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.

       

      😀
      👕👍
      👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

      #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 1 week, 1 day 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

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