The Songkiller’s Synopsis!!!

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions The Songkiller’s Synopsis!!!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 49 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #102536
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Helllloooo!!!

    As many of you may know, I’m writing a fantasy epic titled The Songkiller’s Symphony. 

    With the cover design underway. I realized I need to write my synopsis fast for the back cover blurb.

    After locking myself to my computer staring at it grimly, I hacked out the following. I’d love your input on it! I’ve had some input on it already, but I’ll probably share it later so as not to bias your input.

    ~~~

    Exton has one chance to stop an ancient traitor from rising again and swathing the world in blood. Proving himself would be a dream, and he yearns to save humanity.

    But his immortal guide, a wizard of wavering faith, warns him to watch what he hopes for. Other dreamers have dared before him, but turned at last to evil.

    Yet what could go wrong with wanting to save the world?

    Disaster strikes when whispers circulate of a new god, friends divide, assassins rise, and an innocent people topple on the edge of ruin.

    Exton plays a game with no mercy for failure. The world requires a perfect hero. Where others see impossibility, he dares to try.

    But the world lies under a deep shadow, little escaping its corrupting influence: the ancient tune first sung by his arch-enemy…

    Some call it the Songkiller’s symphony.

    😀
    👕👍
    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    #102576
    Grace
    @literatureforthelight

    @daeus-lamb

    Whoaa… this is so exciting. 😉

    Personally, I feel like the first sentence could include a little bit of setting, like referencing the land that the story takes place in. Perhaps this could stand in place of “the world” which would help tie the reader’s mind down to a specific place. Also, it would keep the second “the world” from being repetitive.

    I would also format part of the bottom half like this (revisions are italicized):

    Disaster strikes when whispers circulate of a new god, friends divide, assassins rise, and an innocent people topple on the edge of ruin. Exton is playing a game with no mercy for failure. The world requires a perfect hero–and where others see impossibility, he dares to try.

    To me, that reads clearer and is a little less choppy.

    I actually haven’t been on this forum in foreverrrrr (hehe) — so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. Maybe it matches up with something someone’s already said to you.

    INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

    #102580
    Snapper
    @snapper

      @daeus-lamb Hey, how’s it going? *waves* *offers ice cream* *also raspberries*

      Well, first of all, this sounds epic. Just wanted to make sure that was clear before going forward. 😛

      I think in the first paragraph, rephrasing the second sentence to “saving the world would be a dream come true” might be clearer.

      And perhaps instead of saying “no mercy for failure” it would be clearer to write “no allowance for failure” or something along those lines, in the 5th paragraph, though really, either works.

      Lastly, if you wanted to further combine the last few phrases, rewording it to something along the lines of “But little in the world escapes the corrupting influence of a deep shadow: the ancient tune first sung by his arch-enemy…

      Some call it the SONGKILLER’S SYMPHONY AAHHHH”

      Nvm you don’t have to change that last part. It’s perfectly terrifying the way it is. 😉

      • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Snapper.

      *melts chair*

      #102616
      Daeus Lamb
      @daeus-lamb

      @literatureforthelight Thanks!

      @snaper *hands you chair*

      So here’s what your suggestion would look like. The only thing I didn’t incorporate was that part about describing the setting you mentioned, Grace. I just couldn’t think of a good description off the top of my head.

      I like how it reads. I think these were good ideas.

      Exton has one chance to stop an ancient traitor from rising again and swathing the world in blood. Proving himself would be a dream come true, and he yearns to save humanity.

      But his immortal guide, a wizard of wavering faith, warns him to watch what he hopes for. Other dreamers have dared before him, but turned at last to evil.

      Yet what could go wrong with wanting to save the world?

      Disaster strikes when whispers circulate of a new god, friends divide, assassins rise, and an innocent people topple on the edge of ruin. Exton is playing a game with no room for failure. The world requires a perfect hero, and where others see impossibility he dares try.

      But a deep shadow clutches all in its corrupting hold: the ancient tune first sung by his arch-enemy…

      Some call it the Songkiller’s symphony.

