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Synopsis: The Personal Account of Darius Carlyle


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#1 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 02:13 PM

Told through his personal journals, letters & notebooks, Darius Carlyle is a 200 year-old mystical werewolf hunter who recounts his investigation into the five gruesome murders attributed to the infamous "Jack the Ripper." But when tragedy strikes & Darius's wife is afflicted with lycanthropy, Darius begins a frantic & seemingly futile quest to find a cure, despite having read & been told all his life that there is no cure. Darius's desperate search for answers eventually brings him face-to-face with true evil, and he will be forced to answer one question:

Are you strong enough to break your own heart?

FYI: the novel is a New Adult dark fantasy/horror epistolary novel

Have at it!

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#2 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 04:38 PM

Rereading this, I see it's more of a blurb or a hook for a query letter than a proper "synopsis" of the whole story (spoilers & all) but I'm a little reticent to post the entire thing haha..hope that's alright.

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#3 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 05:57 PM

Any thoughts out there?

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#4 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:00 PM

I really wanted to savor the ending in the synopsis, so I don't feel it's appropriate for that kind of a spoiler to be directly GIVEN. Alluded to, yes, but the HOW has to be saved for the MS, in my opinion. Thoughts?


As he recounts in his personal journals, DARIUS CARLYLE is born in 1687 to Nathaniel and Lily in 1687. When Darius's mother is murdered by the werewolf that becomes Darius's first kill, his father takes his son to their ancestral home of WolfstoneManor. There Darius learns the ancient ways of the Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters who predate Antiquity–from his father and grandfather, before setting off on a spiritual sojourn of his own, to try and understand the dark desire of vengeance that has plagued his heart since that fateful first kill. In his travels, Darius trains with samurai shoguns and Shaolin monks, meditates with lamas and gurus, acquiring a wealth of esoteric knowledge. The death of his grandfather prompts his return home after more than a century abroad, and Darius becomes Lord of Wolfstone Manor, inheriting wealth, a home, and his grandfather's awe-inspiring Library.

In 1879, Darius happens upon KATHERINE HARROW: insightful and curious, precocious and assertive, in all ways a woman of the moment, relishing her brief stint on this earth–a literal Woman of the Flow. This sheer vivacity astounds Darius, and for the first time in all his long life he falls in love. Darius writes letters to his "dearest Kate" throughout the novel; Kate becomes, in a literal sense, Darius's link to his own humanity.

Darius continues hunting werewolves with the aid of his loyal batman, HARGREAVES. By the autumn of 1888, Kate is with child and Jack the Ripper has London choking on its own terror. Inspector ABBERLINE isn't even close to finding his man–if man he be at all–and writes to Darius in dire need of his particular expertise. Though at first unwilling, Kate encourages Darius to take the case, and even follows him to Whitechapel. While Darius, Hargreaves and Abberline–along with KELLEENE, their privately contracted coroner–uncover that the 'Ripper' is a conspiracy between a witch, her berserker and their master–CAIN, an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta against Darius–the unthinkable happens. Kate is captured by the werewolf, who afflicts her with an arcane form of lycanthropy.

Darius begins making one impossible choice after another, desperate to find a cure that might not exist, all the while resisting his Wolven nature that compels him to kill the monster his dearest Kate is becoming. All the while Cain waits with predatory patience. With each full moon Kate's condition grows progressively worse. Curiously, however, her pregnancy is not affected in the slightest, even when she undergoes the change. On 20 April 1889 Darius Carlyle's son, TOBIAS Jacob Nathaniel, is literally ripped from Kate's womb–by Kate herself, as she is torn between the pangs of labor and grotesque convulsions of metamorphosis. Darius fears that his son may be cursed like his mother; Kelleene assures him there is no sign, though he does not know how. Nevertheless after countless failed attempts at a cure have only served to exacerbate Kate's condition–including a Catholic exorcism, in which Darius recruits Kate's childhood priest–Darius finds an ancient Wolven Ritual that may save Kate. But the Ritual requires Cain's blood.

