Nick's Summary: Sunshine Island

Here’s a summary for a project I’m working on, meant to be an indefinite story without a clear ending and to evolve over time, but for the purposes of this exercise, I’ll give it an ending.

Usually when I pitch ideas or examples, everyone is welcome to use them to write any story they like with them. In this case, you can take my idea if you like (because ideas aren’t protected by copyright) but just know I’m writing this story too, so you’re up against me in the future…

Summary

Keo Grey is sent into temporary government exile on Sunshine Island after he accidentally uses his psychic powers in public trying to save people he felt were at risk of getting hurt. Already bored with life in general, he sees the island as purgatory.

Once there, he encounters Shuri, a normal woman who witnessed a psychic event and is in temporary holding on the island while they wait to wipe her memory. She’s aloof and carefree, fascinated by the hidden world of psychics and excited by everything. Keo falls for her immediately, and his life is suddenly filled with the satisfaction of love.

The pair begin to spend time together, but Keo is concerned Shuri feels nothing for him as a person, and instead sees him more like an intriguing object. He needs to convince her that he’s more than just a psychic, but he realizes he doesn’t really have anything to fall back on from his prior, boring life.

His problems exacerbate when he encounters other psychics, who treat the island as their one chance to go wild and freely use abilities, forcing him into several fights that pull him away from his quest to find a meaningful inner life.

It becomes clear quickly that Keo is one of the most powerful psychics on the island, and has little difficulty knocking away most challenges. This leads him to multiple encounters with Rito, a powerful psychic in permanent exile. Rito also grew bored with his life and blames it on non-psychics. He determines that Keo could help him form a psychic uprising, though he needs to remove Shuri, who is holding Keo back.

While staving off threats to his life and Shuri’s, Keo starts to recognize his life was boring because he was disconnecting from people, and his desire to connect with others and worry about their safety is his rich life. He wants to help other people and keep them safe. Shuri, meanwhile, sees the constant struggles Keo endures as a function of having his psychic powers. She starts to click that she is also pushing people away by not treating them as people but just as fascinations.

Keo tries to convince Rito he’s found his purpose and Rito should too, which Rito continues to take as Shuri’s fault, and Rito kidnaps Shuri, using his abilities to wipe her memory before handing her off to the government to go back. Keo defeats Rito, but is left frustrated at losing Shuri as they were finally connecting. He is released back into the world now that the government cleaned up the evidence, and he determines to help others, starting with Shuri, and sets out to find her.

Let’s breakdown how this summary is meant to work (and you can feel free to critique too, I’m not perfect, it’s much easier to know what is right in theory than to execute it). Most of the pieces I commonly talk about here are in there.

7 Likes

Don’t know why it feels there is chaos and confusion here. Looks like an info dump, tbh. ‘Rito’ is repeated four times, resulting in derailing the scene. Some parts can be edited/removed to retain the essence of intrigue and tauten the narrative.

I think you can rephrase it something on the lines of:
Having found his purpose, Keo tries to convince Rito of the same. Rito continues to blame Shuri and kidnaps her, using his abilities to wipe her memory before handing her back to the government.

1 Like

:eyes:

1 Like

Yup, it can certainly be condensed down even more to become clearer. I like your version, sounds very smooth. While I’m mostly focused on the plot components and if it contains the elements or which elements it definitely contains, I think that’s a good example of how you can reduce words but give more information.

3 Likes

These two paragraphs lead to different ideas about how Keo feels. I think you’re saying that Keo feels smitten but Shuri doesnt return the feeling? If so, I would suggest cutting the filled with the satisfaction of love line. It doesnt do much on it’s own and can be implied in the following paragraph.

So, what are the psychic abilities? Telekinesis? Mental control? We dont need to know everything, but an idea of if it’s clairvoyants or a specific power would do a lot to help sell the idea of psychic fights.

So. Why is she still there if her memory was supposed to be wiped in the first place? Has she been hiding? Was she forgotten? A test subject? If shuri’s important enough to be brought to a remote location like the island, why was she allowed to wander around for so long on her own?

Overall, I can see the elements you bring up in the critiques but keep getting stuck on the shuri importance thing. I wont address the ending since you’re planning an ongoing story, but feel like Shuri needs more agency. Right now she’s a little too much of a plot device in the story for Keo’s development for me to buy into the story.

2 Likes

The “Government” element of the story feels very secondary in this pitch.

But personally I’d like a better sense of this larger backdrop because it seems to stoke that conflict between Keo and Rito.

I was a bit confused because -
Rito wants to rise with a psychic army against the government, but then does their dirty work when he wipes Shuri’s memory?

Unless maybe Rito does it secretly (telling Keo it was the government’s doing instead) in an attempt to get Keo into the uprising, but Keo figures out the truth?

It definitely gives me X-Men vibes - People with exceptional abilities working for, or against the government.

I would just like to know a bit more where the loyalties of your main players are.

Does Keo see “helping others” as mostly working with the government?

2 Likes

A lot of what I wanted to say was said by other users, especially what @BridgesTunnels posted. I guess all that I can now is that, even with these, your story sounds interesting.

One of the big things that stood out from your critique on my own pitch was my struggle to explain why the MC was doing things. Seeing your own summary is really helpful because I can see how to include Keo’s desires, and how they drive the plot.

It’s also interesting to see an example summary because the pace was different than I was imagining. You’re not trying to cover every plot point, which means you have more space to expand on the ones that are mentioned.

Basically what I’m trying to say is, it makes so much sense to see your example format of how this might be written.

As a side note, based only on that summary, I like Shuri wayyy more than I like Keo. It’s something about the idea of him being good at everything from the start, so much so that he’s bored and the only thing he’s done wrong to end up on the island is try to save people. But I love the idea of this young woman accidentally witnessing something she should never have seen and suddenly finding herself immersed in a secret island full of magic.

3 Likes