The Songkiller’s Synopsis!!!

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  • #106535
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Yo, guys!

    I hired a blurb artist to make it smashing. He returned this exactly:

    In ancient times, the Songkiller sang chaos into the world. Now, he’s returned to finish his dark symphony…

    When heroes fall, they pick themselves back up. At least, that’s what the young adventurer named Exton was taught. But when he forges a daring plan to strike at the source of all evil, he risks entering a battle he can never hope to win. Let alone survive…

    Luckily, the wizard Ventar agrees to guide Exton and his friends on their quest. But the bitter old man has lost his faith, and spouts dire warnings that God may have abandoned them in their time of need. And being a hero comes at a high price.

    As the entity known as the Songkiller ushers in the end of the world, Exton and his friends must risk everything to save all they hold dear. But it’s hard to fight an enemy whose song possesses such a sinister power.

    The power to steal one’s immortal soul…

     

    I’m eager for your thoughts! Here are mine.

    First off, I love the opening line. I feel it’s an improvement over my earlier drafts, though I’d like to trim and tweak some words. I’ll give it a shot.

    In ancient times, the Songkiller sang chaos into the world. Now, he’s returned to finish his dark symphony…

    When heroes fall, they pick themselves back up. Or so Exton, a young adventurer, thought. But when he forges a daring plan to strike at the source of all evil, he risks entering a battle he can only hope to win, and that at a horrible price.

    Luckily, the wizard Ventar agrees to guide Exton and his friends on their quest. But the weary immortal has lost his faith, whispering secretly that God may have abandoned them in their time of need.

    As the Songkiller rises with death in his hands, Exton and his friends must risk everything to save all they hold dear. But it’s hard to fight an enemy whose song possesses such a sinister power.

    Power over one’s immortal soul…

    @hope-mcclellan @taylorclogston @noahlitle @sarah-inkdragon

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    #106585
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @daeus-lamb I also really like the opening line!

    “he risks entering a battle he can only hope to win, and that at a horrible price.”

    “risks entering” are two words that don’t feel very active or adventury to me. Also, I think “he can only hope to win” is too easily misread as “only he can hope to win.” Finally, I prefer “Let alone survive…” to your closing here.

    “But the weary immortal has lost his faith, whispering secretly that God may have abandoned them in their time of need.”

    I do vastly prefer “weary immortal” as you have it here. I don’t like the sound of “whispering secretly,” though. I don’t like “spouts,” either, so take that as you will. Maybe “whispers warnings?”

    “As the Songkiller rises with death in his hands,”

    1000000% better than his version.

    Take this or leave it, but I strongly prefer adding the ellipsis to the end of “whose song possesses such a sinister power” rather than making it a part of the standalone line.

    As for that last line: “Power over one’s immortal soul…”

    I think this is something you need to make as specific as possible. It’s the dolorous bit that tells us exactly what Exton is risking. I don’t know what “power over one’s immortal soul” means. “Stealing” a soul may not be what you’re going for, but it certainly makes me feel like I know what I’m getting into in a way “power over” does not.

    I’m really glad, overall, that you worked with a blurb doctor! I think you’re nearly arrived at something really powerful.

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

    #106788
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    @taylorclogston. Good points! Here’s my stab at it.

    In ancient times, the Songkiller sang chaos into the world. Now, he’s returned to finish his dark symphony…

    When heroes fall, they pick themselves back up. Or so Exton, a young adventurer, thought. But when he forges a daring plan to strike at the source of all evil, he can never hope to win. Let alone survive…

    Luckily, the wizard Ventar agrees to guide Exton and his friends on their quest. But the weary immortal has lost his faith, whispering that God may have abandoned them in their time of need.

    As the Songkiller rises with death in his hands, Exton and his friends must risk everything to save all they hold dear. But victory may come at a horrible price, and it’s hard to fight an enemy whose song possesses such a sinister power…

    The symphony their immortal souls dance to

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    #107139
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Strike that last line. Replace it with The chaotic song that creeps into their very souls

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    #107142
    Sarah Inkdragon
    @sarah-inkdragon

    @daeus-lamb

    Just popped in to say, I really love how this is progressing, even though I can’t contribute a great deal. It’s so interesting to observe a blurb take shape…

    "Come waste your time with me..."

