PDA

View Full Version : Synopsis



LittleDeadScribe
06-26-2005, 05:13 PM
A lot of publishers ask for one page, but is 1 1/2 ok? I really don't know how to cut this down any further, and I'm afraid it'll get too confusing without certain explanations... Please help.

Rana Nameless is an adolescent scullery maid in the palace of the King of Jealden. She dreams of adventure, and one night, after being accused of breaking the law and sentenced to death, goes off in search of it. On the road, she hears of a prophecy from a wandering storyteller. In this prophecy, a man called the Vassal will usurp her lands, and the only one who could come up against him is a hero called the Grey, also foretold to be a traitor. The storyteller accidentally tells Rana that the Grey is Rana Valmar, daughter of an infamous traitor of Jealdanian history. Rana realizes that she fits all of the descriptions of the Grey, and in confusion, escapes. She comes upon a young man called Jaron, and the two agree to travel together to the nearby kingdom Meldonia where a massive archery competition will be held.

The archery competition, celebrating the Prince Nicolasís wedding to the Jealdanian Princess Anetta, is actually a ruse by the Prince to capture all of the important firsthand men in the kingdoms of Jealden, Meldonia, and a third kingdom; Cardil. With the help of a shapeshifter called Rhiannon, Rana discovers the Princeís masquerade, and manages to save her King, Princess Anetta, and the little Prince Rordan of Cardil. Jaron had been fighting for Nicolasís side, but proves his change of loyalty to Rana when helping the Kingís company escape.

Rana and her King flee to the mountain range Saoirse upon learning that the conspiracy had been planned perhaps years ago, and that in a blink of an eye, all of Jealden and Meldonia are conquered by Nicolas. Along the way, Rana, her friend from childhood: Coem, Anetta, and Rhiannon produce a strong bond of friendship with Coem and Rhiannon even developing an unexpected romance.

Also, Rana learns that the Prince of Meldonia, foster son to the late King of Meldonia, is her brother. According to the laws of magic, blood relations in royalty cannot kill each other. Even as the Grey, Rana canít defeat the Vassal. On top of it all, Nicolas is a necromancer, and his allies are shadow keepers, creatures from the land of the dead with the ability to possess a manís body. With the help of the seer who had Seen the prophecy, the company hides and waits in the mountains for opportunity to liberate Jealden.

Valmar begins when finally, news comes from Cardil across the sea that their ruler, lost in the masquerade of Meldonia, has been reinstated. The King and his company immediately go through the seerís portal to Cardil, ignoring her warnings of rebellion by slaves and the lowest class of peasants there. In Cardil, the King is taken before the Khan (the ruler), who turns out to be the little Prince Rordanís sister, furious that the King has tried to return him to the throne. Both the King and Rordan are locked up.

Rana and her friends go to save them, but end up being revealed by the Khan. They fail to save Rordan from being recaptured, but manage to rescue the King, stepping through the portal in the Cardilian palace in escape with no idea where it would send them. On the other side of the portal, their company is instantly captured by natives to the barbaric marshlands of Cardil. Rana is tricked into shooting her King, and forced to return to the city without Anetta, who swears herself against Rana in grief. No one realizes that the King had actually been taken by one of Nicolasís shadow keepers before Ranaís arrow hit.

Back in the city of the palace of Cardil, the final raid by the peasant rebellion begins, and after a bitter battle Rordanís sister is overthrown and the boy Khan is instated. Rhiannon is killed. With allies in Cardil, Rana, Coem, and Jaron, who had come to Cardil to lead the rebellions, prepare to wage war against Nicolas. Rana returns to Jealden, where she poses as a servant once again, studying her brotherís court for the attack.

Finally, with the battle beginning outside on the palace grounds, Rana finds a chamber within it. It is in this chamber that the souls of the people the shadow keepers took are kept. Rana finds her King and attempts to free him when she is interrupted by Nicolas. After a grueling duel, Rana realizes that the only way to destroy the shadow keepers and truly defeat her brother is to kill him, which would also curse her to death. Resolutely, Rana strikes down the Prince by turning his own dark magic against him, and revives her King, saving her lands.

When Jaron finds Rana alone at the end of the war, he tells her that she had defeated Nicolas in dueling, and had therefore already conquered his royalty for her King. Rana is spared from the curse, reunited with her camaraderie, is named a hero called the Grey, and decides to journey across Jealden and Meldonia with Jaron to help in healing the lands upturned by war.

Cathy C
06-26-2005, 07:51 PM
Okay, first -- all of the names in this are very confusing to follow. By removing a number of them it will not only shorten it, but make it easier to read. Don't be afraid to limit your mention of subplots. The agent/editor will know they're there with a quick sentence. I'm highlighting the whole thing, because the changes are substantial.

