QueryTracker Community
September 21, 2018, 08:38:43 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Note: This forum uses different usernames and passwords than those of the main QueryTracker site. 
Please register if you want to post messages.

This forum is also accessible by the public (including search engines).
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Synopsis of The Sorcerer  (Read 2111 times)
Classic Camp
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 19
Offline Offline

Posts: 33


« on: June 06, 2017, 10:54:22 PM »

Ok, here goes: this is the edited version from the suggestions made below.


THE SORCERER – Synopsis

In 1819, The Times of London reporter, LEONARD ATMORE, receives a note at his office to meet sailor, FRANK JACKS, at a pub about a story concerning his employer, EDWIN NICHOLS, and his adult offspring. There, Jacks hands Atmore a stack of letters and journals. The letters are from Edwin’s daughter, ELIZABETH NICHOLS (19), to her brother, ALEX NICHOLS (21).
In the letters, ELIZABETH writes about her trip accompanying her father on a shipping route to Rome as a vacation. There, she meets DUKE PHILIP VAN VINCENT of Spain, who marries her and whisks her off to his elaborate stone castle in the Everglades. Soon after, Elizabeth grows very ill, and in the final letter, Van Vincent briefly states that Elizabeth has passed away.

Next comes Alex Nichols’ journals. He is sent to the Everglades to pay respects to his sister on behalf of the family, but is really there to investigate her death. There he discovers the “castle” is not stone after all, but an odd grouping of twisted and configured trees, vines, and other foliage, strangely shaped like a castle. Elizabeth was either hypnotized or too embarrassed to tell her brother the truth. Either way, it is at least lavishly furnished. Van Vincent reveals his family history (or is it his history?), but then Alex sees his sister, Elizabeth, walking the grounds during a thunderstorm. He tries repeatedly to stay up all night watching the grounds from his guestroom window but can’t catch up with her. He confronts the Duke who says it must have been Elizabeth’s ghost. Eventually, Alex discovers Elizabeth is now a resurrected zombie, with designs to torment Alex. He also learns clues to Van Vincent’s true history, that he discovered the Fountain of Youth, and conducts satanic sacrifices at the Fountain in order to receive various powers, such as teleportation and controlling the weather. Van Vincent conjures up a storm and strikes Alex with lightning, just as he’s bitten by a coral snake.

Back at the pub, Frank Jacks recounts Edwin’s plans to retrieve his now two missing offspring. Edwin meets up with Van Vincent and discovers his contract with the Devil before vowing revenge and returning to the ship.

In another stack of journals, Atmore discovers Alex is inexplicably saved by a tribe of Seminoles. Alex recovers, and sets out to confront Van Vincent again. However, he gets lost in the Everglades and is saved again, this time by a nomad named EZEKIEL. Ezekiel reveals he also found the Fountain of Youth 10,000 years ago. He possesses many of the Fountain’s powers through sacrifices. However, he stopped conducting sacrifices in A.D. 600 when he met a nun who taught him about love. He informs Alex that there are only two ways to stop Van Vincent, to either make Van Vincent use an astonishingly large burst of his powers to deplete them, or convince him to simply stop conducting sacrifices through love. Despite Ezekiel’s warnings, Alex continues his trek to find the castle, and exact his own revenge. However, when he finally does, Van Vincent shapeshifts into a snake, and Alex retreats again.

Frank Jacks then recounts Edwin’s quest to exact revenge on Van Vincent. While Edwin and his crew manage to burn down Van Vincent’s castle, many are struck by lightning or killed in the swamps. In the battle, the Seminole tribe, with Alex, joins Edwin’s crew and Edwin is reunited with Alex. When they crucify Van Vincent on a makeshift cross (created earlier by the crew, from driftwood as a religious protection), the Duke conjures up another storm, chasing them back to their ship. Alex dies unceremoniously of an infection during the voyage back to London.

Leonard Atmore decides the story is too fantastic for print, but confronts Edwin, who was plotting suicide. While they talk, another storm develops outside, and Edwin believes Van Vincent is tormenting him once again. Edwin goes outside swinging the fireplace poker at the rain and cursing Van Vincent, but then dies of a heart attack in Atmore’s arms. His final words are that only love can stop The Sorcerer.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 08:16:01 PM by Classic Camp » Logged
mafiaking1936
Full Member
***

Karma: 13
Offline Offline

Posts: 87


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 12:08:20 PM »

The Times of London reporter, Leonard Atmore, receives a note at his office to meet sailor, Frank Jacks, at a bar about a story concerning an important businessman,his employer, shipping magnate Edwin Nichols, and his family. The letters are from Edwin’s daughter, Elizabeth Nichols, to her brother, Alex Nichols. Elizabeth accompanied her father on his shipping route to Rome as a vacation. There, she meets Duke Philip Van Vincent of Spain, who whisks her off to his castle in the Everglades. A castle in the swamp? Why? Maybe just a mansion would be more appropriate. Soon after, she grows very ill, and in the final letter, Van Vincent briefly states that Elizabeth has passed away.