      ~~~~~

      The advice I’d gotten before was that the synopsis read like two synopsises forged together, both good, but the first better and that just using the first part would leave the reader at the highest state of suspense. Here’s what that would look like.

      Exton has one chance to stop an ancient traitor from rising again and swathing the world in blood. Proving himself would be a dream come true, and he yearns to save humanity.

      But his immortal guide, a wizard of wavering faith, warns him to watch what he hopes for. Other dreamers have dared before him, but turned at last to evil.

      Yet what could go wrong with wanting to save the world?

      He doesn’t account for the deep shadow lying over the land,  first sung by his arch-enemy…

      Some call it the Songkiller’s symphony.

      Those last 2 lines might not be quite right. I jotted them down quickly, and they could be tweaked if there’s a better way to give that general idea.

      😀
      👕👍
      👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

      #102639
      Snapper
      @snapper

        @daeus-lamb *promptly melts aforementioned chair* Thankee kindly. *nods*

        I definitely like the revised version. The second one you put could be used if you needed something shorter than the first. For the last two lines you mentioned, I think you might need some sort of transition from the 3rd to last and the 2nd to last, the idea of saving the world.

        He knows that he wants to save the world. Does he know what he’s saving the world from? The song, or a different evil? Are there more evils than just the song he has to account for?

        Maybe “he underestimates” the dark shadow etc, or something along those lines.

        “What could go wrong with saving the world? Yet Exton fails to consider (underestimates) a darker shadow lying over the land. –>>>”

        The first one I think is good as it is, and above is just in case you wanted to reword those last few lines. 🙂

        *melts chair*

        #102687
        Daeus Lamb
        @daeus-lamb

        *Scouring for everyone’s opinions*


        @taylorclogston
        @sarah-inkdragon @jane-maree @germaine-han @wordsmith

        😀
        👕👍
        👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

        #102690
        Taylor Clogston
        @taylorclogston

        Thanks for the tag, @daeus-lamb !

        This reads pretty generically to me. Your first sentence is “Protag is the main character of the same fantasy epic you’ve read a million times, where a Dark Lord is returning and the hero wants to stop him.” And the last two lines tell me “The author is a Tolkien nerd.”

        The part that really interests to me is the bit about his mentor being a wizard of wavering faith.

        I don’t necessarily think you should tell us what sort of world it is, and I honestly don’t have any useful suggestion for the best way to open, but I think I would like to know both in the beginning and throughout who Exton is, why he has a wizard mentor, and why he thinks he can succeed on the same path that others fell from.

        Please keep me updated, I’d love to read more about this!

        "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

        #102699
        Hope McClellan
        @hope-mcclellan

          @daeus-lamb

          I have to agree with @taylorclogston with the fact that — at least at the beginning — it sounds typical and generic. I was almost turned off just by the first sentence. There are a couple of really good sentences in there, but as a whole it was really vague and typical, which I know does not represent all of the hard work you have been putting into this story!

          My favorites pieces in the synopsis are:

          • But his immortal guide, a wizard of wavering faith
          • Yet what could go wrong with wanting to save the world?
          • Exton plays a game with no mercy for failure. 

          I don’t know if you would consider it, but some of my favorite synopsis have opened with a small, intriguing excerpt from the story. The only example I can think of off the top of my head is The Outsiders, but I know there are plenty examples of this.

          There is so much potential in this piece, I can feel it. Please keep posting updates! I have been reading every one of your emails, and I cannot wait to read this book!

          "Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it."
          Habakkuk 2:2

          #102748
          Sarah Inkdragon
          @sarah-inkdragon

          *stumbles in with a cloud of dust*

          Okay, I’m here. Thou hast called me.

          Anyhow. Let’s break down some prose. *cracks knuckles* I’m going to take this paragraph by paragraph and give my opinion on it and what might be improved. So, without any further ado, let’s begin.

          Paragraph #2: Exton has one chance to stop an ancient traitor from rising again and swathing the world in blood. Proving himself would be a dream, and he yearns to save humanity.

          So, I’ll agree and say this is a tad bit bland. Not necessarily a bad sort of bland… just lacking the emotion it could be. For example: why does it matter that Exton proves himself? What will happen if he doesn’t? Why does he have to prove himself in this dramatic of a manner? Who is this ‘traitor’ a traitor to?

