Drop your fiction's synopsis

#1
Hey everyone,

We all know a captivating synopsis is vital to drawing in readers. It's often the first thing they see and it can make or break their decision to dive into your story.

Writing the perfect synopsis isn't always straightforward. It's about revealing enough to hook interest, but not so much that it gives the game away.

So, let's make it a team effort! Here's the idea: we all share our story synopses and provide feedback on each other's work. I'll read yours, you read mine, and we'll swap notes.

When reviewing, keep these points in mind:
  1. Does the synopsis grab your attention?
  2. Is it clear without being too revealing?
  3. Does it reflect the story's tone and genre?
  4. Based on the synopsis alone, would you want to read the story?

Let's keep the feedback constructive and respectful. We're here to help each other improve.

Cheers!

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#2
I can play this game. Dropping my synopsis that I have written and rewritten many times. I think it's always a contiguous process, especially with online publishing. Unless the story is written beforehand, of course. 

"In a prosperous world, danger lurks in the shadows. From the depths beyond the Void come horrors of insatiable hunger who are the eternal enemy of Order. They attack, knowing they will be unmatched, for the ancient warnings were forgotten long ago. 

As the shadows of danger prepare, Jonas Espian stands, a misfit and distrusted by his peers. His quiet and distant nature conceals a power that he has wasted. Florencia, his childhood friend, and secret love, is the one constant in his otherwise average life. But after a unforgettable night, everything falls apart catastrophically.

As the stakes become ever higher, and the world around Jonas and Florencia deteriorates into ruin, a terrible truth becomes evident - that this might only be the beginning..."


Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#3
Ooo, this sounds like a great way to find some good stories.  So often when browsing you have only the cover art to go by.  Here's mine:

Synopsis for Concubine 999:  After the conquest of her home planet by the galactic empire, Lady Zarathenia agrees to become the 999th hostage of the Endless Emperor.  But, the palace planet Viverides is rife with backstabbing and intrigue.  With 998 other concubines, not to mention tricky intergalactic politics, Zara must navigate the dangers to ensure the safety of her home planet.  Will she rise through the ranks, or succumb to the treachery?

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#4
Before history was well-recorded in the world of Ulakam, primordial animal spirits bonded with humans. Millennia later, humans now host animal spirits and are split into tribes named for the species they host. Ulakam is slowly being consumed by a decades-long war pitting the main tribes against the smaller tribes and a group of bandits calling themselves "the Resistance".

Callida Animo was born into this world. Coming from a mixed family of generational soldiers, Callida joined the family business at a young age. In her words, she was bred, born, and raised to be a soldier. And she's good at what she does which inevitably attracts attention that makes her unambitious self extremely uncomfortable. A career detour or two provides new perspectives and an education she never wanted through love, loss, influence and growth. Will it be enough? This is her story. 
https%3A%2F%2Fwww.royalroadcdn.com%2Fpublic%2Fcove...1675979465 https%3A%2F%2Fwww.royalroadcdn.com%2Fpublic%2Fcove...1679510283 https%3A%2F%2Fwww.royalroadcdn.com%2Fpublic%2Fcove...1620785513

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#5

Smuts Wrote: "In a prosperous world, danger lurks in the shadows. From the depths beyond the Void come horrors of insatiable hunger who are the eternal enemy of Order. They attack, knowing they will be unmatched, for the ancient warnings were forgotten long ago. 

As the shadows of danger prepare, Jonas Espian stands, a misfit and distrusted by his peers. His quiet and distant nature conceals a power that he has wasted. Florencia, his childhood friend, and secret love, is the one constant in his otherwise average life. But after a unforgettable night, everything falls apart catastrophically.

As the stakes become ever higher, and the world around Jonas and Florencia deteriorates into ruin, a terrible truth becomes evident - that this might only be the beginning..."

Does the synopsis grab your attention? Yes, the synopsis introduces a world in danger and a protagonist, Jonas, with hidden power. The introduction of an insatiable enemy and the ruin of the world around the characters creates intrigue.

