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  1. #1
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    THE PHOENIX CONSPIRACY - Synopsis

    Hello, friends! It's taken about a week to write the synopsis to my novel, THE PHOENIX CONSPIRACY. But it's a tad (okay, a few tads) too long. Most agencies want only 1-2 pages. *Help!* Any feedback would be very much appreciated. I followed a plot outline format, and I think this works quite nicely. I am very proud of how this project is turning out. Thank you all for your guidance and support!

    Synopsis:

    In November 2011, Der Spiegel released a report regarding a neo-Nazi terrorist organization that had been in operation for over ten years in the heart of Germany. European intelligence agencies believe that federal employees were secretly involved with the ten murders and two bombings for which the organization was responsible. It remains uncertain to what extent such underground Nazi groups are prevalent in the nation, for their true power is shrouded in mystery.

    Until now.

    MAX MEYERS can't make the grade. He can't get the girl. And he can't be the jock. The only thing he's got going for him is his dad's status as hotshot politician. A cozy office job in Washington after graduation will be nice. But in one infernal moment, Max's family is wiped out, victims of a conspiracy that stretches across three continents, two families, and history itself.

    The FBI's ruling feels like steel knuckles to Max's lungs; the gun was fired by the politician's own hand, they say. Within minutes of the press release, the legacy of Max's family is relegated to tabloid material. But Max's professor and surrogate father CHARLES KENSINGTON keeps the faith. Upstanding statesmen like Max's dad don't kill their families. Hell no. Kensington calls in an old friend, boomerang-wielding Aussie private eye JAMES RUSSELL for help. Together, the trio trespass onto the crime scene, once Max's home. His father's fireproof lock box seems a possible motive for an assassin, but only a single item is missing: the collection of letters sent home by Max's great-grandfather during the Second World War.

    An impromptu interview with a former member of Max's great-grandfather's platoon proves promising when the old man shows Max a skeleton key he took from the body of Max's ancestor at war's end. The key, inscribed with a Christianized Nazi symbol and a cryptic phrase, opens a portal into the past. But before Max has time to put the pieces of this puzzle together, bullets bombard the cottage. Max and his team make it out alive and follow the gunman's trail to Germany.

    A chance encounter with an old acquaintance of Kensington's, FRITZ BROCKHEIM, at first appears a divine blessing. The clergyman provides the travelers with a place to stay, as well as native input regarding the stories told by the now-deceased soldier in London. With Brockheim's help, Max discovers a path into lost history, re-tracing his great-grandfather's footsteps to an unbelievable treasure trove beneath a sleepy German village. But the celebration is premature; Brockheim was supposed to meet them. A spy for a shadowy employer, Brockheim confiscates the cache of artwork, artifacts, and gold reserves that had been sealed away as a protective measure by a supposedly defunct Nazi religious order.

    Now on the heels of an unseen mastermind, the trio book it to the nation's capital, where Kensington's academic expertise leads them right to the headquarters of the conspiracy, Martin Luther Memorial Church. Unprepared for the ensuing skirmish, Max and Russell escape into the city sewer system. Kensington, however, is captured and is forced by Fritz Brockheim's boss, DIETRICH VON METZGER, to help him see his mission of vengeance to completion. Von Metzger's father, himself an official of the clandestine Nazi order, developed a plan for posterity in his final hours, a plan intended to resurrect the glories of the Third Reich's spiritual foundation, the German Christian Church...when the time is right. "The Eagle was powerful, but the Phoenix is miraculous."

    Meanwhile, Max and Russell chase after Kensington's captors. An episode of untimely gawking adds a new member to Max's squad: SOFIA, a spunky anthropology student from Berlin. Together, they follow Von Metzger into the metropolitan underworld of black market smuggling. On an epic surge of adrenaline, Max confronts Von Metzger face-to-face, only to discover he's in a trap--thanks to Sofia, who reveals herself as Brockheim's niece. As it turns out, she was manipulated into serving Von Metzger's ends. The ensuing family feud results in Fritz Brockheim's death, but not before he reveals the final details of the planned neo-Nazi coup to a recently escaped Kensington.