          Intrigue is one of the most elusive an deadly of all creatures in the writing world, very hard to track down and even harder to catch than a ring-wraith sometimes. It’s also quite necessary for making a good story soup. Instead of right-out saying things, we must imply them. For example – Exton wants to save the world to prove himself. It’s in all honestly a generic-sounding goal, though that might be the intent – but what are the stakes? When we set the stakes so high without giving first some emotional connection to the plot/characters that we as people(not readers – people) can connect to, we lose the very reason we had stakes in the first place. It’s where both Endgame and Infinity War went wrong in my opinion – the stakes were set high, but the best parts of the film weren’t the battles or the confrontations with Thanos or the teaming up of the grand ol’ party of MCU peoples – it was Hawkeye looking for his family after the snap, or Rocket getting a new family, or Antman’s confusion after returning from being stuck in the quantum realm for 5 years.

          Right now, we open with Exton telling us his goal and the stakes – but we have no reason to care for those stakes. We have no reason to fear the villain – all that we know is what Exton/the narrator wants us to know. Which may be your intent, but if it’s not, I’d suggest adding something a bit more personal to the MC in those first lines.

          Pararaph #2: But his immortal guide, a wizard of wavering faith, warns him to watch what he hopes for. Other dreamers have dared before him, but turned at last to evil.

          ^^This right here is honestly the most interesting part about the premise. A wizard of wavering faith? As an immortal? It breaks the typical Gandalf-founded style of all-powerful or epic wizards with strong moral/ethical virtues, and forces it in a new direction. It also brings up the question of how an immortal being can be immortal and yet so undecided as to what he/she believes in. After all, immortals have seen and heard many things, have they not? Think of what Lotr would be like if Gandalf had had “wavering faith”.

          Overall, I like this paragraph the best so far.

          Paragraph #3: Yet what could go wrong with wanting to save the world?

          This seems to be a satirical line from what I can tell, but it’s phrased in a way that almost makes it sound like it’s not. Which is interesting, because most characters you see trying to save the world acknowledge the dangers and what could happen to them if they try, so this is also an interesting dynamic if it’s not satire.

          If it is, it’s not especially intriguing – to be honest, satirical lines only work for me when the character is shown to be a bit satirical before, or if it’s a punch line. This doesn’t really function as either, and it’s also a bit… tonally confusing. If it’s satire, well, what about the rest of the premise that doesn’t seem to be? If it isn’t, why does he seem so serious in the lines previous about the stakes?

          Paragraph #4: Disaster strikes when whispers circulate of a new god, friends divide, assassins rise, and an innocent people topple on the edge of ruin.

          This is interesting. I like the way you’re weaving in the mentions of a “new god” so that it could almost either stand for Christ or for a pagan god. I’ve always enjoyed fiction where the writer is bold enough to acknowledge that people make false gods/worship said false gods because many people dance around the idea. I also always tend to enjoy fiction that takes things from a non-Christian POV at first(because honestly, most people won’t have the same worldviews or thoughts when they hear of a savior as a Christian – in fact, most people probably think of a cult, to be honest. When you shove a Christian worldveiw in a non-Christian’s head without any explanation…. well, it causes issues.) This allows me to speculate – is this God we’re talking about, or not? Intrigue has been caught. 😉

          Paragraph #5: Exton plays a game with no mercy for failure. The world requires a perfect hero. Where others see impossibility, he dares to try.

          I actually like the phrasing “no mercy for failure” here. It reminds me of how Christ offers mercy to us despite us not deserving it, and kind of contrasts how people think vs. how God thinks. The whole of this paragraph kind of offers that contrast, how the “world requires a perfect hero” when we as humans can never be perfect. It also gives us a sort of first glimpse on our MC’s personality with the last line “where others see impossibility, he dares to try”. I like that.

          Paragraph #6: But the world lies under a deep shadow, little escaping its corrupting influence: the ancient tune first sung by his arch-enemy…

          So, the only bone I have to pick with this paragraph is the part of “his arch-enemy”. Who’s arch-enemy is this? The world’s? Exton’s? It’s just a bit unclear as to who, exactly, we’re talking about.