Is it clear without being too revealing? Yes, it provides just enough information about the world, the main characters, and the impending crisis without spoiling specific plot points.

Does it reflect the story's tone and genre? Yes, the synopsis clearly signals a fantasy genre with dark and ominous undertones. The mention of "the Void," "horrors of insatiable hunger," and the mystical ancient warnings all fit within the genre and establish the tone of the story.

Based on the synopsis alone, would you want to read the story? Yes, the synopsis promises an engaging conflict, dynamic characters, and a suspenseful plot which should pique the interest of fantasy readers.

However, it might be beneficial to make Jonas's unique power more intriguing (without giving too much away, of course). It currently feels a bit vague, which could be an intentional choice to maintain mystery, but perhaps a hint of what his power could do or why he's wasted it would enhance the intrigue. Additionally, the phrase "unforgettable night" seems somewhat generic, mybe, emm... a touch of more specificity could help to further draw in potential readers.

Overall, I do think it is a promising synopsis that effectively introduces an intriguing world and plot. Great job!

Would be nice to hear your thoughts on mine since our stories seem to share a great deal of similarities.

Thanks.

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#6
Here I go!

The story of a good-willed young boy Zackeus Hunter, with a mission to change the world, and follow his father's footsteps in becoming a knight in the Kingdom of Altea.

The path of a traumatized young boy Jirell, with a burning desire to seek revenge.

The journey of a strong-headed young girl Lea, with a determination to ascend beyond the norms of her era, and become the first female knight/dame in the Kingdom of Altea.

Fate allows these three to meet when their paths converge at the Altean Knighthood Academy, but little do they know. Unknown forces lurked in the shadows, plotting the reawakening of an ancient enemy long forgotten from the memories of mankind. A being of destruction that will stand in the way of them reaching their goals, much less having a world to live in. The world will need a savior once more, but who will it be this time?

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#8

zephyrzane Wrote: Synopsis for Concubine 999:  After the conquest of her home planet by the galactic empire, Lady Zarathenia agrees to become the 999th hostage of the Endless Emperor.  But, the palace planet Viverides is rife with backstabbing and intrigue.  With 998 other concubines, not to mention tricky intergalactic politics, Zara must navigate the dangers to ensure the safety of her home planet.  Will she rise through the ranks, or succumb to the treachery?
  1. Does the synopsis grab your attention? Yes, the concept of a hostage navigating a political and potentially dangerous environment in a palace full of other concubines is intriguing.
  2. Is it clear without being too revealing? The synopsis could benefit from more clarity. While the general premise is understood (a lady becoming a hostage and dealing with palace intrigue) the specific stakes could be clearer. For instance, it's mentioned that Zara needs to "ensure the safety of her home planet," but it isn't clear how her status as a hostage or her "navigating the danger" (while being a hostage) could influence that.
  3. Does it reflect the story's tone and genre? The genre, which seems to be a blend of science fiction and political intrigue, is communicated effectively. The tone, suggested to be quite suspenseful and potentially dark due to the intrigue and treachery, is also indicated, though more specifics could help in setting reader expectations.
  4. Based on the synopsis alone, would you want to read the story? Yes, there's promise of an exciting story here. However, you could benefit from more adding unique details or a even better, "a stronger hook" at the end to really stand out and attract readers.

Overall, it's a solid start, you can try out the suggestion above if they seemed to you like a suitable improvement. But seriously, it's an intriguing setup and the idea of a hostage having to navigate such a complex and dangerous environment could make for a compelling read.

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#9

Blank_Thought Wrote: Would be nice to hear your thoughts on mine since our stories seem to share a great deal of similarities.


Sure, happy to offer my subjective thoughts. I'd start out with this:

Trish Wrote: And it's a bit long. Blurbs need to be short and punchy...


Definitely should be 2-3 paragraphs in length in total. I'm sorry to be an ass, but I have to agree with Trish that it reads kinda like a cheap movie trailer. I would spend a lot of time to redo the whole thing. 