Darius indeed captures Cain, but the exorcism fails and Kate helps Cain escape, ransacking Darius's Library. Her will is seemingly no longer her own, overwhelmed by her werewolf alpha's. Unhinged, Darius begins torturing Cain's minions for information–while tormenting himself with his failures. Eventually locating Cain, and his dearest Kate, Darius entrusts Jacob Hargreaves with the fostering of his son. Setting out to kill Cain (the only other possible cure for Kate that he has found), Darius is certain that he is also going to his own death.

The last entry of the journal is a letter Darius writes to his dearest Kate, in which he grievously recounts his final stand against Cain and his beloved.

Years later, Darius's journal finds its way into the hands of his estranged son, and there is an inscription on the back cover:

"Tobias,
If you ever read this, I hope you can understand; even if you can't forgive me.

Your father."

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#5 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 12:30 AM

Any takers? I'd really appreciate it

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#6 Chuck_Spragins

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:24 AM

Very interesting story. But, it is somewhat difficult to read. IMO, a synopsis should be an easy read for prospective agents. It is just too easy for them to hit the delete button. The difficulty is mostly from word choice and a few matters of logic that I have pointed out below.

 

Perhaps you could take a look at my synopsis, RIVER PLATE BASIN.

As he recounts he tells us in his personal journals, DARIUS CARLYLE is born in 1687 to Nathaniel and Lily in 1687. When Darius's mother is murdered by the werewolf that becomes Darius's first kill, his father takes his son to their ancestral home of WolfstoneManor. There Darius learns the ancient ways of the Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters who predate Aantiquity (Is the capital 'A' a reference to someplace, or are you simply saying that the race is really old?) –from his father and grandfather, before setting off on a spiritual sojourn (word choice - from the context it sounds like you want to say that he travels somewhere and not 'a temporary stay' which is Webster's definition for sojourn. Perhaps 'quest' is what you want to say.)  of his own, to try and understand the dark desire of vengeance that has plagued his heart since that fateful first kill. This sentence is confusing. Why does he desire vengeance when he has already avenged his mother's death? Also, why was his first kill 'fateful?' In his travels, Darius trains with samurai shoguns and Shaolin monks, he meditates with lamas and gurus, acquiring a wealth of esoteric knowledge. The death of hHis grandfather's death prompts his Darius' return home after more than a century abroad, and Darius he becomes Lord of Wolfstone Manor, inheriting wealth, a home, and his grandfather's awe-inspiring Llibrary. Why didn't his father inherit all this when Grandpa dies? He is the next in line, right? 

In 1879, Darius happens upon KATHERINE HARROW: insightful and curious, precocious and assertive, in all ways a woman of the moment times, relishing her brief stint on this earth–a literal Woman of the Flow. I have no idea what this means or why 'woman' and 'flow' are capitalized. Unless this is a proper name, they should not be.  This sheer Her vivacity astounds Darius, and for the first time in all his long life he falls in love. Darius writes letters to his "dearest Kate" throughout the novelhis life; Kate becomes, in a literal sense, Darius's link to his own humanity.

Darius continues hunting werewolves with the aid of his loyal batman Unless Darius is a British military officer, this is the wrong word. HARGREAVES. 'Continues' does not fit either because I never knew that he started hunting werewolves. You told us that he killed the one that murdered his mother, which I took as an act of passion and not a calculated hunt, and that he learned the ways of the Wolven from his father and grandfather, but not that he ever actually started hunting them. By the autumn of 1888, Kate is with child and Jack the Ripper has London choking on its own terror. Inspector ABBERLINE isn't even close to finding his man–if man he be at all–and writes to Darius in dire need of his particular expertise. And what expertise is that? Is it common knowledge that Darius is a werewolf hunter? Though at first unwilling, Kate encourages Darius to take the case, and even follows him to Whitechapel. It may not be widely known among your readers that Whitechapel is a place in London. It would probably be useful for them to know this from the text.  While Darius, Hargreaves and Abberline–along with KELLEENE, their privately contracted coroner–uncover that the 'Ripper' is a conspiracy between a witch, her berserker and their master–CAIN, an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta against Darius–the unthinkable happens. Kate is captured by the werewolf, who afflicts infects her with an arcane form of lycanthropy. Again, this is a word that will lose readers. It would be helpful to explain what this is in the text. You have introduced four MCs in this para, plus the witch and the bererker. That is a lot and risks info overload. I suggest you simplify.

