The Songkiller’s Synopsis!!!

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  • #103218
    Naiya Dyani
    @naiya-dyani

      @daeus-lamb I’m not going to go into the content right now, but I spotted one thing I thought you might want to be aware of. In the last line of the first paragraph:

      Instead of loosing one, he’ll save all.

      I think you’ve got a typo (loosing/losing)! Just thought you might want to know that in case you didn’t catch it! 😉

      Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

      #103262
      Taylor Clogston
      @taylorclogston

      @daeus-lamb My first inclination is to look toward the books I actually know which are somewhat similar to you, like Name of the Wind and Wizard of Earthsea, but those are by well-known trad-pubbed authors and so probably aren’t a good point of comparison.

      Even still, NotW opens with praise from big name authors and then an excerpt from the story, followed by “So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend. ” Which does very much tell us the experience we’ll get in the story—something beautiful and lingering with no real plot.

      I don’t know. I see a ton of top-selling epic fantasy books have a catchy, bolded header and claims that it was best-selling or that such-and-such a person loved it. I know that when I added those to my own book description, my sales and reads dramatically rose (and then died when I stopped advertising it, but w/e)

      I think an issue that hadn’t really stood out to me before is your description could apply to any number of settings. It doesn’t “grab” me because there are no sticky hands reaching out to snare me. I’ve seen chosen ones, politicians, giants, evil wizards, kingdoms, people who failed to save people, all that stuff in a million places.

      I’m going to be really cheeky here and re-write the thing with deliberately hooky details. This may not be a good blurb at all, but it’s at least what I personally would click on.

      “I could not save her, so what use am I? To what avail is my family name, my treasure, my magic? Old god, can you hear me? Take it all, only let me atone for my failure. Reward my faith with power, moreso even than your priests possess, for I believe when they cannot.”

      Failing to save his love fourteen years ago tortures Exton, driving him to dare what the dragon-witches name impossible. In a war against the oppressive unfaithful, Exton must atone for his weakness or be consumed by a demon of guilt. Where Exton lost one, he will forge the power to save all.

      But his dragon-witch mentor, a hierophant of wavering faith, warns Exton his zeal could be his undoing. Guilt is not the only demon to flay the hearts of men, and the old god is less merciful to failure than even Exton himself.

      Ancient allies scheme, mercenary assassins convoke, and the truth becomes indistinguishable from heresy. A lowly politic drowns in an undertow of corruption and treachery, giants march closer to the kingdom’s borders, and whispers of a new god tempt the faithful.

      And through it all, a lonely artist waits to destroy the world. His song proceeds him, turning the world against itself and beguiling even zealous Exton. Its origin is of old.

      Some call it the Songkiller’s symphony.

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

      #103293
      Daeus Lamb
      @daeus-lamb

      @taylorclogston Okay, here’s my stab at it. 😎

      He swore he could be the hero his world needed. Too deep into his quest to turn back, Exton’s faced with the lie of that hope.

      His immortal guide, a wizard of wavering faith, warned him zeal could ruin their quest. But, with the memory of losing his mother, there’s no turning back. Exton must atone for his weakness or drown in guilt.

      Even if he must learn the bitter price of heroism.

      As pressures threaten to tear the company apart, assassins kill profuse and unassociated victims, and no one knows the right thing to do. A local politician drowns in an undertow of corruption and treachery, the Giant roams inside Exton’s best friend, and whispers of a new god tempt the faithful.

      And through it all, 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 zealous Exton. Its origin is of old.

      Some call it the Songkiller’s symphony.

      😀
      👕👍
      👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

      #103315
      Taylor Clogston
      @taylorclogston

      @daeus-lamb I think it works a lot better now! The addition of specific details serves it very well IMO. The fourth paragraph is pretty dense and wordy, though. You’ve not told us the main plot, but you spend a lot of time describing side plots. The last two paragraphs are a great, stinging finale, as they were even in the first draft.

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

      #103593
      Daeus Lamb
      @daeus-lamb

      Hopefully my final take.

      ~~~

      He swore he could be the hero his world needed. Too deep into his quest to turn back, Exton faces the lie of that hope.

      His immortal guide, a wizard of wavering faith, warned him zeal could ruin their quest. But, with the memory of losing his mother, there’s no turning back. Exton must atone for his weakness or drown in guilt.

      Even at the bitter price of heroism.

      As his little company of friends faces rising dangers, their visions clash. Assassins rampage, killing profuse and unassociated victims, and as Exton struggles to find his path, the world descends into chaos. A local politician drowns in an undertow of corruption and treachery, the Giant breathes dark secrets into his best friend’s mind, and whispers of a new god tempt the faithful.