Rana Nameless is an adolescent scullery maid in the palace of the King of Jealden. She dreams of adventure, and one night, after being accused of breaking the law and sentenced to death, goes off in search of it. On the road, she hears of a prophecy from a wandering storyteller. In this prophecy, a man called the Vassal will usurp her lands, and the only one who could come up against him is a hero called the Grey, also foretold to be a traitor. The storyteller accidentally tells Rana that the Grey is Rana Valmar, daughter of an infamous traitor of Jealdanian history. Rana realizes that she must be the Grey, and runs before he can discover it.


She comes upon a young man called Jaron, and the two agree to travel together to the nearby kingdom of Meldonia where a massive archery competition will be held. The archery competition is to celebrate the wedding of Prince Nicolas to a local princess. But it's actually a ruse by the Prince to capture all of the important firsthand men in the neighboring three kingdoms. With the help of a shapeshifter called Rhiannon and several friends, Rana discovers the Princeís treachery, and manages to save her King, the intended bride and a young prince. But in a blink of an eye, all surrounding lands are conquered by Nicolas. One subplot includes an unexpected romance developing between two of her companions.

Her plan to return the lands to her King are upended when Rana learns that Prince Nicolas is her brother, as well as the fabled Vassal. But according to the laws of magic, blood relations in royalty cannot kill each other or they will be cursed to die horribly. Nicolas is also a necromancer, leading the shadow keepers, creatures with the ability to possess a manís body. With the help of the old storyteller, the company uses a magic portal to hide and wait in the mountains for opportunity to liberate their homeland.

News comes from across the sea that the Khan of one of the kingdoms, originally thought to be captured at the wedding, has been reinstated. But they learn that the little prince in their company is the true Kahn, and his sister wishes his death so she can rule. Through a series of adventures, they are able to return the little prince to his throne, and he pledges his troops and aid to them in appreciation. But during the battles, the King is captured by Nicolas's minions, while leading Rhiannon to believe it was Rana. The shapeshifter pledges revenge against her former friend.

Now, with allies in in each of the neighbording kingdoms, Jaron, Rana and the others prepare to wage war against Nicolas. Rana returns to Jealden, where she poses as a servant. As the battle begins, Rana finds a hidden chamber where the souls of the people the shadow keepers captured are kept. But she's interrupted by Nicolas. After a grueling magical duel, Rana realizes that the only way to truly defeat him is to kill him. Resolutely, despite the curse, Rana strikes down Nicolas by turning his own dark magic against him. His death revives her King.

Jaron finds Rana alone at the end of the war, awaiting death. He tells her that because she defeated Nicolas in proper duel, his royalty was lost, therefore sparing Rana from the curse. Rhiannan loses her hatred for Rana when the King appears alive, and all of the comrades reunite happily.

The story concludes with Rana being named "the Grey", as the prophecy had foretold and becoming a hero through all the kingdoms. She decides to continue her journey with Jaron to help in healing the lands upturned by war.

**************


There. That should bring it down to one page (possibly less), and still says the same thing. What do you think? :D

LittleDeadScribe
06-26-2005, 08:07 PM
THANK YOU. This has helped so much. I see now that a lot of things weren't exactly needed to tell the main story... Thanks for your time.

arodriguez
06-28-2005, 04:19 AM
what size is your ms, that you feel 1 page is enough?

katiemac
06-28-2005, 07:59 AM
Cathy, when I've noticed your posts on other forums (mainly mentoring), you seem very well informed. This portion of the synopsis rewrite surprised me:


One subplot includes an unexpected romance developing between two of her companions.
Granted, the summary is a synopsis and not the actual novel, but referring to the subplot so blatantly took me out of the story. Have you used this technique before?

katiemac
06-28-2005, 08:00 AM
arodriguez,

A one page synopsis is standard agent and publishing requirements, despite the size of your novel.

Cathy C
06-28-2005, 06:22 PM
Sure. Remember that the agent ISN'T a reader. They're looking at the viability of the plot as a product to sell, so mentioning subplots in this manner is acceptable. Now, you can add the subplots at the bottom, if you don't want to interrupt the flow of the main storyline, something like:


Subplots: 1) two characters in the company of Rana find unexpected romance which concludes with the characters having an HEA.
2) The shapeshifter Rhiannon is led to believe by the villain that Rana killed the King and seeks revenge in the second half of the book. It is resolved when the King is found alive and the friends are reunited

Either method works fine. A one page synopsis is only intended to give the bare bones. The editor/agent isn't expecting the entire story all at once. They just need to see enough to determine whether it's worth looking at a sample. Then, if the sample follows the synopsis and is well written, they'll ask for a full ms.

LittleDeadScribe
06-28-2005, 06:55 PM
Is it all right to post the revised version, or no?

Jewel101
07-31-2005, 12:31 PM
Excellent job, Cathy, but i've found a few mistakes.