    Framed for Brockheim's murder by happenstance, Max and his team embark on one final trip, this time to the birthplace of Nazism: Munich. A series of television broadcasts warn Max of the purpose for Von Metzger's acquisition of incendiary explosives--the European Council and the Supreme Pontiff plan a gala to commemorate European treaties that have brought harmony and prosperity to the continent. Von Metzger's targets are merely modern incarnations of old Nazi enemies. The host of the event, the President of the German Bundestag, must be warned of the impending cataclysm.

    Max and Russell infiltrate the conference center dressed as Munich policemen in order to track the explosives already planted by Von Metzger's cohorts. With the unprecedented ceremony minutes away from commencing, Kensington and Sofia make a break for the President's private office to warn him, only to discover the ultimate secret of the conspiracy's power--the Bundestag President is none other than the public alter ego of Dietrich Von Metzger! Just as Adolph Hitler rose to a dictatorship from a lesser government position, so too Von Metzger plans the same.

    Fortunately, Max and Russell uncover the locations of each bomb. They attempt a rendezvous with Kensington and Sofia, but Von Metzger's plans have already swung into motion. Gunfire and fisticuffs prevent further action, but Kensington manages to slip away from a fatal brawl, albeit bruised and bleeding. With seconds remaining before the fires of Von Metzger's Phoenix conspiracy flash-fry the leaders of Europe, Kensington seals himself in with the first bomb, stopping the explosive chain reaction before it can start. Von Metzger's scheme of resurrecting Nazi power in Europe is ruined, and he is instantly exposed. The law enforcement who have for so long been Max's antagonists become his allies. In one final showdown, Max, armed with Russell's classic Australian weapon, takes down Von Metzger's fleeing helicopter with a single desperate heave. Though the plunging chopper ignites the explosives, the evacuation has already taken place. A continental disaster has been averted.

    The Burgermeister of Munich promptly pronounces Max a hero, and his story garners international attention. At the ensuing press conference, a grief-stricken Max pays tribute to both of his fathers. Upon returning home, the remains of Charles Kensington are laid to rest alongside those of Max's family.

    The bud of romance between Max and Sofia blossoms, and she decides to continue her studies alongside Max at the University of Richmond. After returning the cash that Max originally paid him for his investigation services, Russell leaves the states in favor of his own pilgrimage of faith, inspired by Charles Kensington's last sacrifice. With the Phoenix conspiracy behind him, the boy Max Meyers has become a man.



  2. #2
    Member Tanya Bell's Avatar
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    This sounds like a good story, Josh. It made me want to read more. You're right though, the synopsis is quite long. So I've made a few changes in order to cut down the length from 1,200 words to 650.

    In November 2011, Der Spiegel released a report regarding a neo-Nazi terrorist organization that had been in operation for over ten years in the heart of Germany. European intelligence agencies believe that federal employees were secretly involved with the ten murders and two bombings for which the organization was responsible. It remains uncertain to what extent such underground Nazi groups are prevalent in the nation, for their true power is shrouded in mystery.

    Until now.

    MAX MEYERS can't make the grade. He can't get the girl. And he can't be the jock. The only thing he's got going for him is his dad's status as hotshot politician. A cozy office job in Washington after graduation will be nice. But in one infernal moment, Max's family is wiped out, victims of a conspiracy that stretches across three continents, two families, and history itself.

