Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#1
So I have 2 synopses at present and I am confused between the two. The first one is super vague and one that I am currently using. The other one has a lot more information but I am not too sure about it. 

Which one would cause you to read the novel? The first one or the second?

First Blurb [Currently in use]

In a world where death dances naked, a monster struggles to survive. Strung along by the events with no control, the creature must cope. Reincarnated, for a purpose that it does not know, while it's every step is watched by Beings that it dared not know. Reborn, but as a mere pest, it dances to the melodies unknown. 

Tl;dr: A universe is shattered by forces unknown. Someone from this universe is reincarnated as a monster.

Second Blurb [WIP]

In a world where death dances naked, a soul is reborn. Its original world stands annihilated by the Nagas and the Yakshas, for a crime the inhabitants didn’t know was unforgivable.

The soul that was once a meagre Sorceress is reincarnated by the forces even greater, the Eternals. However, what was once the past is no longer the future and what was once a human is now a monster- vermin and nothing more. With its negligible lifespan, it struggles against its fate.

Yet, the attention of the Eternals lingers. Is such attention a blessing or a curse? The criminal knows not the answer as it dances to the melodies unknown. 

Meanwhile, Kiran leaves his home to defy fate. Named after the hope he represents, he seeks a [Class] so austere that hundreds fail in their search. Even those that do succeed remain haunted by failure at every step on this path before which even the Gods bow their heads in respect.

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#2
I feel like they're both too intentionally vague and cryptic. A synopsis should lay out what I can expect from the story in a few sentences. If I already have a headache before reading the first page, it's not a very good sign.

Though, out of the two you've given me, I'd probably go with the second; because I at least have some information to go on. You need to clean it up though.
"Is such attention, a blessing or a curse?" most definitely does not need a comma. 

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#3

Senator Wrote: I feel like they're both too intentionally vague and cryptic. A synopsis should lay out what I can expect from the story in a few sentences. If I already have a headache before reading the first page, it's not a very good sign.

Though, out of the two you've given me, I'd probably go with the second; because I at least have some information to go on. You need to clean it up though.
"Is such attention, a blessing or a curse?" most definitely does not need a comma.



Commas are my mortal enemies, I am afraid. Thanks for the input! Btw, was the phrasing of the sentences that gave you the headache or the lack of information?

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#4
I think the second one is better, too. The whole melodies and dances thing sounds cryptic, although it might fit your story, I don't know. But you could consider replacing it with something a little more concrete. And maybe give a little more detail on what situation the MC finds herself in after this change, since that seems to be what your story's about. Besides that, the second one is pretty good, in my opinion.

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#5

Tejoka Wrote: I think the second one is better, too. The whole melodies and dances thing sounds cryptic, although it might fit your story, I don't know. But you could consider replacing it with something a little more concrete. And maybe give a little more detail on what situation the MC finds herself in after this change, since that seems to be what your story's about. Besides that, the second one is pretty good, in my opinion.



Thank you for the input. Do you I should remove the optional line?

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#6
Hello, Ankur.  How are you? 

First off, and just for my sake, these are Blurbs and not Synopses. That's okay though, because here on Royal Road, a Blurb is definitely what you want to post when they ask you to post a Synopsis, as an actual Synopsis has all the main character names and plotlines and twists--and their ultimate resolution!--spelled out in chronological order. It actually tells the whole story! 

A Blurb, on the other hand, is meant to get a person to read the story. It gives nothing away in regards to the climax, resolution, or denouement. A Blurb does, however, tell us part of the story. Most importantly, it gives us the name of at least one of the characters--the Main Character's Name. It oftentimes gives us one or two more names, and in what way these people relate to the MC. It also gives us the Opening Scene or first Plotline, to let us know what problem the MC is facing. 

If the setting of the story is anywhere that is not the Real Live World In Which We Live In, the Blurb also gives us a sense of this world. Is it in the Past, Present or Future? Are there Pirates, Dragons or Ghosts? Do they have Cool Machines, or Colonized Planets, or Amazing Powers of the Mind? 

Of equal importance to the dissemination of these facts, a Blurb gives us the Voice in which the story is written. You do that magnificently here, by using words such as death dances naked and a monster struggles and a meagre sorceress and the unknown lingers.  Ooh!  Very scary!  I hope your novel is written in the same spooky, gothic sort of tone.

