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Author Topic: ABEYANCE YA Fantasy  (Read 1663 times)
lazyprotagonist
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« on: December 12, 2017, 11:52:07 AM »

Any help would be great. I stink at writing a synopsis. I think I might need to cut it down word wise as well it's nearly 700 now, and I was hoping to drop it to 400 if possible. Any suggestions would be amazing. Thank you all!

CHARLIE ADAMS, is a sixteen-year-old misfit in a small North Florida town who is obsessed with Supernatural Romance novels. She lives with her father STEVE and cousin CLEO who both work at the local funeral home.
Her world is turned upside down when she overhears her two least favorite teachers, NIELSON and MEYERS talking about looking for “the one” and peeks in to see Nielson sewing Meyer’s leg back on. Even worse, she discovers her family has been wiping her memories.

Charlie is offered a chance for answers, and help keeping her memories intact by family friend and perky nurse/vampire WINNIE BLOODWORTH, her Sorcerer uncle ULYSSES, and the cranky soothsayer and Greer-in-training DANIEL. Through them she learns that she belongs to an ancient magical race called Rheumaens who were affected by radiation from a comet that struck they’re home continent thousands of years ago. Charlie has no powers, and her father does not want her to be a part of the Rheumaen world.

Convinced Nielson and Meyers are after Charlie, she and Daniel devise a plan to take the evil sorceress out. Daniel tries to get a vision by using Charlie as bait at the school blood-drive. Both Ulysses and Charlie’s Grandfather GRAMPS offer to help, but concerned about the potential danger, Ulysses sabotages their plan. Ulysses warns Charlie if he catches her or Daniel anywhere near Nielson, he’ll wipe her memories and have Daniel sent back to Fort Caroline.

Gramps takes over Charlie’s training and tells her the legend of the Vaccuus, a creature that feeds on Non-active Rheumaens and that Ulysses and the others believe a non-active hate group in the community is mimicking the story to attack non-actives.

Daniel gets a vision that Nielson will attack at the dance and the two agree to go. Charlie is nervous about this because of her growing feelings for her friend who has a girlfriend. When Meyers and Nielson are a no show at the dance, the two decide to enjoy the dance as friends. Charlie starts to tell Daniel how she feels but he gets a call and she chickens out, telling him he should head home since the plan was a bust.

While waiting for a ride home, Charlie overhears two of the students talking about how JACKIE-J, Charlie’s bully, went to help Nielson with something and never showed up. Realizing that Jackie-J had been the target the whole time, Charlie races out of the gym towards the classroom, texting Daniel about the turn of events on the way.
Charlie manages to rescue Jackie-J and hide the two of them in a bathroom, Nielson and Meyer’s find them but help arrives in the nick of time. The two are ushered to the library, and during the fight, with an army of the dead Nielson has raised, Charlie runs off to find her father and Gramps who were battling Nielson. She sees her father is badly injured and that Nielson is about to escape and attempts to keep her talking long enough for the Greer forces to arrive. She enrages Nielson who aims a killing blow at her father, but the blow is absorbed by Gramps instead.

The entire group is taken to Fort Caroline including Jackie-J who lost her arm in the ordeal. At the funeral, Gramps is revived long enough to tell the family good-bye. He asks for Charlie to walk him back, and tells her not to blame herself that it wasn’t her fault. Charlie goes to sit by herself and is joined by Daniel, who comforts her.

The book ends with the epilogue of Nielson being caught by her mistress, the Phantom Queen who is the Vaccuus. After she extracts a fragment of herself from Nielson, she leaves her to die and embeds the fragment in a new servant with the orders of making sure the Greers believe Nielson was the only threat. The servant nods and shapeshifts into a double of Nielson before leaving.
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 12:39:27 AM »

I definitely agree you should do some trimming. This reads more like a synopsis than a sales pitch.

Take a swing at cutting it to the inciting event, central conflict, stakes, and KEY characters. You don't need to resolve the plot in your query, you just need to show what it (and by "it" I basically mean the central conflict) is. Leave your MC in as much jeopardy as possible with the stakes as high and as clear as possible.
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 04:37:34 AM »

This reads more like a synopsis than a sales pitch.

