Synopsis Time Again (1000 words)

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by RJM Corbet, Mar 24, 2012.

  1.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Am really not precious about this at all. Have done considerable work on Erlos in last few months and wonder if it reflects in the synopsis ...


    Douglas Perry was born somewhere in South Africa with a chunk of the back of his brain missing. The back of his skull looked strangely caved in. His breath did not smell good and his eyes were small black pebbles that glittered with intensity...

    Moody, 250 year old Eldrinda Benkilte is hauled out of his mental obsessions to become the new ruler of Erlos after his father is killed fighting the enemy with whom Erlos has been at war for 600 years. But Eldrinda has scarcely ascended to the throne when a jealous and implacable enemy poisons his wine with the ceisorundra virus of madness. Although the doctors catch the virus in time to save his life, Eldrinda’s brain is damaged and so he must abdicate in favour of his sister, Auldrius.

    The Erlotian civilization inhabits seven cities in space above the planetary world of Elotia. The populous city-dwelling Erlotians share ancient ties of blood with the surface-dwelling Elotian races, from whom they are originally descended and who still plough their fields with oxen, but with the passing of so many generations the link has become a distant one. Indeed, the punishment of ‘earthdeath’, or banishment to the surface of Elotia, is the worst an Erlotian can receive.

    Eldrinda, after his abdication, chooses voluntary earthdeath. He retires from the Erlotian stage to the surface of Elotia, to become a hermit in the mountains while, upon the surface of Elotia, the peaceful garden kingdom of Aazyr is invaded by barbarians.

    “And I cannot leave my husband or my people,” said the queen.

    Kierien pressed a glass phial into her small hand: “It's painless, even sweet.”

    She passed her baby son into Kierien’s arms.

    “Take good care of him.” ...


    The baby Sorac is spirited away to safety and raised as a shepherd, in an increasingly unsettled and barren land, until the night he learns of his noble birth from the sage who carried him away as a baby, and who now convinces him to embark on a quest for the weapon that will enable him to overthrow the Ukonaai invaders and restore the fertility of the earth.

    With the passing of years Eldrinda Benkilte has now recovered from the ceisorundra virus and changed his name and become father upon Elotia of a daughter, Tyl, now in her twenties, who lost her mother when she was three. Sorac’s road leads him to meet Eldrinda and to learn from him the story of Erlos.

    Their conversation lasted late into the night, until at last Sorac could not keep his eyes open any more and rolled himself up in his blanket by the fire. Outside the wooden walls of the house, the treetops swayed and sighed in the wind...


    Eldrinda now returns alone to lead Erlos in a desperate dash through fifth dimensional space to surprise and destroy their ancient adversary, while Sorac and Tyl become lovers and Tyl later gives birth upon Elotia to a son, Jac, of mixed Erlotian and Elotian blood, and heir to Aazyr’s throne.

    The victorious Erlotians end up inheriting an empire of a hundred thousand broken, damaged worlds which they must heal, in return for the terrible cosmic debt which they have incurred upon themselves by having destroyed a world.

    But Eldrinda’s private obsession with our own blue world has never been far from his thoughts and now, with the end of the 600 year war, he becomes free at last to visit our planet. However Eilderoess, the enemy who poisoned his wine, has also never been far away. Just at the moment of Eldrinda’s greatest triumph, Eilderoess sabotages his atmosphere craft, causing him to crash upon the earth, and forcing him to make use of the rebirth chamber, a ‘lifeboat’ device with which all Erlotian atmosphere craft are equipped.

    The rebirth chamber will choose, for the doomed occupant of the craft, an unborn embryo of the highest life form on the world where he is going to have to crash or make forced landing, an embryo that would otherwise be stillborn, until perhaps Erlos can one day invent a technology to rescue him.

    It chooses for Eldrinda the body of Douglas Perry while, upon Elotia, Sorac of Aazyr has just escaped after 12 years slavery in Llozd’s brutal emerald mines only to begin a terrible journey across the desert of the Naar where, driven mad by sun and thirst, he experiences a complete psychic breakdown that transfigures him into something greater.

    Naked, the shepherd climbed the towering cliffs, he knew not for how long. His hair grew wild upon his neck; his nails were hard and broken claws...

