I’m entering Pitch Wars at the end of this month (next week, yikes), so of course I’m working on my synopsis. Trying to nail that balance of summary and style. How do I convey the emotions of the book while keeping it to one page in length? Which characters are REALLY the most important ones here? Is Comma, when used as the name of a guild of assassins, singular or plural?*
*This particular grammar question is, for the record, killing me. “Comma try” or “Comma tries”? It’s an organisation made up of multiple people, but it’s only one guild. I SUFFER.
Anyway, I’ve made a few attempts. Some have been better than others. But honestly, I think I’ve nailed it.
Let me tell you about my disaster child, Isabel Ryans. She’s a mess. A complete disaster. This girl wouldn’t know a healthy coping mechanism if it danced naked in front of her. Nope, she just straight-up kills people.
Which is, y’know, one way of dealing with your feelings. I’m not saying it’s a good way, but it seems to work for her. Unfortunately, it also gets her into a lot of trouble with at least two separate guilds of assassins, and also the police. Smart, Isabel. Try therapy next time.
Under these circumstances, the sensible thing to do would be to take the deal you’re offered (the one that will, y’know, SAVE YOUR SKIN), negotiate for every inch they’ll give you, and accept that if you’re gonna kill people you should probably be affiliated with the guild that raised you, instead of just running about with a knife willy-nilly.
(The relationship between Isabel and her guild, Comma, is basically that one vine: “Show me what you have” “a knife” “NOOOO”)
But has Isabel ever done the sensible thing in her life? OBVIOUSLY NOT. Because she’s a stabby disaster child. I warned you about this. Nope, Isabel more or less tells Comma to shove it, because she’s doing this alone. She wants to go to school (weirdo). Be normal (overrated). Make friends (good luck with that one…). Being a baby assassin is gonna make all of those things kind of tricky.
I’ll give her this: she’s probablyright about that part. But being a non-affiliated murderer is… not actually that much better, kiddo. Just so you know.
Sadly for Isabel, being a walking catastrophe tends not to mean a quiet life. She attracts bad luck like overcrowded bookshelves attract dust that then torments their poor dust-allergic owner (me). She also attracts enemies. I’m not saying that has anything to do with the fact that she just KILLED a dude but honestly? Probably not unrelated. These things tend to go together.
Anyway, she’s been poisoned. Welp. Hard luck.
The city where she lives sucks at free healthcare (no doubt a relatable problem for my American readers), so Isabel is more or less screwed at this point. Obviously the guild would know how to deal with this, but in case you forgot, she sent them away! Rudely! With profanities! (Gentle reader, there are many profanities in this book. There is also MURDER and if you have more of a problem with Isabel dropping an f-bomb than with her knifing a dude at the tender age of sixteen, your priorities are whack. Seriously, sort it out.)
Can she earn the money? Unlikely. She’s already paying rent with stolen cash because morals are overrated and her parents are terrible (having their bank accounts depleted is the least they deserve). Will her new, wonderful friends be happy if she joins the guild and starts killing again in return for medical care? Nope. That’s a one-way road to isolation and sadness.
So, can she survive this alone? I’m afraid, friends, that the answer to this is simple: absolutely not. This poison is bad.
Like I said. Walking catastrophe. Human disaster. Deeply screwed-up traumatised teenage girl raised to kill people, now with a target on her own back. Isabel Ryans is a mess.
(As you may have guessed, this is not ACTUALLY my synopsis. Mostly because it doesn’t tell you the whole story. But I like it a whole lot better than the real one…)
I’m still inviting questions about uni life in response to my last post! I haven’t had any yet, so if you’re hesitating, please go ahead and ask to save me from the embarrassment of a failed idea.