However, in regard to the concrete facts I've listed above, your Blurbs give us none of these things. Everything is vague and generic. You have to touch upon at least most of these things, if not all of them. What is the Main Character's name? What Problem does he or she at first confront?  Why is this Problem important to him or her? Do they have any help--an ally or aide or sage? Why does the Problem make their life miserable? What will happen if they ignore it? What will happen if they lose? What will happen if they win?

Tell us something about the world. The Time Period, the Beings, the Devices. Give us something to relate to!

Then people will want to invest their time in reading your story.  🙂

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#7

ArDeeBurger Wrote: Hello, Ankur.  How are you? 

First off, and just for my sake, these are Blurbs and not Synopses. That's okay though, because here on Royal Road, a Blurb is definitely what you want to post when they ask you to post a Synopsis, as an actual Synopsis has all the main character names and plotlines and twists--and their ultimate resolution!--spelled out in chronological order. It actually tells the whole story! 

A Blurb, on the other hand, is meant to get a person to read the story. It gives nothing away in regards to the climax, resolution, or denouement. A Blurb does, however, tell us part of the story. Most importantly, it gives us the name of at least one of the characters--the Main Character's Name. It oftentimes gives us one or two more names, and in what way these people relate to the MC. It also gives us the Opening Scene or first Plotline, to let us know what problem the MC is facing. 

If the setting of the story is anywhere that is not the Real Live World In Which We Live In, the Blurb also gives us a sense of this world. Is it in the Past, Present or Future? Are there Pirates, Dragons or Ghosts? Do they have Cool Machines, or Colonized Planets, or Amazing Powers of the Mind? 

Of equal importance to the dissemination of these facts, a Blurb gives us the Voice in which the story is written. You do that magnificently here, by using words such as death dances naked and a monster struggles and a meagre sorceress and the unknown lingers.  Ooh!  Very scary!  I hope your novel is written in the same spooky, gothic sort of tone.

However, in regard to the concrete facts I've listed above, your Blurbs give us none of these things. Everything is vague and generic. You have to touch upon at least most of these things, if not all of them. What is the Main Character's name? What Problem does he or she at first confront?  Why is this Problem important to him or her? Do they have any help--an ally or aide or sage? Why does the Problem make their life miserable? What will happen if they ignore it? What will happen if they lose? What will happen if they win?

Tell us something about the world. The Time Period, the Beings, the Devices. Give us something to relate to!

Then people will want to invest their time in reading your story.



This was quite informative, thank you!
As for the tone, the MC's part of the story is written in the same tone, so I don't think I have to worry about that. Though, for the rest, I think I should.
The MC has no name as it is a monster, basically a caterpillar, and the system does not allow it to name itself. The main problem for it is survival and evolution since it has a lifespan of mere 90 days. 
As for the world, this is explored in the human side fo the story, which I think I should mention. 
I have added a few more things, please have a look below.


Quote:A [Reality] is shattered by forces unknown, for a crime they didn’t know was unforgivable. A meagre Sorceress, unwittingly involved in the crime, is reincarnated by forces even greater. However, what was once the past is no longer the future and what was once a human is now a monster. A pest. Vermin and nothing more.


Yet, the attention of the unknown lingers. Is such attention a blessing or a curse? The criminal knows not the answer as it dances to the melodies unknown. Will it ever be aware of the melodies and its dance?

Meanwhile, a boy leaves his home to defy his fate. He seeks a [Class] so austere that hundreds fail in their search. Even those that do succeed remain haunted by failure at every step on this path before which even the Gods bow their heads in respect.

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#8
Ah! A Literary Fiction kind of story?  One where the words are more important than the plot? 

Is that why some of your words are set off in brackets? [Class] and [Reality]? Do those words appear that way in the story? 

Do none of the characters have names? Is the setting of the world unimportant, in relation to the ninety day lifespan of the MC?

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#9
I agree with @Senator that both are rather cryptic. But since big parts of the story are intentionaly cryptic too, it is fully OK. Still, I like the last revamped version the most:


Ankur_93 Wrote: A [Reality] is shattered by forces unknown, for a crime they didn’t know was unforgivable. A meagre Sorceress, unwittingly involved in the crime, is reincarnated by forces even greater. However, what was once the past is no longer the future and what was once a human is now a monster. A pest. Vermin and nothing more.