    Erlos does find a way to rescue Eldrinda Benkilte as back on earth the poor, misshapen body of Douglas Perry dies. Eldrinda’s ‘essence’ is taken back to Erlos, to be reborn again there as the baby Obekallah -- having now lived in three different bodies. When Obekallah grows to maturity his own life’s purpose will become to return again from our own future, to teach us how to building floating cities, and so ourselves to become the Erlos which, having changed it’s own past, can never return to Elotia and must forever roam space, healing other worlds like our own. The cultures of both Erlos and of the old Aazyrian garden kingdoms are explored in depth throughout the book, which becomes an allegory of the spirit's journey.

    The book ends with Sorac’s grand coronation upon Elotia. There is a final twist when Sorac, exhausted, decides at the last moment to pass the crown of Aazyr to Jac, the hot-tempered thirteen year old son he has never had a chance to get to know:

    “It’s heavy,” Jac said.

    “Yes. You will have to grow a strong neck,” Sorac said.

    He turned and walked out through the huge hall, and all the people there parted to make a way for him. He stood in front the great doors as they opened for him, and then he walked out through them and on into the mountains ...
    :)
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  2.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Keep the day job? Sigh ... oh well, at least I know now ...
  3.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    Please don't put yourself down because it takes more time with the synopsis than it does with the prose. And I'd say at this point that the prose cuts doesn't belong in the synopsis.
  4.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    Hi, just to say I agree with CTG; it doesn't really read like a synopsis, more like a review, if that makes sense? The excerpts are sort of distracting me from the key story.

    I think there is so much in it, I'm struggling to define the key story. Is there a way of simplifying it? One way I heard to do this was to start with a single sentence, then to expand to a paragraph, then to 300 words and up to full synopsis length from there. I know Angry robot are asking for a one sentence synopsis for their submission window.
  5.  
    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    Hey RJM.

    If think there is a general consensus going on here in regards to the excerpts, I don't think they belong there. I've seen some people do that in their query letters but not the synopsis itself.

    There was also a paragraph where you info-dumped a bit of the world to us, I'm not sure it's needed either. There is a lot of discussing the details here, and it's hard to pick out the actual plot from within it.

    The synopsis is about the story first and foremost. I'd write the major events in the story first, with very little detail given to the world, and then look back at it and see if it needs fleshing out with those details in order to make sense. If it makes sense without the details, then you don't need them.

    Perhaps have a look at some of the other synopsis revisions people have posted up for feedback for examples. There are a few hidden around here, somewhere... I know mine should be there, it went from a first horrific post to a work of art - at least imo - and I never actually posted said work of art up, now that I look back on it, but a semi perfected version is there. ;)
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  6.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    Hi, RJ,

    As a synopsis, I would be tempted to cut quite a lot from this piece, not to say that I, in any way, know everything about synopses. I was tought that they need to be short and intriguing but not exciting. The reader of this is meant to be led gently from a state of "here we go again" to "Ah, now, here's something I can work with, let's see how he accomplishes it."

    With that in mind, here are my suggestions:


    The Erlotian [Are these the people of Erlos? If they are to come into conflict with Erlos, then I'd consider a different name for them as readers will undoubtedly become confused] civilization inhabits seven cities in space above the planet of Elotia. City-dwelling Erlotians share ancient ties of blood with the surface-dwellers, from whom they are originally descended, but with the passing of so many generations the link has become a distant one. Indeed, the punishment of ‘earthdeath’, or banishment to the surface of Elotia, is the worst an Erlotian can receive.

    Douglas Perry was born somewhere in South Africa with a chunk of the back of his brain missing. His breath does not smell good and his eyes are small black pebbles that glitter with intensity...

    Obsessive, moody, 250 year old Eldrinda Benkilte becomes the new ruler of Erlos, a nation that has been at war for 600 years. Eldrinda has scarcely ascended to the throne when he is popisoned with the virus of madness. Even if his life is saved, Eldrinda’s brain will be damaged and his sister, Auldrius is next in line to the throne.

    Eldrinda abdicates the throne, choosing voluntary earthdeath to become a hermit. But the peaceful garden kingdom of Aazyr is invaded by barbarians of the Ukonaai tribe. Only the royal prince survives, a baby, Sorac, hidden in the countryside and raised as a shepherd in an increasingly unsettled and barren land.