      And through it all, a lonely artist waits to destroy the world. His song proceeds him, turning the world against itself and beguiling even zealous Exton. Its origin is of old.

      Some call it the Songkiller’s symphony.

      😀
      👕👍
      👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

      #103672
      Daeus Lamb
      @daeus-lamb

      So I posted the blurb on Realm Makers. Verdict was it didn’t have a clear enough plot! (People also wanted a little stronger sense of the world it was set in.)

      I’ve buckled down and tried a rewrite. What do you think?

      @taylorclogston @hope-mcclellan @kayla-skywriter @cassandraia @snapper @sarah-inkdragon @noahlitle @literatureforthelight @wordsmith @r-m-archer

      For a thousand years, the Songkiller bided his time. Now, he’s about to escape…

      When a stranger hammers on Exton’s door, searching for heroes, Exton’s father, a former spy, demands he refuse. But memories of failing to save his mother haunt Exton. Setting out to redeem himself, Exton dooms his small band of friends to fight an enemy whose power holds sway over their very souls.

      Their guide, a wizard of wavering faith, knows too well the bitter price of heroism and warns Exton to beware his zeal–until Exton’s contagious hope starts to cloud his better judgment.

      All delusions evaporate when a secret enemy harries their every move, bringing out the heroes’ true motivations. Exton turns out a hero than when he started, his best friend whispers hauntingly of a Giant within, and his spiritual mentor hints God that has abandoned them.

      Can Exton overcome the impossible?

      Miles and miles away, a lonely artist waits to destroy the world. His song proceeds him, corrupting even zealous Exton. Its origin is of old.

      Some call it the Songkiller’s Symphony.

       

      😀
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      #103699
      Noah Litle
      @noahlitle

      @daeus-lamb

      Okay… Now it gives away too much, I feel. I like your first final take better. I think it has enough plot, it’s just a little generic as far as storyworld goes.

      What if, instead of trying to explain more of the plot, you just worked specific details of your storyworld into your “final take” synopsis. For example, instead of saying “rising dangers” use a dangerous sounding word that has more to do with your storyworld or magic system. Or instead of “too deep to turn back”, you might give us a specific detail that shows us that he’s past the point of no return.

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Noah Litle.

      p.s. I only know a little.

      #103704
      Taylor Clogston
      @taylorclogston

      I agree with Noah, and I think you’d be well-served by specificity. Here’s another rewrite that cuts out what I feel are the more extraneous bits:

      For a thousand years, the Songkiller bided his time. Now, he’s about to escape…

      On the night of (some event), a call for heroes reaches Exton’s front door. His father, a former spy, demands Exton refuse.

      But Exton’s failure to save his mother fifteen years ago haunts him even now, and Exton knows this opportunity for redemption will never come again.

      But much more than Exton’s own life lies at stake. His friends follow, warring against the Enemy whose power is over their very souls. They are guided by a wizard of wavering faith, but ignore in their zeal his warnings against heroism’s bitter price.

      But the road to heroism is no less fraught with darkness, and Exton soon finds himself hemmed in by doubt. Allies reveal their true intentions, a close friend whispers of the Giant within, and the broken wizard [insert name] hints that God has abandoned them.

      With every step, Exton must ask again: Can I do what all men know is  impossible? Can I be a hero in a world where there are none? 

      And far away, a lonely artist waits to destroy the world. His song precedes him, corrupting even zealous Exton. Its origin is of old.

      Some call it the Songkiller’s Symphony

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

      #104139
      Daeus Lamb
      @daeus-lamb

      @kate @wordsmith @taylorclogston @noahlitle

      I’ve been workshopping my synopsis with a dedicated Facebook group and making some improvements. Below is what I gave them, with some small tweaks based on the feedback I got. The second synopsis is a complete retake based on the feedback I got. I’d love your opinion.

      ~~~~~

      A thousand years past, the Songkiller sang chaos into the world. Now, he’s breaking his bonds…

      Heroes fail. It’s part of their brokenness. But Exton, a young adventurer, forges a daring plan that could end the greatest battle heroes ever fought. He resolves not just to contain evil, but to strike its near-invincible source.

      Ventar, a wizard of shaky faith, agrees to guide Exton and his friends on their quest, but warns God may have abandoned them and that the cost of heroism can be bitter.

      With a lonely artist ushering in the world’s end, Exton will dare anything. But it’s hard to fight an enemy whose song holds sway over your very soul.

