A synopsis for my story

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Taylor Clogston 4 days, 13 hours ago.

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  • #81715

    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Hey guys!

    I’m working on a synopsis for a novelette of mine and I’m looking for some critique. The title is God of Manna and it’s a symbolic, somewhat dystopian (or utopian, depending on how you look at it) fairytale.

    Mortristan was startled by his father’s death.
    As life under the God of Manna’s reign grows bleaker and bleaker, he resolves to rebel, but love draws him the other direction. Unsure where to turn, he stumbles further into the God of Manna’s snares. Only one light guides his path.
    His father left him a legacy: find something worth living for.
    If anyone should be able to find the answer, it would be him. Life wears many masks though, and promising options and deadly traps all look alike.
    The world needs a savior and, if he doesn’t find a solution, he will too.

    Tear it apart!

    @pursuewisdom @kate @taylorclogston @brandon-miller @other-people.

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Daeus Lamb.

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    #81725

    Brandon Miller
    @brandon-miller

    Oh… I like the feel of it!
    Unfortunately, that’s kind of all I’ve got is a feel. This seems like mostly just a lot of name dropping and teenaged angst. What makes your storyworld unique? What powers does the God of Manna possess that make this conflict unique/interesting? Why should I spend my time reading about this romance when there are a thousand others I could enjoy? What is an example of the “deadly traps” the synopsis alludes to?

    Basically, just more firm stuff and fewer generalizations would take it to the next level.  (When I first read this, I thought “hey, this has a lot of fiction buzzwords” which reminded me of this entirely unrelated (but hilarious and clean) video. So yeah ignore me.)

    Also, I’m intrigued about any dystopia nuanced enough that it can appear to be a utopia to some perspectives.  Hurrah for that.

    ---
    Fair Winds and Following Seas,
    Brandon Miller -- Wesley Turner

    #81732

    Mortristan was startled by his father’s death.

    He is left with only two things: the governorship of Elysigard and a challenge from his father… find something worth living for. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Elysigard rests securely in the iron grip of the God of Manna— an unseen god who demands great sacrifice in return for food and protection. Life is bleak, and the more Mortristan discovers the bleaker it becomes.

    His one comfort is the woman he loves, but his love becomes increasingly at odds with his growing determination to rebel. Does truth come at the price of happiness? What does it mean to find something worth living for? He’s spent his whole life under the watchful eyes of the priesthood and their hungry god, but more and more he finds that doesn’t matter.

    The world needs a savior. And if he doesn’t find a solution, he will too.

    @daeus-lamb

    INFP-A. If you can't be brilliant, odd will do.

    #81733

    @brandon-miller also has great points.

    INFP-A. If you can't be brilliant, odd will do.

    #82416

    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    @kate @brandon-miller Thanks, guys!

    Take 2.

    Mortristan was startled by his father’s death.

    Trapped in a deceptive utopia, the world order he has always known begins to haunt him. Life, food, and safety depend on unthinkable sacrifices to the God of Manna, and it doesn’t stop him from taking their souls in the end. A doom inherited from his father to find something worth living for tempts him toward rebellion.

    Only his fiancée and the life she brings hold him back. Desperate for happiness in a life stacked against him, Mortristan walks a thin line between conformity and subversion. But the harder he tries to run from the God of Manna, the more he falls into his clutches. And there was never much hope once the mysterious darkness started trailing him.

    The world needs a savior. And if Mortristan doesn’t find a way of escape, he will too.

    Tagging @jane-maree @wordsmith and @r-m-archer too.

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    #82420

    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    Life, food, and safety depend on unthinkable sacrifices to the God of Manna, and it doesn’t stop him from taking their souls in the end.

    This line isn’t especially clear. I think you’re trying to say the sacrifices don’t keep the God of Manna from taking people’s souls, but since the sentences before and after are about Mortristan it ends up confusing, the way it’s worded. Maybe change “and it doesn’t” to “but they don’t”? And in the next line you might clarify that we’re back to Mortristan by replacing “his” with his name.

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

    #82456

    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    First, I’m no blurb expert (I don’t even read them as a consumer, so I’m like really not an expert). But:

    Mortristan was startled by his father’s death.

    The rest of the blurb is in present tense, but this bit’s in the past. Between that and the very weak “startle,” this seems like a poor first line. It doesn’t tell me what the father’s death means to the story, but only that it occurs and that the son has a relatively mild reaction to it.

    Trapped in a deceptive utopia, the world order he has always known begins to haunt him. Life, food, and safety depend on unthinkable sacrifices to the God of Manna, and it doesn’t stop him from taking their souls in the end. A doom inherited from his father to find something worth living for tempts him toward rebellion.

    Do you think focusing on death, doom, and inheritance right off the bat might be a compelling hook?

    Mortristan’s father is dead, but the inheritance he has left is more fateful than any ancestral home. Trapped in a deceptive utopia, Mortristan faces an unthinkable sacrifice to the God of Manna in exchange for life’s necessities. Will Mortristan find a cause worth living for, or will the God of Manna seize the orphan’s soul?

    I mean, that’s terrible compared to what you have, but it might be an avenue worth looking down.

    taylorclogston.com/learn-how-to-write

    #82649

    @daeus-lamb I feel like you can probably take out the line about his father’s death. It’s a good hook, but it doesn’t carry over emotionally into the rest of the blurb.

    It’s possible you may be trying to cover too much ground. You have three emotional threads running in your two paragraphs– his father’s legacy, his fiancee, and the broken society in which he lives. These could all work together, but they’re competing with each other instead of flowing together. Which of those three threads is most important? Whichever it is, the other two should probably just be briefly listed as obstacles or complications in relation to the central thread.

    I’m also going to say something I never thought I’d say— be cliche. Don’t worry about capturing the essence of the story’s underlying tones and themes in the blurb. If you can get some of that, great. But that’s just bonus stuff on top of the blurb’s primary function, which is to offer one powerful thing that makes the reader curious enough to pick up the book. And it’s only a bonus if it doesn’t distract from that one purpose.

    ‘Cruel society’, ‘in love with woman’, and ‘father’s legacy’ are all very formulaic tropes. But they’re tropes because people love them. It’s your book’s job to be unique about them, not your blurb’s.

    INFP-A. If you can't be brilliant, odd will do.

    #82915

    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    @kate @brandon-miller @r-m-archer @taylorglogston

    Any better?

    The hideous God of Manna has taken away the soul of Mortristan’s father. Now, it is Mortristan’s doom to find what his father never could: something worth living for.

    But when Mortristan is forced to hunt an intruder in the God of Manna’s paradise-city, he learns just how enslaved he is. As bad as life is with the God of Manna, it’s impossible to live without him. Can Mortristan really sacrafice everything he has to find just one thing that’s lasting?

    The God of Manna has reigned for millennia and he does not take rebellion lightly. Still, he may have a use for Mortristan…

    The world needs a savior. And if Mortristan doesn’t find a way of escape, he will too.

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    #82953

    @daeus-lamb ack ack ack, almost perfect. The last part is disjointed. Perhaps if you changed it to ‘The God of Manna has reigned for millennia and he does not take rebellion lightly… but the world needs a savior. And if Mortristan doesn’t find a way of escape, he will too.’

    INFP-A. If you can't be brilliant, odd will do.

    #82973

    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @daeus-lamb Muuuch better, and I agree with Kate’s suggestion too. Definitely represents the story well.

    taylorclogston.com/learn-how-to-write

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