          Paragraph #7: Some call it the Songkiller’s symphony.

          I like this. Alliteration is a nice tool to give a piece of prose just a little extra weight in a reader’s mind, and also makes it easier for people to remember. It ties in nicely by mentioning the title and relating to the plot.

          —-

          So. That was long. Overall, I like this, but I think it has a few issues that could be fixed and make it sound much more authentic and unique from the standard “hero must save the doomed fantasy world” we see many times. I’m sure you can manage it, Daeus, so never fear and good luck. 😉

          "A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."

          - C. S. Lewis

          #102749
          Germaine Han
          @germaine-han

          I don’t really have much issues with it, but then again, I’m probably not your target audience. Sorry to be unable to help.

          #102939
          Daeus Lamb
          @daeus-lamb

          Thanks everyone so much for your help!

          I give you, The Songkiller’s Synopsis 2.o. How’s it work for you? @taylorclogston @snapper @sarah-inkdragon @kate @hope-ann @hope-mcclellan

          Failing to save her fourteen years ago haunts his memory, driving Exton to dare what immortals call impossible. This is war, a game with no mercy for the incompetent. Instead of loosing one, he’ll save all.

          But his immortal guide, a wizard of wavering faith, warns Exton his zeal could be his undoing.

          Exton denies saving the world could possibly go wrong.

          As friends divide, assassins rise, and truth and lies become indistinguishable. A politician struggles against corruption and treachery, giants roam within, and whispers of a new god tempt the faithful.

          All the while, a lonely artist waits to destroy the world. But he may be too late. His song proceeds him, turning the world against itself and beguiling even bravest hearts like Exton. Its origin is of old.

          Some call it the Songkiller’s symphony.

          😀
          👕👍
          👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

          #102943
          Hope McClellan
          @hope-mcclellan

            @daeus-lamb

            Yes yes YES!!!! I love it!!! *cue hearty applause* I was hooked from the start and intrigued to the end. You have successfully enticed me even further. I am officially going crazy with desire to read this book.

            The one teeny tiny part I would change is this sentence:

            As friends divide, assassins rise, and truth and lies become indistinguishable. 

            It sounded like you were listing three different items, when you were really combining two different sentences. I had to read it a couple times before it made sense.

            But that’s honestly it! This is amazing!

            • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by Hope McClellan. Reason: apparently I don't know how to spell

            "Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it."
            Habakkuk 2:2

            #103042
            Hope Ann
            @hope-ann

            @daeus-lamb Nice! The one critique I have is the first line.

            Failing to save her fourteen years ago haunts his memory,

            The ‘her’ is vague and not explained and threw me because I was expecting to be told who she was. If it was even just a generic description like ‘sister’ or ‘one he loved’ or… something better than that. XD But something, I think it would be better.

            The most important step a man can take is always the next one.

            #103059
            Taylor Clogston
            @taylorclogston

            @daeus-lamb I agree with H. Ann specifically about the first line.

            I still feel like it tells me little more than “this is in the epic fantasy genre.” The last line about the lonely artist struck me as very much “something in a Daeus story,” which I think is great. You have a unique perspective and style of storytelling, and I just don’t think this blurb reflects what I would expect from one of your books.

            Maybe that’s a result of you branching out in genre. I don’t know. Maybe it’s even an accurate reflection of the book.

            I’m no marketing expert, but what I have read time and time again from people far more successful than me is “your cover tells the reader the genre—that they’re in the right place, and they can trust you to fulfil certain genre conventions. Your blurb is the chance to shine, to show the reader how you’re different.”

            And I still feel like your blurb does the former more than the latter.

            "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

            #103209
            Daeus Lamb
            @daeus-lamb

            @taylorclogston I’d like to experiment with something that reads very originally, but I’m having trouble generating ideas. Are there any creative synopsizes you go to as examples that could be inspirations to me?

            😀
            👕👍
            👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

          Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 49 total)
          • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
          Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

          Pin It on Pinterest