Yet, the attention of the unknown lingers. Is such attention a blessing or a curse? The criminal knows not the answer as it dances to the melodies unknown. Will it ever be aware of the melodies and its dance?

Meanwhile, a boy leaves his home to defy his fate. He seeks a [Class] so austere that hundreds fail in their search. Even those that do succeed remain haunted by failure at every step on this path before which even the Gods bow their heads in respect.


Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#10

ArDeeBurger Wrote: Ah! A Literary Fiction kind of story?  One where the words are more important than the plot? 

Is that why some of your words are set off in brackets? [Class] and [Reality]? Do those words appear that way in the story? 

Do none of the characters have names? Is the setting of the world unimportant, in relation to the ninety day lifespan of the MC?



The brackets are because of the Litrpg element. They are system recognised words but they don't appear the same way in the story. Skills and Spells do however appear within the brackets. 
The monsters don't have names but humans do. However, the nameless monster is the MC of the story, not the humans. Their chapters are one-third of the length of monster chapters, though they are just as prevalent. Will naming the human make him seem like the MC when he is not? I am worried about this.
The setting of the MC is a magic world [but the sorceress was already from the magic world]. In the initial chapters though, it is just a regular forest with not so regular creatures. I don't feel the forest has any importance with the limited lifespan of the creature.
I should mention the limited lifespan in the blurb though, shouldn't I?

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#11

Yes! If the reader is made aware of the lifespan, then it's important to mention a constraint of time.  
If not, then the blurb should at least convey urgency.

You need to give us at least one name -- the Boy or the Sorceress or the Force. As it stands now, your Blurb is too vague. 

Here is a bodging of your new blurb with your old one which you may wish to keep, or build off of, if you wish. 


In a world where death dances naked, a monster struggles to survive. Reincarnated for an unforgiveable crime, a meagre Sorceress is reborn. What was her past is no longer her future, as what was once human is now the monster--vermin and nothing more.

The attention of [NAME HERE] lingers. Is it a blessing or a curse? Will the monster be made aware of the melody, or the dance?

Meanwhile, [NAME HERE] leaves his home to defy fate. He seeks a [Class] so austere that hundreds fail in their search. Those who succeed remain haunted, on a path before which even the Gods bow their heads in respect.

Now state here how the fate of The Boy and The Monster are related, perhaps conveying a sense of urgency.  Viola!  :-)

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#12

ArDeeBurger Wrote: Yes! If the reader is made aware of the lifespan, then it's important to mention a constraint of time.  
If not, then the blurb should at least convey urgency.

You need to give us at least one name -- the Boy or the Sorceress or the Force. As it stands now, your Blurb is too vague. 

Here is a bodging of your new blurb with your old one which you may wish to keep, or build off of, if you wish. 


In a world where death dances naked, a monster struggles to survive. Reincarnated for an unforgiveable crime, a meagre Sorceress is reborn. What was her past is no longer her future, as what was once human is now the monster--vermin and nothing more.

The attention of [NAME HERE] lingers. Is it a blessing or a curse? Will the monster be made aware of the melody, or the dance?

Meanwhile, [NAME HERE] leaves his home to defy fate. He seeks a [Class] so austere that hundreds fail in their search. Those who succeed remain haunted, on a path before which even the Gods bow their heads in respect.

Now state here how the fate of The Boy and The Monster are related, perhaps conveying a sense of urgency.  Viola!  :-)



Oh wow! That has some really good lines. I have tried to incorporate them in my own way. Please have a look:


Quote:In a world where death dances naked, a soul is reborn. Its original world stands annihilated by the Nagas and the Yakshas, for a crime the inhabitants didn’t know was unforgivable. 

The soul that was once a meagre Sorceress is reincarnated by the forces even greater, the Eternals. However, what was once the past is no longer the future and what was once a human is now a monster- vermin and nothing more. With its negligible lifespan, it struggles against its fate.

Yet, the attention of the Eternals lingers. Is such attention a blessing or a curse? The criminal knows not the answer as it dances to the melodies unknown.