My thoughts, in a rather unorganized way:

The first paragraphs tells me nothing about the world, nor characters nor the theme. What is the story about? The two main characters are not really introduced, but are more like "sold to me", if that makes sense. I'm still confused exactly where the story is taking place? What is the world like? Who are the characters? Who are the Wardoks? Why are they enemies? Its like, you say many words, without really saying anything. 

I would not reveal character growth in the blurb/synopsis. Just introduce who the characters are at the start of the story. Let their growth unfold as the story does. 

I would also highly advise to cut the last 3 paragraphs entirely. 

This reads kinda harsh, but those are my honest thoughts. Take it as that, and not too seriously. 

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#10

Trish Wrote: @Blank_Thought
Your synopsis reads like a cheesy advertisement. And it's a bit long. Blurbs need to be short and punchy or you'll get a lot of TL;DR.

Smuts Wrote: Sure, happy to offer my subjective thoughts. I'd start out with this:


I appreciate your feedback immensely.

I made some alterations to the synopsis earlier today. The advertisement-like approach was rather intentional, considering the novelty of the story. My goal was to experiment with different styles for the synopsis to determine what resonates the most. I was unsure about this "selling the story" style, but creating this thread has provided the insight I needed.

Thank you once again for your valuable input!


Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#11

Quote:Where the borders of four nations in South America meet social and economic anarchy thrived for generations before the Cull Spores rained down a psychosis causing plague on the population.
An emergency declared, the region is renamed the Quadra as the four Nations agree to relinquish their sovereignty to an international body called the Salvage.
Tasìa del Alma-Gris, raised in the barrios of San Pedro, spent her early adult years in a convent. Overwhelmed by boredom fueled wonderlust she discovers a natural talent for cat burglary as the emergency grew chaotic and those with the resources to escape the infected area did so, leaving their wealth behind.
She lives the high life until the day, betrayed by accomplices, she is caught by bounty hunters and sent to Ward Nueve, a worker's collective inside a hospital for inmates.
There, her problems begin in earnest.
My synopsis is definitely not punchy and the language is a bit stilted, but would changing those factors make it feel less epic in scope?

Its an issue I have put off dealing with for sometime.
Tasìa del Alma-Gris
Book One: The Gray Soul
Book Two: The Premie Harvest
Book Three: The Ascendant City
Science Fiction Mystery
A thief in a post-apocalyptic
South America struggles
to survive and thrive.
https%3A%2F%2Fwww.royalroadcdn.com%2Fpublic%2Fcove...a-gris.jpg



Quote:Through my reading, I was engrossed
An tale of interest, you may boast
A real page turner, I stayed up late
Hooked, I read several chapters straight

-MTurner










Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#12

Ovid Wrote: punchy
Only my personal opinions:


Way too long first sentence. Second and third paragraphs has many mistakes in them. Third paragraph has a huuuuuge sentence. I'd break it up into smaller chunks. I'd also rewrite the last sentence, as the word "earnest" doesn't really fit that well.

In general, it's ok, but not too grabbing. 

Again, just my subjective thoughts, so it's nothing to take to heart. 

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#13

zephyrzane Wrote: Ooo, this sounds like a great way to find some good stories.  So often when browsing you have only the cover art to go by.  Here's mine:

Synopsis for Concubine 999:  After the conquest of her home planet by the galactic empire, Lady Zarathenia agrees to become the 999th hostage of the Endless Emperor.  But, the palace planet Viverides is rife with backstabbing and intrigue.  With 998 other concubines, not to mention tricky intergalactic politics, Zara must navigate the dangers to ensure the safety of her home planet.  Will she rise through the ranks, or succumb to the treachery?
I'll add this to my reading list.

