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Synopsis of Memoirs of a bar steward

by The Bar Stward 

Posted: 30 January 2010
Word Count: 523
Related Works: Memories of a bar steward: All PARTS uploaded so far... • 

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Memoirs of a Bar Steward are the accounts of Jacob Hank Cox young 18 year old life. Jacob sees himself as a young man with a magnificent future ahead of him, guaranteed because he is brilliantly clever, and practically wonderful in everyway, or at least that is how he sees himself. His life was all planned out. He was about to pass all of his A levels, get into the best university in the country and eventually become the prime minster of the United Kingdom, and best of all he was finally about to escape his most heinous family. A family which consists of a mother whose business involves beating the living pootang out of people and sticking their petís heads up where the sun donít shine if you're unfortunate enough to run a pub, club, shop or even a paper round on the west side of Birmingham and you didnít pay her OíSheaís clan not to do these lovely things to you. A ratty face Father who was in the business of running up debt and then running away. A rule dodging, good life living, carefree identical twin whoís the exact opposite of himself in every way, another brother who everyone mistakenly believes is the one who is Gods gift to everything and a psychotic 10 year old sister who Jacob fears just might be more crazy and dangerous than the lot of them put together.

However, Jacob soon discovers that he is not going to be able to go to the best university in the country, in fact he is not going to be able to go to university at all, and instead of escaping a family who he regards as the shackles holding him down, stopping his rise to greatness, he is in fact about to embark on a whole new adventure with all of them as they all make the sudden and suspicious move to a new life in Devon, where the family is going to take over a seaside pub, a business which Jacob believe could be his new springboard to success. Soon Jacob discovers that if his family is his shackles, then his own delusions of grandeur, immaturity and vanity is the giant anchor that they are all linked to.

This is a story about chasing your dreams and the struggle to hold onto them, at any cost. The pub that the Cox family moves into may possibly be the solution to all of their individual problems, but the business is not the easy success that they were lead to believe it would be and if they want to stay then they must act fast or else they will all be returning to the Midlands before the summer is over, which would be an unimaginable nightmare for each of them for their own different reasons.

Join Jacob on his journey, along with his family, where heíll face terrible perils, monstrous foes and maybe love (or just deadly sex). Memoirs of a bar steward is a humorous tale about growing up and finding out what the world is really like, well the world of a Cox that is.







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The Bar Stward at 23:59 on 30 January 2010  Report this post
Hello all.

This is my first stab at a synopis for my book. Any advice you can offer will be gratefully accepted, so go on, I can take it ;

I think it might be a bit short, but I think it kinda sums up the spirt of the book, any more might be just stretching the point made. But please let me know what you think.

Thank you.

GaiusCoffey at 00:04 on 31 January 2010  Report this post
Hi,

Sorry to be harsh, but you say "Go on! I can take it!"

I think your piece could be edited into a great "blurb" to go on the back of a book (though, by edit, I mean cut out about half as you do get carried away a bit) but it is not a synopsis as it really contains only the premise. There is no story or indication of anything very much other than the character portrait of more or less every teenage boy in the land.

So... um...

What do you intend this for?

G

The Bar Stward at 00:17 on 31 January 2010  Report this post
That was quick. Yes I did say go on, so thank you.

OK, well I'll tell you the main story and perhaps I can be advised how to incorporate this.

Basically the story follows Jacob who rather thinks he is better than he is and that he is above his family, who he see's as being beneath him and common.

Jacob might think he is brillant but he actually fails all of his a levels and has no choice but to make the sudden move to Devon with his family.

The pub that they all move into looks great but it soon becomes apparent that it isn't doing the business and if it fails the family will have to return back to Birmingham (which they all fear for different reasons).

The race is on to make the pub a success and secure their future in their new home. Jacob see's the business as his chance to shine, he believes he can get rich and then move on.

Every time Jacob comes up with a plan, it back fires terribly, generally for two reasons, one is that his family really does spoil things, usually his twin brother, or that he himself is an idoit and isn't the business supremo he thinks he is.