      The song sages call the Songkiller’s symphony.

      ~~~~~

      After a thousand years, the immortal who breathed chaos into the world is escaping…

      A call for heroes reaches Exton’s front door, past guilts driving him to find redemption.

      Setting out with a band of friends, Exton dares an enemy who holds power over their very souls.

      But their guide, a wizard of wavering faith, warns that the price of heroism is hardly worth paying. Worse, God may have abandoned them. Assassins haunt their every move and even allies block Exton from victory.

      With his own motivations not entirely pure, Exton faces an impossible task. Not just defeating the lonely artist ushering in the world’s end, but overcoming the enemy’s ancient song. A song that turns the world against itself and corrupts heroes…

      Some call it, the Songkiller’s symphony.

      😀
      👕👍
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      #104143
      Taylor Clogston
      @taylorclogston

      @daeus-lamb I hate the second one, sorry =P I feel like all the genericness you previously addressed was put back in.

      I like the first one quite a lot, though. I’m not sure what “it’s part of their brokenness” means, and ‘The song sages call the Songkiller’s symphony” reads a little confusing as it sounds to me on first go like you begin talking about “the song sages,” but otherwise I feel like it’s a little more evocative of your personal style than previous blurbs you’ve posted have been.

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

      #104162
      Noah Litle
      @noahlitle

      @daeus-lamb

      I agree with @taylorclogston mostly. Your second version screams “Tolkien ripp-off” with lines such as: “dark lord escaping,” and “it corrupts heroes.”

      Also, “God may have abandoned them” sounds a little cheesy. I think you could come up with a much more poetic way to say that.

      What if instead of: “but warns God may have abandoned them and that the cost of heroism can be bitter.” do: “but warns them that [God may have abandoned them] and the cost of heroism may be bitter.” I like “may” there better than “can.” Unless they’re not trying to be heroic… then you might want to come up with something entirely different.

      Is it supposed to be “The song sages call It the Songkiller’s symphony”?

      “Heroes fail … but Exton …” I think this could be better if it were more of a call response kind of thing: “Heroes fail, … But Exton determines not to! (etc. etc. prettified, you know?).” I guess it already does do that, but I’m just not feeling it. Maybe it’s just me. What is Exton trying to prove by going on his journey? Use the inverse of that as the starting point instead of “heroes fail”, maybe. I don’t know.

      Anyway… I don’t suppose you have to take it back to formula. Those are just my thoughts.

      p.s. I only know a little.

      #104960
      Daeus Lamb
      @daeus-lamb

      @taylorclogston @noahlitle

      Hopefully I’ve got it now. Let’s see.

      ~~~~~

      A thousand years past, the Songkiller sang chaos into the world. Now, he’s breaking his bonds…

      Exton, a young adventurer, wagers a gambit none ever dared before–striking evil’s immortal source. He never guessed he’d end as broken as the world he’s trying to save.

      Ventar, a wizard of wavering faith, agrees to guide Exton and his friends on their quest, but warns God may abandon them and the cost of heroism could outweigh the prize.

      With a lonely artist ushering in the world’s end, Exton will dare anything. But it’s hard to fight an enemy whose song holds sway over your very soul.

      The song of legends. The Songkiller’s symphony.

      😀
      👕👍
      👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

      #104999
      Taylor Clogston
      @taylorclogston

      @daeus-lamb I’m afraid I don’t like this one very much. It swings back to telling me practically nothing while being not at all evocative, and being generic epic fantasy to boot.

      I don’t know. This is a tough thing to write. You might want to hire an actual blurb doctor.

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

      #105000
      Noah Litle
      @noahlitle

      @daeus-lamb

      Again, generally, I agree with @taylorclogston.

      I do like the bit about the wizard better, but it still feels really long-winded. That whole paragraph is one sentence and I feel like it should be two, not that I know how I would break it up.

      If I may be potentially offensive…

      Based solely on your synopsis writing, it seems to me like you’re more excited about your story than your readers will be. This doesn’t necessarily mean you world isn’t exciting. It just means you don’t know how to show us how exciting your world is. Does that make sense? Is there a way to show us how exciting your world is without betraying your excitement?

      I guess that may not be very helpful. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. I see that kind of thing happen a lot.

      p.s. I only know a little.

      #105159
      Daeus Lamb
      @daeus-lamb

      @taylorclogston @noahlitle

      Thanks, guys. I actually started looking into book blurb writers. I’m thinking about this guy. https://www.fiverr.com/aawarren/write-a-blurb-that-rockets-your-book-up-the-charts?

      😀
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