    The FBI's ruling feels like steel knuckles to Max's lungs; the gun was fired by his father’s own hand, they say. Within minutes of the press release, the legacy of Max's family is relegated to tabloid material. But Max's professor and surrogate father CHARLES KENSINGTON keeps the faith. Upstanding statesmen like Max's dad don't kill their families. Hell no. Kensington calls in an old friend, boomerang-wielding Aussie private eye JAMES RUSSELL for help. Together, the trio trespass onto the crime scene, once Max's home. His father's fireproof lock box seems a possible motive for an assassin, but only a single item is missing: the collection of letters sent home by Max's great-grandfather during the Second World War.

    An impromptu interview with a former member of Max's great-grandfather's platoon proves promising when the old man shows Max a skeleton key he took from the body of Max's ancestor at war's end. The key, inscribed with a Christianized Nazi symbol and a cryptic phrase, opens a portal into the past. But before Max has time to put the pieces of this puzzle together, bullets bombard the cottage. Max and his team make it out alive and follow the gunman's trail to Germany.

    It leads them to a clandestine Nazi order, who plan to resurrect the glories of the Third Reich's spiritual foundation, the German Christian Church. Their motto: "The Eagle was powerful, but the Phoenix is miraculous." Their headquarters is the Martin Luther Memorial Church, where the trio find themselves engaged in a skirmish which sends Max and Russell in the city sewer system for escape. Kensington, however, is captured and is forced to aid the neo Nazi group’s diabolical plans.

    Meanwhile, a new member is added to Max's squad: SOFIA, a spunky anthropology student from Berlin. As they chase after Kensington's captors, and finally free him, it leads them into a sinister world full of double-dealing and danger. Kensington tells them of the Nazi plot to stage a coup and replace the present government with a Hitler-like regime. This sends the squad into a frantic race against time, and the threat of bombs, to prevent it from happening.

    In order to defeat the conspiracy to flash-fry the leaders of Europe, Kensington seals himself in with the first bomb. This stops the explosive chain reaction before it can start. The scheme to resurrect Nazi power in Europe is ruined.

    The Burgermeister of Munich promptly pronounces Max a hero, and his story garners international attention. At the ensuing press conference, a grief-stricken Max pays tribute to both of his fathers. Upon returning home, the remains of Charles Kensington are laid to rest alongside those of Max's family.

    The bud of romance between Max and Sofia blossoms, and she decides to continue her studies alongside Max at the University of Richmond. After returning the cash that Max originally paid him for his investigation services, Russell leaves the states in favor of his own pilgrimage of faith, inspired by Charles Kensington's last sacrifice. With the Phoenix conspiracy behind him, the boy Max Meyers has become a man.
    One step at a time.

  3. #3
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    Huh...I cut it to 650 as well, lol. I did it differently though, by basically deleting unnecessary detail.

    MAX MEYERS is young and inept. His only advantage is his dad's status as hotshot politician, which might win Max a cozy office job in Washington after graduation. But then a conspiracy that stretches across three continents and history itself wipes out Max's family.

    The FBI rules that Max’s dad killed his family, but Max's professor and surrogate father CHARLES KENSINGTON believes it no more than Max. Kensington calls an old friend, boomerang-wielding Aussie private eye JAMES RUSSELL for help. The trio trespasses onto the crime scene, once Max's home. They discover only a single item missing from his father's fireproof lock box: a collection of letters sent home by Max's great-grandfather during WW II.

    A former member of his great-grandfather's platoon shows Max a skeleton key that opens a portal into the past, but before Max can piece the puzzle together, bullets shred the cottage. The platoon member dies, but Max and his team survive and follow the gunman's trail to Germany.

    An old acquaintance of Kensington's, clergyman FRITZ BROCKHEIM, provides the travelers with a place to stay as well as native input about the stories told by the platoon member. With Brockheim's help, Max re-traces his great-grandfather's footsteps to an unbelievable treasure hidden by a supposedly defunct Nazi religious order. But the celebration is premature; Brockheim, a spy for a shadowy employer, confiscates the treasure.