It is a synopsis, in the synopsis forum.  wink2


Lazyprotagonist, I'm sorry I don't have time right now to go through this, but I see that you have 9 names here (if my counting skills are good), and typically, for a one-pager, you don't want more than about 3 names.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 04:42:37 AM by 007 fan » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 12:26:09 PM »

Quote
CHARLIE ADAMS, is a sixteen-year-old misfit in a small North Florida town who is obsessed with Supernatural Romance novels. She lives with her father STEVE and cousin CLEO who both work at the local funeral home.

I think your hook could be stronger. Maybe clarify the connection between her favorite books and the events of the novel, e.g. "Sixteen-year-old CHARLIE ADAMS is obsessed with supernatural romance novels, but she knows vampires and sorcerers aren't real" (clunky example, but something along those lines might work). Also, I'd recommend cutting the second sentence, which doesn't feel like an essential detail.

Quote
Her world is turned upside down when she overhears her two least favorite teachers, NIELSON and MEYERS talking about looking for “the one” and peeks in to see Nielson sewing Meyer’s leg back on. Even worse, she discovers her family has been wiping her memories.

I like the gruesome leg-sewing image, but I'm not sure how this connects to Charlie discovering her memories have been wiped. I think we need some more details here.

Quote
Charlie is offered a chance for answers, and help keeping her memories intact by family friend and perky nurse/vampire WINNIE BLOODWORTH, her Sorcerer uncle ULYSSES, and the cranky soothsayer and Greer-in-training DANIEL. Through them she learns that she belongs to an ancient magical race called Rheumaens who were affected by radiation from a comet that struck they’re home continent thousands of years ago. Charlie has no powers, and her father does not want her to be a part of the Rheumaen world.

I love the name Winnie Bloodworth Smiley We're introduced to a lot of characters in this paragraph--are all of them essential for the synopsis? Also, why doesn't her father want her to join the Rheumaens? Because he's trying to protect her, or because she's useless? And what's a greer? Is it like a seer? Other readers might be familiar with this term, but fantasy is my primary genre and I've never encountered it.

Quote
Convinced Nielson and Meyers are after Charlie, she and Daniel devise a plan to take the evil sorceress out. Daniel tries to get a vision by using Charlie as bait at the school blood-drive. Both Ulysses and Charlie’s Grandfather GRAMPS offer to help, but concerned about the potential danger, Ulysses sabotages their plan. Ulysses warns Charlie if he catches her or Daniel anywhere near Nielson, he’ll wipe her memories and have Daniel sent back to Fort Caroline.

What evil sorceress? We're missing some details about who/what Nielson and Meyers are, what their motivation is, and how the Rheumaens are entangled with the bad guys. These details are probably more important than the blood drive fiasco, which sounds like a fun scene but doesn't really seem to further the plot. Also, it raises more questions than you might want to answer, e.g. What's Fort Caroline, and what was Daniel doing there?

Quote
Gramps takes over Charlie’s training and tells her the legend of the Vaccuus, a creature that feeds on Non-active Rheumaens and that Ulysses and the others believe a non-active hate group in the community is mimicking the story to attack non-actives.

Is the Vaccuus (another great name) the evil sorceress? Are Nielson and Meyers part of the hate group? On a nit-picky note, the phrasing "non-active hate group" threw me--it makes it sound like the hate group is inactive. Tinker with this?

Quote
Daniel gets a vision that Nielson will attack at the dance and the two agree to go. Charlie is nervous about this because of her growing feelings for her friend who has a girlfriend. When Meyers and Nielson are a no show at the dance, the two decide to enjoy the dance as friends. Charlie starts to tell Daniel how she feels but he gets a call and she chickens out, telling him he should head home since the plan was a bust.

What dance? A high school dance? Also, since the key idea in this paragraph is that Charlie has feelings for Daniel, you might not need to mention the dance or the vision at all.

Quote
While waiting for a ride home, Charlie overhears two of the students talking about how JACKIE-J, Charlie’s bully, went to help Nielson with something and never showed up. Realizing that Jackie-J had been the target the whole time, Charlie races out of the gym towards the classroom, texting Daniel about the turn of events on the way.

