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"Guide to Literary Agents" - 2 new articles

  1. New Agent Alert: Susan Finesman of Fine Literary
  2. Synopsis Example: ''Ransom'' (Thriller)
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New Agent Alert: Susan Finesman of Fine Literary

Reminder: Newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers because they're likely building their client list; however, always make sure your work is as perfect as it can be before submitting, and only query agencies that are a great fit for your work. Otherwise, you're just wasting time and postage.









About Susan: Susan Finesman began scouting books, plays and narrative non-fiction for Tri-Star Pictures in 1986. Five years later, she moved on to SAVOY Pictures followed by a long and award-winning stint at HBO where highlights included an Emmy for Ernest Gaines’ A LESSON BEFORE DYING. In 2010, she decided to build a seat of her own at Fine Literary, introducing great writers first to publishers and then, not as an afterthought but as part of a coordinated plan, pursue film, television and Internet opportunities.

She is seeking:
"I continue to be interested in all kinds of books but tend to be compelled by work that features characters that I cannot shake. I challenge authors to make me laugh or cry and you will have certainly won me over by doing both. I love the twists and turns of a great page-turner, can be seduced by a truly honest memoir and am delighted when transported by historical fiction. Regarding nonfiction: cookbooks and lifestyle are a particular area of interest, but I can be compelled to consider almost any subject that is honest and thoughtful. At this time, we are not representing children’s picture books or work composed for the stage or screen."

How to contact:
Submissions by either e-mail or mail are regarded equally. Send to query(at)fineliterary.com Be sure to include the words QUERY and the title of your work in the subject line. For fiction, send a query letter, a brief synopsis and the first 20 pages pasted into the body of the e-mail. For nonfiction, send a query letter, your publishing history & platform, and brief overview of the work. Tell us why you are writing this book and where it fits in the marketplace.






The biggest database of agents anywhere is
the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents.
Buy it here online at a discount.




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Synopsis Example: ''Ransom'' (Thriller)

Here's another example of a fiction synopsis (See all my synopsis examples here). This time it's Ransom (1996). One thing to notice here is that, in the movie itself, the five kidnappers all have their own personalities. But here I had to cut all that and just focus on the leader. Tom is the main character here, and we need to see his journey over the three acts.






TOM MULLEN is a rich businessman who made his fortune creating a successful airline company from scratch. While he and his family are in Central Park, his son, SEAN, is kidnapped. Tom and his wife KATE's worst nightmares are confirmed when a kidnapper contacts them and demands a $2 million ransom. The Mullens call the FBI for help.

After being kidnapped, Sean is held in a basement. There are not one but five kidnappers, all working together—led by violent police detective JIMMY SHAKER, who resents rich men like Tom who can buy their way out of trouble and are oblivious to the hardships of those around them. Shaker tells his conspirators that Sean will be killed once the ransom is given. Shaker anonymously calls Tom and arranges a dropoff. Tom follows all directions and hands the $2 million to one of Shaker's henchmen. When Tom demands his son in return, the henchman is confused. The henchman flees, but police swarm the area. Gunshots are traded, and the henchman is killed.

News of the shooting/ransom appears all over the NYC media, adding to Tom's problems. Shaker sets up another drop, but Tom surprises everyone by appearing on live TV and saying he will pay no ransom. Instead, he offers the $2 million as a bounty on the kidnapper's head. He says if Sean is released, he will press no charges. The bold move is met by disapproval by the media, the FBI, and most especially Kate, who screams at her husband to take back the bounty and pay the ransom. Tom explains that he would pay any amount of money if he really thought Sean would truly be returned, but he believes the kidnappers have no intention of giving Sean back; therefore, a bounty is his best option. Kate is unconvinced.

More Shaker phone calls come, and threats are exchanged. Despite the pleading of Kate and the FBI, Tom publicly ups the bounty to $4 million. Shaker calls and fires a gunshot, making the Mullens believe Sean is dead. Tom collapses from despair. Meanwhile, Shaker's cohorts all want to abandon the plan, kill the boy, and leave town. Realizing his plan has unraveled, Shaker kills his remaining co-conspirators, under the guise that he came upon an apartment where the tenants opened fire. Sean is found and rescued, and Shaker is hailed as a hero cop by the media.

Soon after, Shaker arrives at Tom's apartment to collect his $4 million reward. As Tom is writing the check, he notices his son in the next room urinate in fear (as the boy recognizes Shaker's voice). Shaker knows the jig is up and threatens to kill everyone in the house, but Tom convinces him to go to the bank so the money can be wired. En route, Tom tips off police to the situation. Cops converge on Tom and Shaker outside the bank. Shaker panics and opens fire. A running shootout ensues, and Shaker is killed when both Tom and the police return fire on Shaker at the same time.






If you're confused as to what a synopsis
should look like, seek out the formatting
guidebook Formatting & Submitting
Your Manuscript, 3rd Ed.



 
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