But during the battles, the King is captured by Nicolas's minions, while leading Rhiannon to believe it was Rana. The shapeshifter pledges revenge against her former friend.






I think it should be:

But during the battles, the King is captured by Nicolas's minions, while leading Rhiannan to believe Rana has killed him.

Otherwise one might think Rana captured the king


Also, in the end:




Rhiannan loses her hatred for Rana when the King appears alive, and all of the comrades reunite happily.


Rhiannan is supposed to be dead, according to the original synopsis

Still, great job

LittleDeadScribe
07-31-2005, 06:24 PM
Thank you all so much for your help. Cathy, especially, for the complete rewrite. So...

RANA NAMELESS is an adolescent palace scullery maid of Jealden. She dreams of adventure, and one night, after being accused of breaking the law and sentenced to death, goes off in search of it. On the road, she hears of a prophecy from a wandering storyteller. In this prophecy, a man called the Vassal will usurp her lands, and the only one who could come up against him is a hero called the Grey, who was also foretold could be a traitor instead. The storyteller accidentally tells Rana that the Grey is Rana Valmar, daughter of an infamous traitor of Jealdanian history. Rana realizes her parentage and fate, and runs before he can discover it.
On the road, Rana comes upon a young man called JARON and the two agree to travel together to the nearby kingdom of Meldonia where a massive archery competition will be held. The archery competition is to celebrate the wedding of PRINCE NICOLAS to the Princess of Jealden. In reality, the competition is a ruse by the Prince to capture all of the important firsthand men in the neighboring three kingdoms. With the help of several friends, Rana discovers the Princeís treachery, and manages to save her King, the intended bride, and a young Prince.

However, in a blink of an eye, all three kingdoms are conquered by Nicolas.
Ranaís hopes to reclaim the lands of her King are upended when she learns that Prince Nicolas is her brother, as well as the fabled Vassal. According to the laws of magic, blood relations in royalty cannot kill each other, for the murderer will be cursed to die as well. Nicolas is also a necromancer, leading the shadow keepers, creatures with the ability to possess a manís body. With the help of a seer, Ranaís company hides and waits for opportunity to liberate their homeland. One subplot includes an unexpected romance developing between two of Ranaís companions.

Finally, news comes that the Khan of the third kingdom, originally thought to be captured at the wedding, had been lost at the masquerade wedding. Rana learns that the little Prince in her company is the true Khan, and his sister wishes his death so she can rule. Through a series of adventures, Ranaís company is able to return the boy Khan to his throne, and he pledges his troops and aid to them in gratitude. During the battles, however, Ranaís King is captured by one of Nicolasís shadow keepers, leading the Jealdanian Princess to believe her fatherís supposed death was Ranaís doing. The Princess is sworn against her former friend.

Now, with allies in each of the neighboring kingdoms, Jaron, Rana and the others prepare to wage war against Nicolas. Rana returns to her conquered home, where she poses as a servant in the palace. As the battle begins, Rana finds a hidden chamber where the souls of the people the shadow keepers captured are kept. However, when trying to free her King, she's interrupted by Nicolas. After both recognize each other as brother and sister followed by a reluctant and taunting duel, Rana realizes that the only way to stop Nicolasís legions of shadow keepers and free her King is to defeat him. Resolutely, she strikes down Nicolas despite the curse by turning his own dark magic against him, which proves to be too strong for him to handle. His death revives her King.

Jaron finds Rana alone at the end of the war, awaiting death. He tells her that because she defeated Nicolas in proper duel, his royalty was lost, therefore sparing Rana from the curse. The Princessí hatred for Rana disappears when her father appears alive, and Ranaís broken camaraderie is reunited. The story concludes with Rana being named a hero called the Grey. She decides to journey with Jaron to help in healing the lands upturned by war.

Cathy C
07-31-2005, 08:27 PM
Rhiannan is supposed to be dead, according to the original synopsis




Oops... :o Good catch, Jewel! I missed that the first time around. My bad.

Nice rewrite, LittleDeadScribe. I think that should do it. Good luck, and keep us informed on how it does! :)

LittleDeadScribe
07-31-2005, 10:22 PM
Recent rejection from Ad Lib.

I know: many more publishers and agents to send to...

At least I'm comfortable with my synopsis now.

Syrra
08-01-2005, 07:00 AM
Just a nitpick really

"She dreams of adventure, and one night, after being accused of breaking the law and sentenced to death, goes off in search of it. "

It needs to read:

She dreams of adventure, and one night, after being accused of breaking the law and sentenced to death, SHE goes off in search of it.

Or, the comma after adventure needs to be removed. One or the other.

Sorry! I am a grammar nazi! :)

Syrra

LittleDeadScribe
08-01-2005, 07:06 AM
Wow. Thanks.

Syrra
08-01-2005, 07:07 AM
You're welcome.

:)
Syrra