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#14
Being horrifically stabbed to death on his front Poarch, James, a boy reincarnated into a world of Sword Forms, finds himself surrounded by a new life of friendships and family. Yet nothing ever goes right. James, who witnesses the massacre of almost his entire family is sent on a hell bent path of revenge, and as he lurks further and further down this path, he begins to unveil secrets he had wished to keep hidden.

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#15
Well, I'm always in search of opportunities for activity and/or feedback as a newbie here, so here goes...



[Synopsis for my Royal Road debut story "The Unexpected Storm"]

In this urban fantasy reimagining of the Japanese children's storybook series "Arashi No Yoru Ni", there’s a world where angels and demons secretly exist among man to enact either good or evil on them on behalf of the lord or the devil. On one particular stormy night, one particular angel and one particular demon inadvertently cross paths together, which is to bring an entirely different kind of storm to their lives as they find themselves growing closer and closer to each other...

Tagline: Who would you move heaven and earth for?
























Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#16

Quote:Only my personal opinions:


Way too long first sentence. Second and third paragraphs has many mistakes in them. Third paragraph has a huuuuuge sentence. I'd break it up into smaller chunks. I'd also rewrite the last sentence, as the word "earnest" doesn't really fit that well.

In general, it's ok, but not too grabbing. 

Again, just my subjective thoughts, so it's nothing to take to heart
Beer cures all wounds, but, indeed, I appreciate that feedback. 
Tasìa del Alma-Gris
Book One: The Gray Soul
Book Two: The Premie Harvest
Book Three: The Ascendant City
Science Fiction Mystery
A thief in a post-apocalyptic
South America struggles
to survive and thrive.
https%3A%2F%2Fwww.royalroadcdn.com%2Fpublic%2Fcove...a-gris.jpg



Quote:Through my reading, I was engrossed
An tale of interest, you may boast
A real page turner, I stayed up late
Hooked, I read several chapters straight

-MTurner










Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#17

Ovid Wrote: Beer cures all wounds, but, indeed, I appreciate that feedback.
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⠀⠀⢸⣿⣿⢻⡇⠀⠀⠂⠒⠒⠒⠒⢺⣿⡽⣯⢷⡯⠋⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠙⢷⣯⣟⣷⣻⢾⠃⠀⣾⣿⣽⣻⢷⣯⣟⣯⣟⣿⡄⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⣼⣿⡟⠈⠧⠤⣤⣤⣤⣤⣤⠤⠞⣿⣿⣽⠟⠁⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠈⢻⣾⣳⢯⡏⠀⡀⣿⣿⡾⣽⣻⢾⡽⣾⡽⣾⣿⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⢠⣟⣿⣀⣤⣴⡿⣿⢿⣆⠀⠀⠀⠀⣿⢘⡋⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⢻⣽⡿⠀⢠⢰⣿⣟⣿⣯⣟⣯⣟⣷⣻⡽⣿⣿⣆⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⣼⣿⠹⣿⣽⣳⣟⣿⣟⣿⣷⣄⠀⣼⣿⡾⣿⡀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⢙⡅⠀⠎⢸⣿⣟⡾⣷⣟⡾⣽⢾⣽⣻⢷⣻⣞⣷⡀⠀⠀
⢀⣿⣿⡆⣿⣞⣷⣻⡿⣾⣟⣾⣿⢿⣿⣿⡿⣽⣻⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⣠⣿⣷⡘⠀⣾⣿⡿⣽⣻⢾⣟⣯⢿⡾⣽⢯⡿⣽⣿⣧⠀⠀
⢸⣿⣿⣿⣿⣽⢾⣿⡽⠟⠊⠉⠀⠸⣷⣿⣟⡷⣯⢿⣧⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⣠⣾⣟⣷⣻⣇⢀⡏⢻⣿⣯⣟⣯⢿⣾⢿⡽⣯⡿⣽⢷⣻⣿⡆⠀
⢸⣿⣿⣽⣻⣿⠛⠁⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⢹⣿⢯⡿⣽⣻⢾⣷⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⣠⣾⣟⣷⣻⢾⣟⣿⣼⠀⠀⠻⣿⣽⡾⣯⢿⣯⣟⡷⣟⣯⣿⣳⢿⣿⠀

