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Dark Pupils - Synopsis - Revised

by eanna 

Posted: 10 March 2006
Word Count: 510

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What payment can even righteous aims exact in their achievement?

Dark Pupils is a novel about three university students who murder the president. It is a novel in three parts.

Part one: The deed…
Terry, Peter and Rachel are experiencing reoccurring nightmares and other symptoms as the opposition party conditions them for their exploit.
On the eve of the assassination the students experience a group delusion, followed by the death of their friend Marie. These events coupled with the drugs they have been taking, trigger their activation and ultimately the murder of Walter Thisgo, the Treoraí of Ireland.

Part two: The Plot…
The three escape through tunnels below the city of Dublin, led by Terry's estranged father Oscar, a homeless man who attempts to save the students from their fate.
In hiding in the Wicklow Mountains, miles from the citizens that are now creaming for their blood and the medication they now badly need, the students begin to unravel the plot and their part in it; their own parents have delivered them into this predicament and they can see no way out.
During this period the love between Peter and Rachel grows whilst in a fit of madness and jealousy Terry abandons his father and his friends to return to Dublin and betray them to the authorities.

Part three: The two trials…
The judgment of the three students is quick and moot, the media having already decided their fate. On the eve of their sentencing Walter Thisgo, more alive and far younger than he should be, visits them. Thisgo tells the three how he usurped his father's political position and person many years before. He explains that the staging of his death using his father as a victim was necessary to immortalise the Progressive Party state he has nurtured, and destroy that remained of the public's belief in the old Regressive Party.
In payment for their sacrifice, Walter Thisgo promises to return from hiding when the scandal has died down and take the three with him to exile.
The dark pupils are sentences to life in a mental institute where they remain in that vain hope that Thisgo will return. Terry is the first to crack, even with all his fathers efforts to the contrary he takes his own life, leaving Peter and Rachel alone to wait.
In the end Walter Thisgo does return, a Jesus like character in a white limousine, he arrives at the hospital and takes Rachel and Peter to exile, where Terry and Marie await their arrival.
This is, of course, one final fantasy shared by the two as they slip towards death, a year's dosage in their stomachs, while Walter Thisgo - our narrator - sits in exile, bitter and indignant. He has the blood of his father, the students and his sister Marie on his hands, and for what? To see all of his work undone with time and Ireland returned to its former corrupt self.
He was a fool to think that anything righteous could come from the manipulation of others.

The End

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Comments by other Members

Flashman at 15:16 on 10 March 2006  Report this post
Yeah, that was interesting, although hard to absorb (I might be stupid...)

The old use the young to prove that they have learned and the young, as an excuse against future oldness, do it often to the old.

I found this sentence rather impenetrable.

I worry about the story too. It sounds epic, ambitiously so, and you seem more interested in the moral than the drama.

I presume Thisgo is your main character, but I wonder if that's wise? The plight of the manipulated students seemed more compelling to me.


Lots of love,


ashlinn at 22:37 on 12 March 2006  Report this post

This is an interesting way of laying out a synopsis. I haven't seen one done like this before (in my very limited experience). Setting it out in themes and short paragraphs rather than an A to Z type synopsis might be a good way of keeping the reader's attention and preventing him/her from getting lost in the detail.

However, I was still fairly confused about the story. Is this sci-fi/ set in the future? (Ireland as an economic and political power?) I didn't get enough of an idea of the thrust of the narrative to know whether this would be an enjoyable read and I suspect that agents when in doubt say no. Also who are these students, they seem a bit anonymous here but are they so in the novel?

A few specifics:

The old use the young to prove that they have learned and the young, as an excuse against future oldness, do it often to the old.
I kind-of know what you are getting at but it's not very clearly explained.

'Our new society welcomes you.'
Which new society?

'his countries elevation' Should be 'country's elevation'

'Walter uses Drugs...' The use of the capital D made me wonder if this was a company rather than a generic noun. Still not sure.

'Thisgo's plan to eradicate corruption...' This felt strange as the use of the words 'twisted', 'coldly', 'manipulate' gave me a distinct impression that he was corrupt.

Sacrificing youths to set his ideas in stone is contrary to what he hopes to achieve.
The corruption in the regressive party allows Walter to orchestrate their move against him and help them set him up as a target for the tortured students.

Didn't understand these sentences.

'Four dark pupils...' What does dark mean in this context?

'the personification of the countries past evils' 'their love of Walter Thisgo and ...his martyrdom'
These two phrases feel contradictory.

Hope this is useful.


Nik Perring at 22:28 on 13 March 2006  Report this post
I like the way in which you've set out this synopsis, Eanna. I've not seen it before but I thought it really worked, although was left a little confused. I'm sure you could make it clearer though.

should be 'country's.'



Lianne at 07:46 on 14 March 2006  Report this post
Hi Eanna,

I liked the basic idea of this story and, though I'm not sure what agents/publishers would make of the way you've laid out the synopsis, I like the emphasis on the morality of the story. Like others have commented though, I was a bit confused about the setting and about the specifics of the story. I think its important to set the scene for a novel like this - is it set in the future or is it an alternative vision of the present? Either way though, there was enough here to spark my interest and based on your synopsis I would want to read the novel.

Good luck with any rewrites!


Dee at 21:09 on 17 March 2006  Report this post
This is intriguing, but it reads more like a blurb than a synopsis. It’s a teaser to draw a reader in to see what happens and who these people are… but it’s not a synopsis. It leaves too much out, and it raises too much confusion.

Sacrificing youths to set his ideas in stone is contrary to what he hopes to achieve.
The more I think about this, the less I understand it.

After the trial that leaves the remaining three rotting in an asylum
What happened to the fourth one?

Walter Thisgo and he, now in hiding,
Huh? You just said the four dark pupils killed him…

Sorry, but I’m too confused with this. In a synopsis, you need to lay out the plot and the characters, and this just isn’t doing it yet. Keep going, though, everyone has the same problem with writing a synopsis.


Mojo at 16:59 on 22 March 2006  Report this post
Hi Eanna

You're probably sick of hearing this by now, but I couldn't follow what was going on, either. Basically everyone's corrupt, right? Or not? The opening salvo
Use, use and used. The terrible truth is that we do and are without exception.
relies so heavily on the inflection of the speaker - and of course there isn't one to clarify it for the reader - that it's meaningless. It took me several attempts to get what you meant, and I'm not a busy agent who wouldn't bother even to try - would just move on to the next 'hopeful' in the slush pile.

I agree with Dee that it's more of a blurb - something on the back cover of a book designed to intrigue. A synopsis needs to say what the book's about. And yes, they are hell to write! That's something we all agree on.

Good luck with it.


smudger at 14:45 on 12 April 2006  Report this post
Hi eanna,

I tend to agree with some of the comments above. Although this is an unusual and intriguing format for a synopsis, it might prove a deterrent for a busy agent who just wants to see if there is an original and coherent plot associated with your sample chapters. I think others have picked up on editorial points.



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