    #107148
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Crazily. 😂That’s how it takes shape.

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    #107636
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @daeus-lamb I’m so sorry I forgot to get back to you.

    As far as unspecificity goes, that doesn’t seem any better to me. What specifically does the song do, and why is it important to Exton or the story?

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

    #108653
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Hey guys,

    @taylorclogston @sarah-inkdragon @noahlitle

    I’ve been workshopping this with a guy. I think it’s been improving. Here’s the most recent version.

    In the beginning, the Songkiller sang chaos into the fabric of the world. Now, he’s returning to finish his dark symphony…

    Exton hunts for redemption at the throne of the immortal Songkiller who caused his mother’s death. Journeying with a world-weary wizard, a battle-hungry ranger, and a best friend who begins to doubt him, Exton will drag the Songkiller from his throne and sever his head…

    But he’s a thousand years too late, and more helpless than when he watched his mother die. This time, he doesn’t get a second chance. No one escapes the Songkiller or his song of power…

    The song that turns men to monsters.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Daeus Lamb.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Daeus Lamb.

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    #108655
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    @taylorclogston (P.S. Very intellectual looking face there.) 👍

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    #108700
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @daeus-lamb I reeeaally like this incarnation of it! “Turns men into monsters” is exactly the sort of thing I was struggling to suggest. The only thing that still trips me up is:

    “Exton hunts for redemption at the throne of the immortal Songkiller who caused his mother’s death.”

    “at the throne” seems pretty abstract for the first line of the blurb, and “caused his mother’s death” seems a little weak. This is a weird suggestion, but would you consider “began” instead of “caused?” I’d also tentatively sub “atonement” for “redemption,” but that’s just because I can’t look at the latter without overwhelmingly associating with hymns.

    Aside from that, I really like it. Great work.

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

    #108701
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @daeus-lamb (P.S. Look who’s talking ;P All you’re missing is a monocle, a smoking jacket, and a roaring fireplace in “daddy’s study”)

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

    #109114
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Dilemma: I’ve got conflicting feedback on my blurb. Some say I should change it, others that I shouldn’t.

    I’m in search of opinionated people to help clear me out of this muddle.

    Here’s what I had:

    In the beginning, the Songkiller sang chaos into the fabric of the world. Now, he’s returning to finish his dark symphony…

    Exton hunts to redeem past weakness by slaying the Songkiller, an immortal magician whose curse has haunted Exton’s life and all of humanity for a thousand years.

    Three men accompany him, each with fears and aims that could jeopardize the quest: a world-weary wizard, a battle-hungry ranger, and a best friend who begins to doubt him. Together, they must fight to save a backstabbing world without alienating each other in the process.

    They’re a thousand years too late. As the Songkiller rises with death in his hands, Exton faces his own helplessness. The harder he tries, the worse he fails, and there are no second chances. No one escapes the Songkiller or his song of power…

    The song that turns men to monsters

    Lots of excitement! But the guy who’s been super helpful as an aggressive beta for this synopsis sent me this feedback:

    “now I think we’re getting somewhere!

    I think your last line belongs in your hook…

    “A song that turns men into monsters. An immortal magician with a dreadful curse. A fractured band of adventurers trying to set things right.”

    I think this will tell potential readers what kind of book it is without getting into details they don’t really understand.

    Paragraph 1 is all one sentence. I would look for 3 – of escalating drama and crisis.

    1) Exton is hunting the evil magician who killed his mother.
    2) He wants to end the reign and break the curse – and redeem himself.
    3) If he fails, the consequence will be death – or worse.

    I would tell the second paragraph from Exton’s perspective rather than an omniscient view. What does he think about these companions? Does he trust them? Does he understand how they each have their own agenda that might conflict with his? I like the information this paragraph contains. And I like the turns of phrase. But it feels sort of “out there”, not really connected to anything.

    I don’t understand the 1000 years too late bit in Paragraph 3. Too late for what? Song killer rising from what? From a throne? From the grave? From obscurity?

    I like the line “the harder he tries, the worse he fails” – do you have a way to give an example of that?

    There are no second chances – I think you mean that if he fails here, he won’t get a second chance. But this sort of is his second chance (since he failed as a boy) so that sort of confused me. I think you need to be more specific than the trope line.