Darius begins making one impossible choice after another Show, don't tell., desperate to find a cure that might not exist, all the while resisting his Wolven nature that compels him to kill the monster his dearest Kate is becoming. All the while Cain waits with a predator'sy patience. With each full moon Kate's condition grows progressively worse. Curiously, however, her pregnancy is not affected in the slightest, even when she undergoes the change. On 20 April 1889 Darius Carlyle's son, TOBIAS Jacob Nathaniel, is literally ripped from Kate's womb–by Kate herself, as she is torn between the pangs of labor and grotesque convulsions of metamorphosis. Darius fears that his son may be cursed like his mother; Kelleene assures him there is no sign, though he does not know how. Nevertheless, aAfter countless failed attempts at a cure have only served to exacerbate for Kate's condition–including a Catholic exorcism, in which Darius recruits Kate's childhood priest–Darius finds an ancient Wolven Rritual that may save Kate her. But the Rritual requires Cain's blood.

Darius indeed captures Cain, but the exorcism Choose another word. You already mentioned a Catholic exorcism and there was no reference to this when you brought up the ritual. fails and Kate helps Cain escape, ransacking Darius's Llibrary. Her will is seemingly no longer her own, overwhelmed by her werewolf alpha's. Unhinged, Darius begins torturesing Cain's minions for information–while tormenting himself with for his failures. Eventually he locatesing Cain, and his dearest Kate, Darius entrusts Jacob Hargreaves with the fostering of his son. The bit about his son seems important to the story, but has been thrown in at a point when the reader is focuse on the Darius - Cain - Kate triangle. If it is important to your story, then you should deal with it more fully. If not, you can cut it. Setting out to kill Cain (tThe only other possible cure for Kate that he has found), requires that he kill Cain. Darius is certain that he is also going to doing so will also mean his own death.

The last entry of the journal is a letter Darius writes to his dearest Kate, in which he grievously recounts his final stand against Cain and his beloved.

Years later, Darius's journal finds its way into the hands of his estranged son, and there is an inscription on the back cover:

"Tobias,
If you ever read this, I hope you can understand; even if you can't forgive me.

Your father." Nice ending!



#7 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 03:57 PM

See if this reads better

SYNOPSIS:

The Wolven are a race of mystical werewolf hunters that predate antiquity. They may be as old as the werewolves themselves. Wolven hunt werewolves, this is the way of it. And though DARIUS CARLYLE is only half-Wolven, he has killed more werewolves than any Wolven in centuries.

As he tells us in his personal journals, Darius Carlyle returns to Wolfstone Manor, after many years abroad, upon the death of his grandfather. His father abdicating the majority of the will to him, Darius effectively becomes Lord of Wolfstone. He inherits the house, the estate and—most importantly—the library. Darius, with the aid of his man of business HARGREAVES, continues hunting down werewolves, lest complacency get the better of him.

Darius, spending yet another lonely birthday in a seedy pub in London, happens upon KATHERINE HARROW. Here is a woman whose mortality doesn’t seem to hinder her spirit in the slightest. Even after all he’s seen, Darius is dumbfounded by Kate’s indomitability. Kate expresses and exudes the joy of the moment, refusing to conform to the demure standards of the day. Her open mind and unconditional love become the foundation of Darius’s humanity—and he becomes a better werewolf hunter for it.

By the autumn of 1888, Darius and Kate are married and expecting their first child, while Jack the Ripper has London choking on its own terror. Thanks to Hargreaves, Darius gains a reputation as an investigator of sorts. Hargreaves suspects the work of a werewolf, but Darius shrugs this off. But then an old friend, INSPECTOR ABBERLINE, writes to Darius. Abberline isn't even close to finding his man–if man he be at all–and is in need of Darius's particular expertise. Though at first unwilling, Kate encourages Darius to take the case, and even follows him to Whitechapel in London. But when Darius, Hargreaves and Abberline uncover that the 'Ripper' is a conspiracy between a witch, her berserker and their master–CAIN, an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta against Darius–the unthinkable happens. Kate is captured by the werewolf, and cursed with an arcane form of lycanthropy.