    As he grows up, he learns of his noble birth from the sage who rescued him. He is convinced he must embark on a quest for the weapon that will enable him to overthrow the Ukonaai invaders and restore the fertility of the earth.

    With the passing of years, Eldrinda, having recovered fully from the effects of the virus, now has a twenty-year old daughter, Tyl. Sorac’s road leads him to meet Eldrinda and to learn from him the story of Erlos.

    [For some reason which will be made apparent], Eldrinda now returns alone to lead Erlos in a desperate dash through fifth dimensional space to surprise and destroy his ancient adversary, while Sorac and Tyl become lovers and Tyl later gives birth upon Elotia to a son, Jac, of mixed Erlotian and Elotian [and here the confusion with the names of the races staggers the mind just a touch - I've only just realised that one has an R in it that the other doesn't] blood, and heir to Aazyr’s throne.

    The victorious Erlotians end up inheriting an empire of a hundred thousand broken, damaged worlds which they must heal, in return for the terrible cosmic debt which they have incurred upon themselves by having destroyed a world.

    ........ [I've excised scene descriptions here as their relevance to a synopsis is less "then this, then this" and more "Through these events we discover"]

    The book ends with Sorac’s grand coronation upon Elotia. There is a final twist when Sorac, exhausted, decides at the last moment to pass the crown of Aazyr to Jac, the hot-tempered thirteen year old son he has never had a chance to get to know:

    “It’s heavy,” Jac said.

    “Yes. You will have to grow a strong neck,” Sorac said.
    ********

    What I miss from reading this is a sense of the grandeur of the epoc-spanning plot. It is only in the latter paragraphs that the notion of many worlds and five-dimensional space are hinted at. In general, though, there is an interesting plot which you have, perhaps, been a little tentative about describing.

    By my understanding, a synopsis should contain only the merest the skeleton of the book it's describing, showing the scale and obstacles which will be overcome, giving a sense of the heroism involved and how the heroes and villains are matched against each other.

    Oh, and it's written in the present tense, as far as I know.

    It would also be quite nice to know who Douglas Perry is and why he doesn't get a mention after your introduction :)

    As ever, all comments are made with utmost respect and consideration of your skills and talents at producing anything at all, let alone something that looks really interesting :)
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  7.  
    Hex

    Hex Mod in tooth and claw Staff Member

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    Hiya RJM -- my synopsis hasn't really got any further than last time we did this. You're making me feel guilty.

    Comments for thinking about or ignoring as the fancy takes you:


    Douglas Perry was born somewhere in South Africa with a chunk of the back of his brain missing. The back of his skull looked strangely caved in. His breath did not smell good and his eyes were small black pebbles that glittered with intensity... I do love this opening. It's dramatic and intriguing, but now I see the rest of the synopsis I wonder if it's overly complicating the story to include Douglas Perry? Especially at the very start when you might be expected to be introducing your main character (I know he is, but it's not straightforward...)

    Moody, 250 year old Eldrinda Benkilte is hauled out of his mental obsessions [can you say what they are instead of 'mental obsessions'? to become the new ruler of Erlos after his father is killed fighting the enemy with whom Erlos has been at war for 600 years [do you need to be so specific about the enemy? how about: Erlos' ancient enemy? saves you words!] . But Eldrinda has scarcely ascended to the throne when a jealous and implacable enemy poisons his wine with the ceisorundra virus of madness. Although the doctors catch the virus in time to save his life, [Although his life is saved?/Although doctors save his life?/Although he does not die?]Eldrinda’s brain is damaged and so he must abdicate in favour of his sister, Auldrius.

    The Erlotian civilization inhabits seven cities in space above the planetary world of Elotia. The populous city-dwelling Erlotians share ancient ties of blood with the surface-dwelling Elotian races, from whom they are originally descended and who still plough their fields with oxen, but with the passing of so many generations the link has become a distant one. Indeed, the punishment of ‘earthdeath’, or banishment to the surface of Elotia, is the worst an Erlotian can receive. [I the last sentence of this paragraph is really the.only.one.you.need.-.the.rest.is.interesting.but.perhaps.not.relevant.enough.for.a.synopsis?

    Eldrinda, after his abdication, chooses voluntary earthdeath. He retires from the Erlotian stage to the surface of Elotia, to become a hermit in the mountains while, [I'm not sure about combining these two things here - it sorts of underplays the invasion of Aazyr, I think.] upon the surface of Elotia, the peaceful garden kingdom of Aazyr is invaded by barbarians.