    Now on the heels of an unseen mastermind, the trio hurries to the nation's capital, where Kensington's academic expertise leads them to the conspiracy headquarters. Unprepared for this confrontation, Max and Russell escape into the city sewer system, but Kensington is captured. Brockheim's boss, DIETRICH VON METZGER, forces Kensington to help him complete his plan to resurrect the Third Reich.

    Max and Russell chase Kensington's captors. SOFIA, a spunky anthropology student from Berlin, joins the squad. Together, they follow Von Metzger into the metropolitan underworld of black market smuggling. Eventually, Max confronts Von Metzger face-to-face, only to discover he's in a trap--thanks to Sofia, who was manipulated to serve Von Metzger's ends. Brockheim dies, but not before he reveals the final details of a planned neo-Nazi coup.

    Framed for Brockheim's murder, Max and his team embark on one final trip: Munich, the birthplace of Nazism. Television broadcasts indicate Von Metzger's intended target - the European Council and the Supreme Pontiff, modern incarnations of old Nazi enemies, plan a gala to commemorate European peace treaties. The team must warn the German Bundestag President of the impending explosive cataclysm.

    Max and Russell infiltrate the conference center to track explosives already planted by Von Metzger's cohorts. With the ceremony minutes away, Kensington and Sofia try to warn the Bundestag President, only to discover he is none other than Dietrich Von Metzger!

    Max and Russell discover each of the bomb locations and try to rendezvous with Kensington and Sofia, but Von Metzger's plans have already swung into motion. Kensington manages to slip away from a fatal brawl, and seconds before the fires of the Phoenix conspiracy would kill the European leaders, seals himself in with the first bomb and stops the explosive chain reaction. He ruins Von Metzger's scheme and exposes him. Law enforcement, so long against Max, now becomes his ally. In one final showdown, Max desperately heaves Russell's boomerang and takes down Von Metzger's fleeing helicopter. Though the plunging chopper ignites the explosives, the people have already been evacuated, averting disaster.

    The Burgermeister of Munich pronounces Max a hero, and his story draws international attention. At the press conference, a grief-stricken Max pays tribute to both his father and Kensington. Kensington is buried alongside Max's family.

    Romance between Max and Sofia blossoms, and she decides to continue her studies with Max at the University of Richmond. Russell leaves the states for his own pilgrimage of faith, inspired by Kensington's last sacrifice. With the Phoenix conspiracy behind him, the boy Max Meyers strides forward, a man.

  4. #4
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    Wow, thank you both for your wonderful assistance! Your input is extremely helpful. I'll go ahead and post a revision very shortly. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Member Tanya Bell's Avatar
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    You're most welcome, Josh. I'm looking forward to seeing the revision.
    One step at a time.

  6. #6
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    Here we go. Almost there!

    In November 2011, Der Spiegel released a report regarding a neo-Nazi terrorist organization that had been in operation for over ten years in the heart of Germany. Intelligence agencies believe that federal employees were secretly involved with the ten murders and two bombings for which the organization was responsible. It remains uncertain to what extent such underground Nazi groups are prevalent in Germany, for their true power is shrouded in mystery—until now.

    MAX MEYERS can't make the grade. He can't get the girl. And he can't be the jock. The only thing he's got going for him is his dad's status as hotshot politician. A cozy office job in DC after graduation will be nice. But in one infernal moment, Max's family is wiped out, victims of a conspiracy that stretches across three continents, two families, and even history itself.

    The FBI rules that Max’s father killed his family, but Max's professor and mentor CHARLES KENSINGTON believes it no more than Max. Kensington calls an old friend, boomerang-wielding Aussie private eye JAMES RUSSELL for help. The trio trespass onto the crime scene, once Max's home. They discover only a single item missing from his father's fireproof lock box: a collection of letters sent home by Max's great-grandfather during WWII.

