aunt to find him. She never comes.
    When his wounds heal and his bones set, he leaves the clinic, venturing out into the ruined city with nothing but the clothes on his back and a patch over his absent eye.
    Santa Rosa was once a beautiful place. It had its bad neighborhoods, like any city, but it still had a certain type of California charm. It was the urban center of Sonoma County, and yet uniquely rural at the same time. If you traveled north of the city, and stood on a hill looking south, you wouldnít see a city at all, but a great valley of trees. Every tree that could grow in California grew in the heart of Santa Rosa. They enveloped the streets with their shadows, great redwoods stood tall downtown, and pines and oaks grew throughout the suburbs. It was as if a city had been built inside a forest, not on top of it.
    Sam feels like heís not in Santa Rosa anymore. Places heís familiar with, like the Wells Fargo Center by the highway, or the Snoopyís Home Ice Rink downtown, even less prominent places, like the popular In-N-Out are all gone, collapsed and abandoned.
    Itís unreal to Sam, to see his home and life demolished in such a way. One day heís making his way through high school, living a normal life, and the next heís a cripple, with a gimp leg and one eye, living in a dead city.
    Sam begins thinking of the future. Itís been months since the earthquake, and Santa Rosa is still alone. Even if there was any government left to provide aid, a disaster this big would set them back years. A mid-sized town like Santa Rosa is nothing compared to San Francisco, Los Angles, or Sacramento. The government would go there before ever heading to Santa Rosa.
    People of the city have taken to scavenging the ruins for whatever they need, looting grocery stores for food. What Sam wonders is whatís gonna happen when the food runs out?
    He knows heís alone, his aunt must be dead, crushed under the rubble of her own house. All Sam can do is move on, join the others in scavenging, and hope that everyone can last long enough for a solution to the crisis to pop up.
    He refuses to let the city defeat him. Every day he sees the spread of gangs, who bit by bit are destroying the lives of innocent teenagers, dragging them in to their way of life with hard drugs. Sam refuses that life, knowing that the weaker members of the city have no future.
    Heís grown strong, able to fend for himself against any who would want to cause him harm. When a bum tries to stab him in the back in the forest, Sam smashes his head in with a rock, feeling the cold lack of remorse for the attacker. Heís resourceful and careful, taking everything he can but only using what he needs, storing the rest in the backyard of his auntís home. As time passes and food runs low in the city, people start to starve. Sam doesnít, any time heís near starvation he pulls out rations from his stash. It keeps him alive through the worst of times.
    Others die off. The citiesí population plummets, leaving behind only the people who were resourceful enough to ration their supplies, or stay in strong groups. By now two years have passed since the earthquake.
    Samuel Aber is an eighteen-year-old fighter. Heís survived when others have died, and has done whatever is necessary to ensure he makes it through each day he lives. When crazed half-dead refugees attack him in the city, seeking the food he has scavenged, he kills them, usually with a practiced shot from a handgun he found while scavenging. Sam is quick, efficient, and ruthless. Any remnant of his childhood is long gone. After watching people starve to death, after taking a life to save your own, there is no childhood left to hold onto.
    The dangers of the city have prompted several groups of survivors to come together with the idea to build themselves a new life, in a home far north in the ruins of an old hospital. Sam joins them, and together they build a fortified community they call ďThe Compound.Ē
    Life is decent in The Compound. It isnít even close to how things used to be, before the earthquake, but itís still better than being homeless, down in the city. The compound has people who know how to insulate homes, farm food, build sewage systems, everything a self-sustaining community needs.
    In The Compound Sam settles down, finds a steady job as part of security, protecting the city from outsiders. The Compound is a good place, itís a settlement that works to keep its residents alive and safe. It does its job well.
    From the south something is moving. A great army has risen out of the wreckage of Southern California, made up of drugged out bums and drifters led by a violent figure named Charlie, a drug dealer who seeks to use the weak minds of his clients to conquer The Compound and take it for his own. Once he captures The Compound he plans on using it as a base of operations from which to conquer all of California. The army drives up to Santa Rosa in beaten cars running on whatever fuel they can get their hands on, and attack the city.
    A battle is fought at night, and after a long struggle with heavy casualties on both sides the attackers are defeated. In the chaos of the fight The Compound burns to the ground, killing most of its residents.
    The Compound is gone. Samís home is destroyed. What can he do? What options does he have if he hopes to survive?
    He leaves Santa Rosa and goes east, hoping to find some remnant of the humanity he was once accustomed to.

  4. #14
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    Re: Post-Apocalyptic Synopsis

    I take it from what you've written that you've never been through an earthquake. I was about five miles from the epicenter of the Northidge Quake and your description of your earthquake overloads my BS meter. Candidly, I find your basic premise to be highly implausible. You may, however, be able to market this simply because there are enough people out there willing to take things like this at face value.

  5. #15
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    Re: Post-Apocalyptic Synopsis

    You're still not explaining what happened to the rest of the world and why they don't send aid.

    I'm going to have to agree with Joe Zeff. I still don't buy into the whole falling out a window description. That just doesn't make any sense to me and it's very passive. Also Earthquakes don't 'move' or 'spread'. I've never heard of an Earthquake toppling an empire or wiping out an entire species of animal either, unless you're referring to the dinosaurs and that was a meteor.

    And you can't dislocate an arm either, it would be his shoulder.

    I'm beginning to think that maybe you should sit back on the synopsis and go back to your actual novel. You have a lot of loose ends here that need fixing. Until you can solve these answers you're going to have trouble capturing the attention of an agent.

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