    “And I cannot leave my husband or my people,” said the queen.

    Kierien pressed a glass phial into her small hand: “It's painless, even sweet.”

    She passed her baby son into Kierien’s arms.

    “Take good care of him.” ...
    [I'll leave it up to Teresa to comment on the use of text snippets, since it was part of that original discussion that generated them. I like this one, and I think its pathos is very effective, but I wasn't completely sure if it was important enough to justify its inclusion-- if that makes sense?

    The baby Sorac is spirited away to safety and raised as a shepherd, in an increasingly unsettled and barren land, until the night he learns of his noble birth from the sage who carried him away as a baby, and who now convinces him to embark on a quest for the weapon that will enable him to overthrow the Ukonaai invaders and restore the fertility of the earth. [see, because I would like just a tiny hint more about the connection between the land's barrenness and the invaders,for example.

    With the passing of years Eldrinda Benkilte has now recovered from the ceisorundra virus and changed his name and become father [upon Elotia -- I think that is clear from the context] of a daughter, Tyl, now in her twenties, who lost her mother when she was three. [I think this sentence could probably be divided - it starts about Elindrinda and switches to Tyl and is quite long--much like this comment] Sorac’s road leads him to meet Eldrinda and to learn from him the story of Erlos.

    Their conversation lasted late into the night, until at last Sorac could not keep his eyes open any more and rolled himself up in his blanket by the fire. Outside the wooden walls of the house, the treetops swayed and sighed in the wind...
    [while the writing here is as powerful as ever, I don't think this text snippet is justified.

    About here I am feeling that I'd like more causal connections -- so how does Sorac react to news of Erlos (what, indeed, does being told about Erlos mean? Does it mean Sorac understands that there are more worlds than this one? or something more? and how does he react, because that's quite a big thing to get your head round.Does Eldrinda have proof? And -- most importantly -- what is the impact of this disclosure on the story? Is there one?

    sorry to repeat myself, but why now? What makes Eldrinda leave the surface of the planet? What's happening to drive the plot forward? Eldrinda now returns alone to lead Erlos in a desperate dash through fifth dimensional space to surprise and destroy their ancient adversary, while [again, I'm not sure about this as one sentence -- I think the 'while' is a bit confusing] Sorac and Tyl become lovers and Tyl later gives birth upon Elotia to a son, Jac, of mixed Erlotian and Elotian blood, and heir to Aazyr’s throne.

    The victorious Erlotians end up inheriting an empire of a hundred thousand broken, damaged worlds which they must heal, in return for the terrible cosmic debt which they have incurred upon themselves by having destroyed a world.

    As I'm sure you know, there are two stories here and that means there's a lot of information to pack into the synopsis

    But Eldrinda’s private obsession with our own blue world [I like the phrase 'our own blue world' but it does something a bit odd with the POV, I think, and I start wondering. How about 'the blue planet known as Earth'?has never been far from his thoughts and now, with the end of the 600 year war, he becomes free at last to visit our planet. However Eilderoess, the enemy who poisoned his wine, has also never been far away. Just at the moment of Eldrinda’s greatest triumph, Eilderoess sabotages his atmosphere craft, causing him to crash upon the earth, and forcing him to make use of the rebirth chamber, a ‘lifeboat’ device with which all Erlotian atmosphere craft are equipped.

    The rebirth chamber will choose, for the doomed occupant of the craft, an unborn embryo of the highest life form on the world where he is going to have to crash or make forced landing, an embryo that would otherwise be stillborn, until perhaps Erlos can one day invent a technology to rescue him.

    It chooses for Eldrinda the body of Douglas Perry I think here might be the place for the description of Douglas Perry -- or perhaps you don't need a description of him at all?] while, again, I think this might be two sentences upon Elotia, Sorac of Aazyr has just escaped after 12 years slavery in Llozd’s brutal emerald mines only to begin a terrible journey across the desert of the Naar where, driven mad by sun and thirst, he experiences a complete psychic breakdown that transfigures him into something greater. This is where the two story synopsis breaks down a little for me -- when we left Sorac he'd just discovered Erlos and become a father. How did he end up in Llozd's emerald mines and what is Llozd? Are they the barbarian invaders?