I like this twist! It might be nice to get Jackie-J's name earlier in the synopsis, perhaps in the first paragraph, where you talk about Charlie being a misfit.

Quote
Charlie manages to rescue Jackie-J and hide the two of them in a bathroom, Nielson and Meyer’s find them but help arrives in the nick of time. The two are ushered to the library, and during the fight, with an army of the dead Nielson has raised, Charlie runs off to find her father and Gramps who were battling Nielson. She sees her father is badly injured and that Nielson is about to escape and attempts to keep her talking long enough for the Greer forces to arrive. She enrages Nielson who aims a killing blow at her father, but the blow is absorbed by Gramps instead.

We don't need all these battle logistics. The key points seem to be 1) saving Jackie-J and 2) Gramps dying, so I would just boil it down to those events.

Quote
The entire group is taken to Fort Caroline including Jackie-J who lost her arm in the ordeal. At the funeral, Gramps is revived long enough to tell the family good-bye. He asks for Charlie to walk him back, and tells her not to blame herself that it wasn’t her fault. Charlie goes to sit by herself and is joined by Daniel, who comforts her.

This might be a good place for some character arc stuff, e.g. how Charlie has changed over the course of the novel, her emotional state after the battle, her romantic tension with Daniel, etc.

Quote
The book ends with the epilogue of Nielson being caught by her mistress, the Phantom Queen who is the Vaccuus. After she extracts a fragment of herself from Nielson, she leaves her to die and embeds the fragment in a new servant with the orders of making sure the Greers believe Nielson was the only threat. The servant nods and shapeshifts into a double of Nielson before leaving.

This sounds like a cool epilogue! I wouldn't say "The books ends with the epilogue..." though.


Synopses definitely suck to write, but congrats on writing this draft! Just getting words on the page is a huge accomplishment. I'm going to echo some of the other commenters and say that focusing on key details and key characters is the most important thing. One thing I noticed is that you tend to get caught up in small, logistical details while sometimes jumping over major plot points and central concepts. Also, it might be helpful to get a stronger sense of Charlie's motivations through the course of the novel.

This sounds like a really fun project, and I'd definitely read it! Best of luck with your revisions Smiley
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lazyprotagonist
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 12:43:40 PM »

Thank you all so much. Heading back to the revision board now. Thank you all again :D
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MookyMcD
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 02:27:35 PM »


It is a synopsis, in the synopsis forum.  wink2

Oh my God do I feel like an idiot. When I just logged on and checked topics, it said this was in Synopsis and went, OOOOPs. For some reason, I thought I was in Queries.  bonk

I'd delete my post, but think it's only fair to let my idiocy shine.
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 03:26:25 PM »


It is a synopsis, in the synopsis forum.  wink2

Oh my God do I feel like an idiot. When I just logged on and checked topics, it said this was in Synopsis and went, OOOOPs. For some reason, I thought I was in Queries.  bonk

I'd delete my post, but think it's only fair to let my idiocy shine.

I didn't mean to make you feel that way. Smiley Anyone who takes the time to see anything of QT knows you are sharp. You know who's an idiot? Someone who wrote a whole novel w/o knowing there is such a thing as word count limits and had to look up "query" in the dictionary when she first saw the word. Psst....that was me!  Grin  And no, the dictionary didn't help me with my query. Not. One. Bit. LOL


Lazyprotagonist, I really like the detailed feedback from glitterfox. I wanted to add this link for you because it talks about how to limit the names in synopses. It has other good tips too.

https://www.janefriedman.com/how-to-write-a-novel-synopsis/


There are lots of good synopsis tips easily found by googling "how to write a synopsis". Another site easy to find will be to follow the link provided in Munley's post in this very forum. It's just a little farther down the page from your own thread.

Good luck with your rework. It's really unfair how much harder it is to write a synopsis vs. a novel (queries are tough too), but I guess if things were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Grin
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 03:29:36 PM by 007 fan » Logged

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lazyprotagonist
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 07:45:49 AM »

Thank you all again, I'll definitely check those out, and MookyMcD (sorry if I spelled that wrong), no worries, I don't know how many times I've done something like that.
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