A few too many names in this paragraph, all very similar. It’s hard to follow who’s who and who is doing what. Try to eliminate as many as possible, for example just refer to the reporter as ‘a reporter.’ His name is not important. In fact, maybe eliminate the whole flashback thing from the synopsis altogether, or only mention it at the end.

Next comes Alex Nichols’ journals. Next after what? Were they found, were they sent to someone? Spare a sentence to explain what this means. He is sent to the Everglades to pay respects to his sister on behalf of the family, but is really there to investigate her death. There Van Vincent reveals his family history (or is it his history?), but then Alex sees his sister, Elizabeth, walking the grounds during a thunderstorm. He tries repeatedly to meet up with her but can’t. Why not? I can imagine how this would go, but I think you should either tell more here, or tell less. Leave a sense of glimpsing her out of the corner of his eye, but when he turns there’s nothing there. But then, why would a zombie be hard to catch up to? He confronts the Duke who says it must have been her ghost. Eventually, Alex discovers Elizabeth is now a resurrected zombie, and learns clues to Van Vincent’s true history: that he discovered the Fountain of Youth, and conducts satanic sacrifices at the Fountain in order to receive various powers. But why raise her as a zombie? Van Vincent conjures up a storm and strikes Alex with lightning, just as he’s bitten by a coral snake. Why is that last part important?

Back at the pub, Is it a bar or a pub? Technically they’re not the same thing. Frank Jacks recounts Elizabeth’s father’s plans to retrieve his now two missing offspring. Jacks is first mate for Edwin Nichols’ shipping company. Edwin meets up with Van Vincent and discovers his contract with the Devil before returning to the ship and vowing revenge.

In another stack of journals, Alex is saved by a tribe of Seminoles. Saved from lighting and snakebite? Spare a sentence to expound on this. Alex recovers, and sets out to confront Van Vincent. However, he gets lost in the Everglades and is saved by a nomad named Ezekiel.This guy seems to need a lot of saving. It’s usually a bad idea to introduce important characters in the later parts of a story, Ben Gunn notwithstanding. Ezekiel reveals he also found the Fountain of Youth 10,000 years ago, He and possesses many of the Fountain’s powers through past sacrifices, until he met a nun in A.D. 600 who taught him about love. Despite Ezekiel’s warnings, Alex continues his trek to find the castle, but when he finally does, Van Vincent shapeshifts into a snake, and Alex retreats again. Why? Is he afraid of snakes? At this point he should know what he’s up against so this sentence is confusing.

I think I understand now- are these journals interspersed between real-time action of the plot? This can be effective but I was very confused at first. Either find a way to ignore this device in the synopsis, or say that’s what you’re doing plainly at the beginning.


Frank Jacks then recounts Edwin’s quest to extract revenge on Van Vincent. While Edwin and his crew manage to destroy Van Vincent’s castle, How? many are struck by lightning or killed in in the swamps. In the battle, the Seminole tribe joins Edwin’s crew and Edwin is reunited with Alex. When they crucify Van Vincent on a makeshift cross, the Duke conjures up another storm, chasing them back to their ship. Why did they do this? Did they find out they have to do this to kill him? If so, say so. Alex dies unceremoniously of an infection during the voyage back to London.
Leonard Atmore decides the story is too fantastic for print, but decides to confronts Edwin, who was plotting his own suicide. While they talk, another storm develops outside, and Edwin believes it is Van Vincent tormenting him once again. Edwin goes outside to battle the storm, How do you battle a storm? and dies of a heart attack in Atmore’s arms. His final words are that only love can stop The Sorcerer. Why? This seems to come out of nowhere, a conclusion unsupported by the previous plot.

I’m definitely getting the vibe of a turn of the century horror novel like Dracula. It has the devices of a story recounted afterward, journals, and a shadowy villain with secrets and a fatal weakness (although it’s not clear what this is from the synopsis). The problem I see is the same as with those old books- there seems the potential for having people acting in ways real people wouldn’t. I would rewrite this synopsis and pay close attention to making the events flow logically from one to the other. Try to tell it like you’re actually telling a story so that it’s clear what’s happening and why. Don’t worry about word count, you can trim it later.
Logged
Classic Camp
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 19
Offline Offline

Posts: 33


« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 06:56:41 PM »

Thank you for taking a look at this synopsis. I've been dying for someone to give me some kind of feedback. As far as some of the plot you questioned (the castle, Alex's survival, Ezekiel's late entry) they are in the story that way, and I have edited this story so much, unless someone approaches me with either a contract or a check, that's the way it's going to stay. Grin

But you did show me a few areas that DO need a little more explanation (and I can't believe I exchanged pub for bar. I guess that's why it's important to post things like this though). It's a pub by the way. I will talk more about the "castle."

As far as Alex goes, yes, he is a very flawed character, and one I found very interesting, which is probably why he received so much time. The fact that he survived a lightning strike, snake bite, and being lost in the Everglades, only to die of a simple infection (in the days before antibiotics), is one of this novel's great ironies, IMHO.

I'm hoping to have captured the feel of 19th Century literature, even if it does have a few of the same flaws. That's exactly what I was going for.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!