Meanwhile, Kiran leaves his home to defy fate. Named after the hope he represents, he seeks a [Class] so austere that hundreds fail in their search. Even those that do succeed remain haunted by failure at every step on this path before which even the Gods bow their heads in respect. 

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#13
Ooh.  Yeah.  Now that is a good blurb.  Well done! 

One thing I've learned from my effort to become an author is that your must be able to write the Blurb. If you can't write the Blurb, then there is something wrong with your sotry. Or at the least, there is something wrong with the way you are thinking about your story. 

You must be able to write a ten word Blurb. You must be able to write a one sentence Blurb. 
A one pargraph Blurb. And what you have done here -- a 500 word Blurb. 

Writing an actual Synopsis -- where you describe the arc of the story, including the inciting incident and the motivation of the major characters, the plot twists and the climax, and the resolution and denouement -- is a challenge for even the best of us, and may require outside help. 

But writing the Blurb should be easy-peasy. So practice! Get good at it! Have several of each at the ready, so when people ask, 'What is your story about?' the answer flies out of you--clear and well-worded and precise.

Have you heard of an exercise called The Elevator Pitch? In it, you are told that, as you enter an elevator, there standing before you is the agent or publisher of your dreams.  Quick!  You only have ten seconds to hook him or her on your story.

What are you going to say? 

Here, as examples, are some Blurbs for DOTS -- my story on Royal Road. 

Elevator Pitch - DOTS is a Spiritual Adventure of sorts, where a lowly stockboy named Hank holds the key to Heaven in his hands. Through seven short books -- each based on a Contrary Virtue -- he saves the world from an evil cabal.  Again.  Sort of. 

You can see how this pitch incites a line of questions.  What do you mean by saying 'Sort of?' What are the Contrary Virtues? Why are there seven short books? 

Here are some Ten Word Blurbs. You should be able to easily write several of these. 
A stockboy named Hank saves the world from an evil cabal. 
A Genius Machine propels the world towards its doom. 
Hank wants a girlfriend, but must instead save the world. 

There.  Like that.  Get good at it!  😃

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#14

Ankur_93 Wrote:
Senator Wrote: I feel like they're both too intentionally vague and cryptic. A synopsis should lay out what I can expect from the story in a few sentences. If I already have a headache before reading the first page, it's not a very good sign.

Though, out of the two you've given me, I'd probably go with the second; because I at least have some information to go on. You need to clean it up though.
"Is such attention, a blessing or a curse?" most definitely does not need a comma.



Commas are my mortal enemies, I am afraid. Thanks for the input! Btw, was the phrasing of the sentences that gave you the headache or the lack of information?

The lack of information while having a lot of sentences. With a synopsis, I'm trying to figure out what I can expect from your novel before I start reading. Your goal is to sell me on your story, so save the cryptic and flowery writing for the story where I'll appreciate it. It also serves an additional function of grounding me if your first few chapters are slow and vague; because I at least know where the story is going.

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#15

ArDeeBurger Wrote: Ooh.  Yeah.  Now that is a good blurb.  Well done! 

One thing I've learned from my effort to become an author is that your must be able to write the Blurb. If you can't write the Blurb, then there is something wrong with your sotry. Or at the least, there is something wrong with the way you are thinking about your story. 

You must be able to write a ten word Blurb. You must be able to write a one sentence Blurb. 
A one pargraph Blurb. And what you have done here -- a 500 word Blurb. 

Writing an actual Synopsis -- where you describe the arc of the story, including the inciting incident and the motivation of the major characters, the plot twists and the climax, and the resolution and denouement -- is a challenge for even the best of us, and may require outside help. 

But writing the Blurb should be easy-peasy. So practice! Get good at it! Have several of each at the ready, so when people ask, 'What is your story about?' the answer flies out of you--clear and well-worded and precise.

Have you heard of an exercise called The Elevator Pitch? In it, you are told that, as you enter an elevator, there standing before you is the agent or publisher of your dreams.  Quick!  You only have ten seconds to hook him or her on your story.

What are you going to say? 

Here, as examples, are some Blurbs for DOTS -- my story on Royal Road. 

Elevator Pitch - DOTS is a Spiritual Adventure of sorts, where a lowly stockboy named Hank holds the key to Heaven in his hands. Through seven short books -- each based on a Contrary Virtue -- he saves the world from an evil cabal.  Again.  Sort of. 