    I think there’s a fate worse than death hinted at here. You could be more specific about that. What does the evil magician do to those who oppose him? How does his magic turn them into monsters. That might be interesting to see.

    I think this effort was a big step forward. Keep at it. This is very different from writing the story itself.”

    Taking his word for it, I wrote this:

    In the beginning, the Songkiller sang chaos into the fabric of the world. Now, he’s returning to finish his dark symphony…

    Exton hunts the Songkiller, an immortal magician who killed his mother. His helpless past could be redeemed through victory. He’ll die if he fails.

    His friends alone hold him back: a world-weary wizard Exton fears leads him astray, a careless ranger, and a best friend who trembles at Exton’s choices as much as at the ghost that haunts him.

    Exton must give his all or else the Songkiller will drench the world in blood. But the harder Exton tries, the worse he falls into magician’s snare. No one escapes the Songkiller or his song of power…

    Exton’s turning into a monster

    A friend said she didn’t like it though and that the beta I quoted above seemed to be expressing personal preferences rather than hard facts.

    What do you think?

    @hope @taylorclogston @noahlitle @sarah-inkdragon @josiah @toklaham-veruzia @seekjustice @r-m-archer

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    #109125
    Noah Litle
    @noahlitle

    I like your latest version. It’s very specific and has a clear mood.

    Complication: it is very dark and heavy. And I would say if it doesn’t match the mood of your story, then you should rewrite it. And I feel that strongly. Don’t use it if it doesn’t fit.

    The only other thing I would say is, you seem to be stuck in the “eternal rewrite” phase. The past few synopses that you’ve presented us with have been fine. In my opinion, you should just pick your favorite bits of the last three or four versions and rewrite it one last time. Just my opinion.

    You’re making good progress!

    p.s. I only know a little.

    #109128
    PursueWisdom
    @pursuewisdom

    @daeus-lamb

    So I when read “I’m in search of opinionated people to help clear me out of this muddle.”

    I thought I should probably say something here. 🙂

    I’m good with the Option A. Probably give it a 4.5 out of 5 vote. It’s very poetic. It is a bit vague, as the beta you quoted said, but I think in a good way. After reading Option B, I do like some of the details you give – specifically, “He’ll die if he fails,” “killed his mother,” “drench the world in blood.” I’d certainly choose A’s “The harder he tries, the worse he fails, and there are no second chances.” over “But the harder Exton tries, the worse he falls into magician’s snare.” because A has more poetic power.

    If I may take the liberty to do a hybrid… ?

     

    In the beginning, the Songkiller sang Chaos into the Fabric of the World. Now, he’s returning to finish his Dark Symphony…

    Exton hunts the Songkiller, an immortal magician who murdered his mother. His helpless past could be redeemed through victory.

    Three men accompany him, each with fears and aims that could jeopardize the quest: a world-weary wizard, a battle-hungry ranger, and a best friend who begins to doubt him. Together, they must fight to save a backstabbing world without alienating each other in the process.

    But they’re a thousand years too late. Exton must give his all or else the Songkiller will drench the world in blood. Yet the harder Exton tries, the worse he fails, and there are no second chances. No one escapes the Songkiller or his Song of Power…

    The Song that turns men to monsters.

    The Song that is turning Exton into a monster.

     

    Notes: I replaced killed with murdered his mother, so as to not repeat the kill from Songkiller. The last line probably needs work to sound more epic, or else should be taken out. And I capitalized “Song” for epic emphasis because I feel it’s important but this is totally up to you – more of a personal preference for me to see significant nouns treated as proper like older 20th century English. 🙂

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." ~Th.Jefferson

    #109129
    PursueWisdom
    @pursuewisdom

    @daeus-lamb

    To echo what Noah said above, I do think it’s important for the blurb to reflect the style/tone of the story itself. I personally do not feel it’s terribly/very dark. I mean, it’s supposed to be epic fantasy, so heavy is naturally inferred and darkness is necessary. 🙂

    Just my two cents. Feel free to leave it or take it as you wish.

    P.S. I just applied as a beta reader without really reading your final-ish blurb until now – it really does sound interesting! I love your cast so far. 🙂 One of the best blurbs I’ve read (with the understanding it’s not finished, but nevertheless *nods*).

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." ~Th.Jefferson

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