    Naked, the shepherd climbed the towering cliffs, he knew not for how long. His hair grew wild upon his neck; his nails were hard and broken claws...

    Erlos does find a way to rescue Eldrinda Benkilte as back on earth the poor, misshapen body of Douglas Perry dies. [could you add a little drama here? Douglas Perry's body is ailing andtime runs out for Eldrinda... At the last moment Erlos ...]Eldrinda’s ‘essence’ is taken back to Erlos, to be reborn again there as the baby Obekallah -- mini-point: the last bit of this sentence doesn't fit -- if he's going to be reborn as the baby, he has not yet lived in three different bodieshaving now lived in three different bodies. When Obekallah grows to maturity his own life’s purpose will become to return again from our own future, to teach us how to building floating cities, and so ourselves to become the Erlos which, having changed it’s itsown past, can never return to Elotia and must forever roam space, healing other worlds like our own. I'm afraid this bit confused me. Perhaps a couple of shorter sentences? What can't return to Elotia? Us or Eldrinda?

    The cultures of both Erlos and of the old Aazyrian garden kingdoms are explored in depth throughout the book, which becomes an allegory of the spirit's journey.

    The book ends with Sorac’s grand coronation upon Elotia. There is a final twist when Sorac, exhausted, decides at the last moment to pass the crown of Aazyr to Jac, the hot-tempered thirteen year old son he has never had a chance to get to know:

    “It’s heavy,” Jac said.

    “Yes. You will have to grow a strong neck,” Sorac said.

    He turned and walked out through the huge hall, and all the people there parted to make a way for him. He stood in front the great doors as they opened for him, and then he walked out through them and on into the mountains ...


    It sounds like a fascinating story (but you know I think that) but I'm not sure of its shape.
    You have two entwined stories here -- Sorac's and Eldrinda's/Erlos'.

    They only actually touch once-- when Eldrinda tells Sorac about Erlos and Tyl gets together with Sorac.

    What perhaps confused me is that the synopsis starts with Eldrinda and ends with Sorac.

    What would happen if you removed Sorac's story from the synopsis and concentrated on Eldrinda's? I would suggest having a go at that. While Sorac's story is a nice counterpoint I'm not sure you have space for it here and it's far more traditional than the one about Eldrinda, which is where you've obviously been really creative and imaginative.


    Edited to add: I wonder if it might help to try writing it without the word 'while' :) I think almost whenever you use it, it would be better removed and the sentence split in two.

    (Disclaimer about my opinions being generated on the spot/ safe to ignore completely etc etc)

    Edited more to add: my spacebar is knackered so forgive the dots I was forced to use at one point and any words that have mysteriouslyruntogether.
  8.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Thanks everybody.

    I completely agree with ALL your comments, and what it tells me in the end, is that my attention should be going into the text of the book, still not yet into approaching agents, because when the book's right, the synopsis will write itself?

    But working on the synopsis does seem to help identify weak areas in the text itself, so not completely a wasted exercise.

    I really do appreciate you all taking time to look at it.

    Thanks again. R
  9.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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  10.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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  11.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    Of course he did - to the extent that he put the synopsis in the title!


    (War and Peace)
  12.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    My cousin's read W&P cover to cover.

    You know how when you tell people you're writing a book, their first question is always: What's it called?

    I always said: Oh, the title's the last thing you decide, when the rest is done and dusted.

    But I like 'Erlos' -- one word. Got some gravitas, you know? Compared to 'The Pillars of Endor' or some other typical SFF title? :)
  13.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    or, From war to peace?

    I once made the mistake of saying, "It's title is undecided."

    Guess what. They said, "And what's Undecided about, then?"
  14.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    Whatever floats your boat, but I didn't promise to provide full criticism. However, I feel now pressurised by this, so I guess I have no other choice.


    This bit doesn't belong in the synopsis. It's prose and the moment an agent or an editor glances at it, they're going to shove your synopsis towards the bin, while thinking that you have no business in the industry as you cannot demonstrate an ability to write a synopsis.

    We have said that you should try your best on trying to form a story out from the synopsis, but sometimes it's not possible and there is no excuses on adding prose, where it doesn't belong.

    You could had started this by saying:

    Most people shy away from misform Douglas Perry but he has a story to tell about the people of Erlos.