Eventually he manages to convince a TV crew to come to the pub to film some reality tv celebrities he has offered a free holiday to. He believes if he can make the pub look great on TV, it'll make the place a success. However, there are many subplots that all build up to this big night, which basically turns into world war 3. However, the twist in the tale means that it is not a total disater.

Memoirs a bar steward is very character driven, not only of the main MC, but of his twin, his brother, sister, father, mother and his best friend. The humour comes from how they deal with running a business they have no idea how to run properly. They don't support each other and everyone is out for themselves. At the same time Jacob manahes to alienate the only locals he has, and his mother declares war on a rival pub.

Jacob starts the book a prat, a prat who you enjoy seeing getting knocked off of his own highly placed pedastal, but the story also shows how he matures, if only a little, into a better person, which is mainly due to a complicated girl he falls in love with, a relationship that causes him more disater.

GaiusCoffey at 00:26 on 31 January 2010  Report this post
perhaps I can be advised how to incorporate this


Well, a really good starting point is your reply to me!

You've captured the essence of your plot right there and done so very clearly and succinctly (despite a few typos such as "pedastal" rather than "pedestal" and "disater" rather than "disaster").

Read a few of the other synopses here and try to get a feel for what is happening, then rewrite your post above to distill the story a bit more and you are onto something.

G

NMott at 00:36 on 31 January 2010  Report this post
AS Gaius says it makes a great back-cover blurb-style of synopsis. This comes across as very much in the character-driven, Lad-lit genre, and you've caught the humorous tone typical of the genre.

It could be edited slightly, but 350-400 words is fine for a blurby-style synopsis.

Writing it in the present tense certainly helps, but there is one part where you switch to past tense -
"A family which consisted of a mother whose business was beating the living pootang out of people and sticking their petís heads up where the sun doesnít shine if you were unfortunate enough to run a pub, club, "

This would be better if it was in the same tense as the rest:

A family which consists of a mother whose business involves beating the living pootang out of people and sticking their petís heads up where the sun donít shine if you're unfortunate enough to run a pub, club....


I don't think you need this bit: "guaranteed because he is brilliantly clever, and practically wonderful in everyway" - it's already implied in the rest of the opening character sketch.

Nor this bit "of escaping a family who he regards as the shackles holding him down, stopping his rise to greatness," - as you've made the points elsewhere, so it's more repetition.

Also cut this bit: "a business which Jacob believe could be his new springboard to success." The punchline is in the 'suspicious move', so this line detracts from it.

Soon Jacob discovers that if his family is his shackles, then his own delusions of grandeur, immaturity and vanity is the giant anchor that they are all linked to.

Join Jacob on his journey, along with his family, where heíll face terrible perils, monstrous foes and maybe love (or just deadly sex). Memoirs of a bar steward is about growing up and finding out what the world is really like, well the world of a Cox that is.


I don't think you need both of these. The 'Soon Jacob...linked to' sufficiently concludes the synopsis. The final paragraph summarises the whole novel all over again, so I would suggest moving that to the covering letter.


There is one possible problem with the plot, in that you have a twin brother and a 10yr old sister who sound very similar characters. It would be best to make one different. Maybe one of them is away with the fairies, more wiccan; hippy; flower child; rsther than have both of them mad/deranged/psychotic. That would give more range and depth to the different characters in the family.


- NaomiM

<Added>

Actually, regarding that last part, maybe jiggle the final paragraphs around a bit, eg,
Join Jacob on his journey, along with his family, where heíll face terrible perils, monstrous foes and maybe love (or just deadly sex), as he discovers that if his family are his shackles, then his own delusions of grandeur, immaturity and vanity is the giant anchor that they are all linked to.
as I'm a little worried that without the final paragraph, the synopsis is mainly composed of character introductions and initial scene setting, which doesn't show the agent how you've structured the novel.

One thing about this type of synopsis is, the way the prose flows is half it's charm, so it's best to chop and rewrite, rather than fiddle. So maybe rewrite that last paragraph.

But I would still advise transferring that last paragraph, as it currently stands, into the covering letter.

The Bar Stward at 01:32 on 31 January 2010  Report this post
Thanks, its 1.23am now so perhaps not the best time to write anything but I will tackle tomorrow.