    An impromptu interview with a former member of his great-grandfather's platoon proves promising when the old man shows Max a skeleton key he took from the body of Max's ancestor at war's end. The key, inscribed with a Christianized Nazi symbol and a cryptic phrase, opens a portal into the past. Before Max has time to put the pieces of this puzzle together, bullets bombard the old man's home. Max and his team make it out alive and follow the gunman's trail to Germany.

    An old acquaintance of Kensington’s, clergyman FRITZ BROCKHEIM, provides the travelers with a place to stay as well as native input about the stories told by the old platoon member. With Brockheim's help, Max re-traces his great-grandfather's footsteps to an unbelievable treasure hidden by a supposedly defunct Nazi religious order. But the celebration is premature; Brockheim, a spy for a shadowy employer, confiscates the treasure for his boss.

    Now on the heels of an unseen mastermind, the trio hurries to Berlin, where Kensington's academic expertise leads them to the headquarters of the conspiracy, Martin Luther Memorial Church. Unprepared for the confrontation, Max and Russell escape into the city sewer system, but Kensington is captured. Brockheim’s superior, DIETRICH VON METZGER, forces Kensington to help him complete his plan to resurrect the spiritual foundation of the Third Reich, the German Christian Church.

    Joined by SOFIA, a spunky anthropology student, Max and Russell follow Von Metzger into the metropolitan underworld of black market smuggling. Max confronts the mastermind face-to-face, only to discover he's in a trap—thanks to Sofia, who was manipulated to serve Von Metzger.

    Brockheim’s usefulness to the conspiracy ends, and he is subsequently killed, though not before he reveals the final details of the planned coup. Framed for the murder, Max and his team embark on a trip to the birthplace of Nazism: Munich. News broadcasts point to Von Metzger’s intended target—the European Council and the Supreme Pontiff, who are meeting to celebrate European peace treaties. Max’s squad decides to warn the coordinator of the event, the German Bundestag President. They infiltrate the conference center to track down the explosives planted by Von Metzger’s cohorts, only to discover that the Bundestag President is none other than Dietrich Von Metzger!

    The team tries to rendezvous for a last ditch effort, but only Kensington is able to slip away from a fatal brawl. With only seconds remaining before the fires of the Phoenix conspiracy flash-fry Europe’s leaders, Kensington seals himself in with the first bomb to stop the explosive chain reaction. Von Metzger’s schemes are ruined. Law enforcement, so long against Max, now become his ally. In a miraculous showdown, Max desperately heaves Russell’s steel boomerang and takes down Von Metzger’s fleeing helicopter. Though the plunging chopper ignites the explosives, the dignitaries have been evacuated. Disaster has been averted.

    The Burgermeister of Munich pronounces Max a hero, and his story draws international attention. At the press conference, a grief-stricken Max pays tribute to both his father and Charles Kensington. Kensington’s remains are buried alongside those of Max’s family.

    Romance between Max and Sofia blossoms, and she decides to continue her studies with Max at the University of Richmond. Russell leaves the states for his own pilgrimage of faith, inspired by Kensington's last sacrifice. With the Phoenix conspiracy behind him, the boy Max Meyers strides forward, a man.

  7. #7
    Member Tanya Bell's Avatar
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    Ah yes, this is much better, Josh. You give enough detail to outline the plot while reducing the length of the synopsis. Well done!
    One step at a time.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Tanya! Your suggestions were wonderful!

  9. #9
    Member Tanya Bell's Avatar
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    You're most welcome, Josh. Glad I could be of some assistance.
    One step at a time.

  10. #10
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    Yep, it's much better, tighter.

    I know you're trying to add realism to your story, but I'd still ax that first paragraph. Adds nothing to the story but words.

    One of these things does not fit. Guess which one: three continents (the largest land masses on earth), two families, and history itself (the largest container for time).

    Bullets don't bombard. Typically, something used in a bombardment either explodes or is big enough to cause a decent amount of damage to whatever it hits.

    Law enforcement...becomes.

    Still have unnecessary detail and empty or weak verbs.

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