    Most people shy away from misform Douglas Perry but he has a story to tell about the people of Erlos. They are a spacefaring civilisation floating in artificial colonies above the Elotia.

    I hope you are seeing what I'm doing as I'm trimming down the excess material to only tell the essential, and I feel that I'm haven't even got to the meaty bits. With synopsis - I feel this has been told a THOUSAND TIMES before - you ONLY write in the essential for the reader to understand the CULMINATIONS of the story.

    When you continue writing your synopsis, you have to think what you should put in and what you should leave out. You only have a limited space to do so and therefore, some things that are storytelling devices should be left out. You're not trying to entertain the reader but tell them what's it all about.
    Most people shy away from misform Douglas Perry but he has a story to tell about the people of Erlos. They are a spacefaring civilisation floating in artificial colonies above the Elotia - a relatively peaceful garden kingdom living in medieval times unknowing of their extraterrestrial cousins. But what connects Douglas to them is ...

    You should continue from this point on.

    This doesn't belong in the synopsis. It's prose.

    Some of these feel as if you're dropping in sub-plots for sake of it. Unless I'm mistaken, they have nothing to do with the main plot and they shouldn't be written in the synopsis.
    A lot of this feels like subplotting and showing of things that doesn't have much of meaning to reader. It doesn't really advance the understanding of what's the story is about.

    This is the story. A space-faring societies leader, at the end of their civilisation crashes her ship on planet Earth, and at the moment of death, she chooses to transfer her consiousness and memories into Douglas Perry.



    And that is the end of the story. There is a lot frilling which I would cut down to just tell the essential and nothing more. If they want to know more, they should bloody well to read the material.

    Sorry but I cannot go deep into this thing as the synopsis aren't my thing.
  15.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    That's really cool, ctg.

    Your bluntless and brevity are appreciated ... and sorry I made you feel feel pressurized for your crit.

    Consider it a compliment? :)
  16.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    Nope, if the whole crit makes me feel bad. I don't want be blunt and hurt people. So please forgive me.
  17.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    ctg I didn't mean it that way. I've got a thick skin, man. Writers need one. You say it like it is, that's the way I like it and that's why I seek and respect your opinion ok? Anyway, as I said at the beginning, I'm so not precious about this damn synopsis by now.

    It's when I post something and there's no response to it at all, that's when I really worry ... :(
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  18.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    Okay. Understandable. I guess, but I think you should have grown to understand the rythm of this board. The no responses doesn't mean it's really bad, but in this case, you could had addressed this by saying: that you're not scorned, but that you need help - even blunt words - because you cannot get your mind around this piece.

    The synopsis are for the idiots that want to see the story in its most basic form. As an idea. They don't have time for gaining understanding the art, in the way, it's meant to be seen. So you need to dump it down for the people, that he as an attention span as short as what a mouse has, when it's tempted by the piece of cheese*.

    * Not meaning our mouse, but I used that as I don't have a better idiom.

    It's not easy to write a story in the first place. But when they ask you to write a synopsis for, it drives the author mental, as the story has rooted in their minds so permanently, that they don't see the wood - because the trees are on the way.

    I hope you get what I'm saying.

    You know the story better than anyone. And you refined it down to the main points. So do them in the bullet-points, and separate the main plot from the sub-plots and the side-characters. Then take the main characters on the side and tell in short form: what they are doing in the story, and see if that reveals you to the meat - without the frilly bits, please.

    Write that skeleton here and then see if we can help you to form a synopsis out from it.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  19.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Totally.

    Agents have their desks filled with MS (some very bad indeed), I suppose the synopses help them decide which MS to take seriously. They obviously have a lot of experience judging synopses, knowing they're difficult to write. But as you say it seems hard enough already.

    I was looking at the Angry Robot submission window, but think I'll ignore it and get on with Erlos, I'm still not happy with it so why submit until I am?

    I'll let you know.

    Thanks ctg

    Will drop the sub plot from the synopsis altogether ...
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  20.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,573
    The only reason I can think of for submitting anything now is to get feedback, so if that isn't on the table I think you're probably right to let it pass. If, however, they are likely to reply with critique it might point out flaws which you have thus far been unaware of.

    Of course, Chrons serves an equally valuable function, so maybe just save yourself the effort and post it here as you go - as you are, in fact :rolleyes: :)

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