As a Wolven, Darius knows what he should do. As a husband, however, Darius refuses. With each full moon Kate's condition grows progressively worse. Curiously, however, her pregnancy is not affected in the slightest, even when she undergoes the change. On 20 April 1889 Darius Carlyle's son, TOBIAS Jacob Nathaniel, is literally ripped from Kate's womb–by Kate herself, as she is torn between the pangs of labor and grotesque convulsions of metamorphosis. After countless failed attempts to cure Kate–including a Catholic exorcism–Darius finds an ancient Wolven ritual that may save her. But it requires the blood of the werewolf that turned Kate.

Darius captures Cain, but the ritual fails, and Kate helps Cain escape through the library. Unhinged, Darius tortures any werewolf he can find for information–while torturing himself for his failures. Eventually he locates Cain, and his dearest Kate. The only other possible cure he has found requires Darius to kill Cain. However, Darius is certain that he is also going to his own death.

The final entry of the journal is a letter Darius writes to his dearest Kate, in which he grievously recounts his final stand against Cain–and his beloved.

Years later the journal finds its way into the hands of Darius's estranged son. On the inside cover is an inscription:

"Tobias,

If you ever read this, I hope you can understand; even if you can't forgive me.

Your father."

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#8 Kat_A_Turner

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 03:28 PM

The Wolven are a race of mystical werewolf hunters that predate antiquity. I like this intro. Concise, informative. They may be as old as the werewolves themselves.Are they or aren't they? Or does the MC not know? I'd specify. Wolven hunt werewolves, this is the way of it. And though DARIUS CARLYLE is only half-Wolven, he has killed more werewolves than any Wolven in centuries. Solid hook overall, though I might put the last sentence closer to 1st. Lead with your MC. If there is a conflict between Darius and the wolven, I'd also hint at it in the hook. 

As he tells us in his personal journals, Darius Carlyle returns to Wolfstone Manor, after many years abroad, upon the death of his grandfather. His father abdicating the majority of the will to him, Darius effectively becomes Lord of Wolfstone. He inherits the house, the estate and—most importantly—the library.Can you show/hint why library is important? Darius, with the aid of his man of business HARGREAVES, continues hunting down werewolves, lest complacency get the better of him.

Darius, spending yet another lonely birthday in a seedy pub in London, happens upon KATHERINE HARROW. Here is a woman whose mortality doesn’t seem to hinder her spirit in the slightest. Even after all he’s seen, Darius is dumbfounded by Kate’s indomitability. Kate expresses and exudes the joy of the moment, refusing to conform to the demure standards of the day. Her open mind and unconditional love become the foundation of Darius’s humanity—and he becomes a better werewolf hunter for it. I like this, though the move to "unconditional love" felt abrupt and jarred me a bit. Maybe one more sentence about how their feelings grow and deepen, or something? 

By the autumn of 1888, Darius and Kate are married and expecting their first child, while Jack the Ripper has London choking on its own terror. Thanks to Hargreaves Can you show us a bit more of what Hargreaves did? I sort of forgot about him, Darius gains a reputation as an investigator of sorts. Hargreaves suspects the work of a werewolf,as in he thinks Jack the Ripper is a werewolf? I'd make this 100% clear. but Darius shrugs this off. But then an old friend, INSPECTOR ABBERLINE, writes to Darius. Abberline isn't even close to finding his man–if man he be at all–and is in need of Darius's particular expertise. Though at first unwilling, Kate encourages Darius to take the case, and even follows him to Whitechapel in London. But when Darius, Hargreaves and Abberline uncover that the 'Ripper' is a conspiracy between a witch, her berserker
 can you say what a berserker is? and their master–CAIN I think you need more clarity. As in the ripper isn't an actual person, and the events are supernatural?, an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta against Darius–the unthinkable happens. Kate is captured by the werewolf, and cursed with an arcane form of lycanthropy.Good twist! But why does he curse her and not just hold her hostage as revenge against Darius? 

