Hi all. Would anybody mind having a glance over the following elevator pitch (to go in my cover letter) and synopsis for my novel Joe with an E?
To save you from counting, the synopsis is 491 words and the elevator pitch is 93 words.
The main things I'd like to know are:
1) Does the pitch sound compelling and is it an OK length?
2) Does it sound like the synopsis describes a good overall story arc?
3) Does it look like there's anything missing from my synopsis?
4) Is there anything I've included in the synopsis that doesn't need to be there?
‘I’m Joe, Joe with an ‘E’, cos I’m a boy.’ are his first words as he washes up on the island which is to become his new home. Somewhere he can finally be himself. As a foetus, he should have been terminated as soon as his developing sexual organs were detected. At thirteen, he’ll soon no longer pass as a neut. But as the fragile island community of girls and boys risks discovery, Joe and two friends venture back across neut Britain, hoping to find more people like them in the world beyond.
JOE (13) is a boy on the cusp of adolescence. He’s on his way to the island where he can finally stop pretending to be a neut.
As soon as he arrives, he’s welcomed by vivacious NATS (12), a girl given up by her parents when she was four. Nats excitedly shows Joe around the island which includes the revelation that babies here grow not in pregnancy pods, but inside girls. As a boy, Joe will soon be expected to help with making babies. But others seem keen to send him away on an expedition to search for people like them in the world beyond isolated neut Britain.
For a while, Joe is able to settle into island life. Apart from one failed advance, nobody asks for help to make babies and there’s little enthusiasm for sending anyone on any expedition. Joe is tasked with becoming the community’s first fisherman. When introvert CAIN rescues him from drowning and then helps him to make a success of the fishing, the two become firm friends.
On a stormy autumn night, a boatload of new children is spotted off the island’s rocky coast. Joe and Cain must row out to rescue them. Of fourteen, only one survives. Aware of the growing danger for children trying to reach the island, Joe, Nats and Cain take it upon themselves to plan the expedition to France.
As they plot a course from the Scottish Highlands to Dover, they must not get caught by the authorities who want to shut down DiG, the underground organisation responsible for saving the ‘abnormal’ children. Those discovered are terminated pre-birth or face ‘corrective surgery’ after birth. The three walk across a derelict northwest Scotland, before taking a fateful train journey.
A passenger spots that Nats is bleeding (her first period). Nats and Joe escape but their dependable friend Cain is captured. Reaching Joe’s home town, they hope that Joe’s parents, GEORGY and CRIS might help them, not knowing the two had separated after Cris helped the police identify DiG operatives. Cris alerts the police to Joe’s reappearance, persuaded this will lead to their family to be reunited. Joe and Nats must flee again to continue their journey south.
Joe explores Dover alone, planning for their channel crossing whilst Nats hides out in a barn, resting a sprained ankle. Georgy, whose first person narrative chapters about Joe’s early life are dotted throughout the book, heads to Dover, hoping to be reunited with Joe. They have a few precious moments together before Georgy has to waylay the police, allowing Joe to steal a boat and cross the channel.
The book closes with Joe in a French hospital; Nats still in the barn, being looked after by a timid neut child; and Cain locked in a police cell but under the care of a sergeant who is starting to have sympathy for these abnormal children. Their stories will continue in book two of the trilogy.