You can see how this pitch incites a line of questions.  What do you mean by saying 'Sort of?' What are the Contrary Virtues? Why are there seven short books? 

Here are some Ten Word Blurbs. You should be able to easily write several of these. 
A stockboy named Hank saves the world from an evil cabal. 
A Genius Machine propels the world towards its doom. 
Hank wants a girlfriend, but must instead save the world. 

There.  Like that.  Get good at it!



Thank you for helping me. And I will definitely keep your advice in mind. :)

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#16

Senator Wrote:
Ankur_93 Wrote:
Senator Wrote: I feel like they're both too intentionally vague and cryptic. A synopsis should lay out what I can expect from the story in a few sentences. If I already have a headache before reading the first page, it's not a very good sign.

Though, out of the two you've given me, I'd probably go with the second; because I at least have some information to go on. You need to clean it up though.
"Is such attention, a blessing or a curse?" most definitely does not need a comma.



Commas are my mortal enemies, I am afraid. Thanks for the input! Btw, was the phrasing of the sentences that gave you the headache or the lack of information?

The lack of information while having a lot of sentences. With a synopsis, I'm trying to figure out what I can expect from your novel before I start reading. Your goal is to sell me on your story, so save the cryptic and flowery writing for the story where I'll appreciate it. It also serves an additional function of grounding me if your first few chapters are slow and vague; because I at least know where the story is going.

That is a good point. I have edited the blurb to a new one. Please have a look. :)

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#17

Ankur_93 Wrote:
Senator Wrote:
Ankur_93 Wrote:
Senator Wrote: I feel like they're both too intentionally vague and cryptic. A synopsis should lay out what I can expect from the story in a few sentences. If I already have a headache before reading the first page, it's not a very good sign.

Though, out of the two you've given me, I'd probably go with the second; because I at least have some information to go on. You need to clean it up though.
"Is such attention, a blessing or a curse?" most definitely does not need a comma.



Commas are my mortal enemies, I am afraid. Thanks for the input! Btw, was the phrasing of the sentences that gave you the headache or the lack of information?

The lack of information while having a lot of sentences. With a synopsis, I'm trying to figure out what I can expect from your novel before I start reading. Your goal is to sell me on your story, so save the cryptic and flowery writing for the story where I'll appreciate it. It also serves an additional function of grounding me if your first few chapters are slow and vague; because I at least know where the story is going.

That is a good point. I have edited the blurb to a new one. Please have a look. :)

It's considerably better now. I understand very clearly what the story is about and nothing is confusing. My only criticism would be that it's a little long, but I think that's fine in this case. I'd just go with that one

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#18

Senator Wrote:
Ankur_93 Wrote:
Senator Wrote:
Ankur_93 Wrote:
Senator Wrote: I feel like they're both too intentionally vague and cryptic. A synopsis should lay out what I can expect from the story in a few sentences. If I already have a headache before reading the first page, it's not a very good sign.

Though, out of the two you've given me, I'd probably go with the second; because I at least have some information to go on. You need to clean it up though.
"Is such attention, a blessing or a curse?" most definitely does not need a comma.



Commas are my mortal enemies, I am afraid. Thanks for the input! Btw, was the phrasing of the sentences that gave you the headache or the lack of information?

The lack of information while having a lot of sentences. With a synopsis, I'm trying to figure out what I can expect from your novel before I start reading. Your goal is to sell me on your story, so save the cryptic and flowery writing for the story where I'll appreciate it. It also serves an additional function of grounding me if your first few chapters are slow and vague; because I at least know where the story is going.

That is a good point. I have edited the blurb to a new one. Please have a look. :)

It's considerably better now. I understand very clearly what the story is about and nothing is confusing. My only criticism would be that it's a little long, but I think that's fine in this case. I'd just go with that one



Thank you for your reply. :)

Re: Which is the better synopsis?

#20

Tenori Wrote: What does "death dances naked" mean?

I've never seen that phrase before, and I can't really visualize why naked is the added description. I assume this means death is rampant/everywhere?

Ah, yes. This is not n English phrase. It means meaningless death by the hundreds and thousands. Most likely seen in war, famine and such case where people die and just continue to die.