The Twin (Miller), is a wild child, but in a goofy way, his sister however is his moms mini-me, so they are very different and I need to articulate that better.

So one question before I rewrite.

Should I rewrite what I have done as you have mention NMOTT or as G said, should I go deeper into what the exact story is about. Its quite hard actually, cos on the face of it the story is quite simple. They move into a pub and they want to make it successful and arrange a karaoke night, but its the journey, made up of lots of little crazy events, and how each character deals with them, that is the heart of this. Think of Adrian Mole, there great books but none of them have a proper beginning, middle and end you can easily define.

The Bar Stward at 02:04 on 31 January 2010  Report this post
I haven't tackled big changes yet, but I've made a few character description changes and also tried to clarify the story a little more:

Memoirs of a bar steward are the accounts of Jacob Hank Cox young 18 year old life. Jacob sees himself as a young man with a magnificent future ahead of him, guaranteed because he is brilliantly clever, and practically wonderful in everyway, or at least that is how he sees himself. His life was all planned out. He was about to pass all of his A levels, get into the best university in the country and eventually become the prime minster of the United Kingdom, and best of all he was finally about to escape his most heinous family. A family which consists of a mother whose business involves beating the living pootang out of people and sticking their petís heads up where the sun donít shine if you're unfortunate enough to run a pub, club, shop or even a paper round on the west side of Birmingham and you didnít pay her OíSheaís clan not to do these lovely things to you. A ratty face Father who was in the business of running up debt and then running away. A rule dodging, good life living, carefree identical twin whoís the exact opposite of himself in every way, another brother who everyone mistakenly believes is the one who is Gods gift to everything and a psychotic 10 year old sister who Jacob fears just might be more crazy and dangerous than the lot of them put together.

However, Jacob soon discovers that he is not going to be able to go to the best university in the country, in fact he is not going to be able to go to university at all, and instead of escaping a family who he regards as the shackles holding him down, stopping his rise to greatness, he is in fact about to embark on a whole new adventure with all of them as they all make the sudden and suspicious move to a new life in Devon, where the family is going to take over a seaside pub, a business which Jacob believe could be his new springboard to success. Soon Jacob discovers that if his family is his shackles, then his own delusions of grandeur, immaturity and vanity is the giant anchor that they are all linked to.

This is a story about chasing your dreams and the struggle to hold onto them, at any cost. The pub that the Cox family moves into may possibly be the solution to all of their strange individual problems, but the business is not the easy success they were lead to believe it would be and if they want to stay they must act fast or else they will all be returning to the Midlands before the summer is over, which would be an unimaginable nightmare for all of them for their own reasons.

Join Jacob on his journey, along with his family, where heíll face terrible perils, monstrous foes and maybe love (or just deadly sex). Memoirs of a bar steward is a humorous tale about growing up and finding out what the world is really like, well the world of a Cox that is.


The Bar Stward at 14:45 on 31 January 2010  Report this post
I've changed the main text, instead of putting my changes in the reply section.

I've just been looking at this and was about to make some of the cuts NMott mentioned, such as

Jacob sees himself as a young man with a magnificent future ahead of him, guaranteed because he is brilliantly clever, and practically wonderful in everyway, or at least that is how he sees himself.


However, I believe this line sums Jacob up the most out of everything written. Jacob believes alot of things about himself, but most of them are completely untrue or wrong. The same applies to the following line.

Soon Jacob discovers that if his family is his shackles, then his own delusions of grandeur, immaturity and vanity is the giant anchor that they are all linked to.


While Jacob often blames his family for his failures, 99% of the time, all the bad things that happen to him are entirelly his own fault.

This is a story about chasing your dreams and the struggle to hold onto them, at any cost. The pub that the Cox family moves into may possibly be the solution to all of their strange individual problems, but the business is not the easy success they were lead to believe it would be and if they want to stay they must act fast or else they will all be returning to the Midlands before the summer is over, which would be an unimaginable nightmare for all of them for their own reasons.


I've added this in, in response to GaiusCoffey comments, to explain a little more clearly what the story is exactly about.

Do you think I should add in somewhere that it is character driven?

I'm still very much playing around with this at the moment.


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