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#18

Ovid Wrote:
Quote:Where the borders of four nations in South America meet social and economic anarchy thrived for generations before the Cull Spores rained down a psychosis causing plague on the population.
An emergency declared, the region is renamed the Quadra as the four Nations agree to relinquish their sovereignty to an international body called the Salvage.
Tasìa del Alma-Gris, raised in the barrios of San Pedro, spent her early adult years in a convent. Overwhelmed by boredom fueled wonderlust she discovers a natural talent for cat burglary as the emergency grew chaotic and those with the resources to escape the infected area did so, leaving their wealth behind.
She lives the high life until the day, betrayed by accomplices, she is caught by bounty hunters and sent to Ward Nueve, a worker's collective inside a hospital for inmates.
There, her problems begin in earnest.
My synopsis is definitely not punchy and the language is a bit stilted, but would changing those factors make it feel less epic in scope?

Its an issue I have put off dealing with for sometime.
I don't like it. 

There are no glaring issues, i'd say. but this says some things: this is either not our Earth or a distant future, because there are no quadrifiniums in south america as of 2023.  Or you made up an extra nation  like some authors do cities or towns. That's fine. 

Psychosis-causing should be hyphenated. I'd break this in two sentences: one referring to the anarchy and one to the cull spores. 


Second sentence doesn't really do much as attention grabbing.  Could be put lower into the synopsys, reworked into another passage. 

Boredom-fueled

wAnderlust.

Comma after wanderlust. 

Don't change tenses mid sentence. As the emergency GROWS chaotic, as those DO so.

Either add the right connectors and rewrite the last sentence into a sensical thing or change "the day" for "a day"

There's no way a place is called Ward Nueve instead of Ala Nueve: with Ward being part of the name, it is only logical the number is in the same language as the rest of the denomination: It is either Ward Nine or Ala Nueve.  

As it stands now, i would not keep reading. It doesn't pique my interest, and the tense mistakes in it would make me doubt the author's ability to write up to my standards of readability. 

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#19
Now, i'd like some feedback about my synopsys for If Our Rains Never Return.

Quote:There are a few undeniable truths in the city of Felsia: Babies fall from the sky on the New Year, Father's knowledge is only matched by his hunger, and The Ratchet of Horror deserves utmost respect and fear.

Unluckily for Ald and all of his contemporaneous siblings, they were born just in time to see the baby rains stop. To make sure his little sister (an energetic child he caught on the city walls as her wooly cocoon descended from the firmament ) can one day tutor a sibling of her own, Ald will strike a deal with the Felsian sages, venturing past the city walls, into the lands of the exiled and misshapen, to discover why The Celestial Mother has stopped giving birth to his people.  

Re: Drop your fiction's synopsis

#20

Lack Wrote: Now, i'd like some feedback about my synopsys for If Our Rains Never Return.

Quote:There are a few undeniable truths in the city of Felsia: Babies fall from the sky on the New Year, Father's knowledge is only matched by his hunger, and The Ratchet of Horror deserves utmost respect and fear.

Unluckily for Ald and all of his contemporaneous siblings, they were born just in time to see the baby rains stop. To make sure his little sister (an energetic child he caught on the city walls as her wooly cocoon descended from the firmament ) can one day tutor a sibling of her own, Ald will strike a deal with the Felsian sages, venturing past the city walls, into the lands of the exiled and misshapen, to discover why The Celestial Mother has stopped giving birth to his people.  
So I'm, again, going to be the sour critical one because for some reason, I have absolutely no idea what your story is about. The only thing I understand from your synopsis, is that there is a town called Felsia, and a character named Ald who has a sister. Everything else I have no idea or expectation what so ever. Idk if that's deliberate, but that's my feeling I get. Also, if you have to use parenthises in your synopsis, you're doing it wrong, imo. 


My .02 cents and please no hate.