As a Wolven, Darius knows what he should do. As a husband, however, Darius refuses. I'm confused. Darius may know, but your readers don't. :smile: Can you give us a bit more on his choice? With each full moon Kate's condition grows progressively worse. Curiously, however, her pregnancy is not affected in the slightest, even when she undergoes the change. On 20 April 1889 Darius Carlyle's son, TOBIAS Jacob Nathaniel,full name in caps. Also, you may have too many named characters. Can you stick to 3? is literally ripped from Kate's womb–by Kate herself, as she is torn between the pangs of labor and grotesque convulsions of metamorphosis. After countless failed attempts to cure Kate–including a Catholic exorcism–Darius finds an ancient Wolven ritual that may save her. But it requires the blood of the werewolf that turned Kate. Nice!

Darius captures Cain, but the ritual fails, and Kate helps Cain escape through the library. Unhinged, Darius tortures any werewolf he can find for information–while torturing himself for his failures. Eventually he locates Cain, and his dearest Kate. The only other possible cure he has found requires Darius to kill Cain. However, Darius is certain that he is also going to his own death. Where is the child in all of this? Dead? With Kate and Cain?

The final entry of the journal is a letter Darius writes to his dearest Kate, in which he grievously recounts his final stand against Cain–and his beloved. 

Years later the journal finds its way into the hands of Darius's estranged son. On the inside cover is an inscription:

"Tobias,How did he get away/escape from the werewolves?

If you ever read this, I hope you can understand; even if you can't forgive me. 

Your father." 
 
Sounds like a cool supernatural story! I'd read it. I do think that you need to clarify some things in your synopsis. Mainly the ending. Does Darius die at the end? Kate? Cain? Does Tobias forgive his father, or not? Was the Ripper conspiracy stopped? Don't leave anything vague in your synopsis, especially the ending. Agents/publishers want know know how the end turns out. 


#9 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 04:22 PM

Thank you so much, Kat! I'm going to start ironing out the kinks. But to answer ONE of your questions haha, I'm saving Tobias for the sequel.

And also, a berserker is a kind of werewolf. I cover the whole spectrum in this book :smile:

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#10 Kat_A_Turner

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 04:25 PM

Cool! 



#11 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:45 PM

Okay, here goes...



THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE


Although DARIUS CARLYLE is only half-Wolven, he has killed more werewolves than any other in centuries. Wolven–mystical werewolf hunters with centuries-long lifespans–predate antiquity. Their mythic history claim their people are as old as the werewolves themselves. Wolven hunt werewolves; this is their purpose, and Darius Carlyle has been killing werewolves since the night one mauled his mother. Minutes later Darius slaughtered it, and relished in that retribution.

As he relates through his personal journals, Darius returns to Wolfstone Manor after many years abroad–learning esoteric secrets and hunting down werewolves, and gaining a reputation for it–upon the death of his grandfather. His father abdicating the majority of the will to him, Darius effectively becomes Lord of Wolfstone. He inherits the house, the estate and—most importantly—the library, and it's hoard of knowledge. Darius, with the aid of the steadfastly loyal JACOB HARGREAVES, continues hunting down werewolves, lest complacency get the better of him. Hargreaves keeps a watchful eye out for any werewolf for Darius to hunt.

Spending his one-hundred ninety-second birthday alone in a seedy pub in London, Darius happens upon KATHERINE HARROW. For Darius, the attraction is instantaneous: Here is a woman whose mortality doesn’t seem to hinder her spirit in the slightest. Even after all he’s seen, Darius is dumbfounded by Kate’s indomitability. Kate expresses and exudes the joy of the moment, refusing to conform to the demure standards of the day. And because she opens her mind, accepting Darius for the man he is, her unconditional love becomes the foundation of Darius’s humanity—and Darius becomes a better werewolf hunter for it.

By the autumn of 1888, Darius and Kate are married and expecting their first child, while Jack the Ripper has London choking on its own terror. Thanks to Hargreaves, Darius gains a reputation as an investigator of sorts. Hargreaves suspects the work of a werewolf, but Darius shrugs this off. But then an old friend writes to Darius, who has been working the case. He isn't even close to finding his man (if man he be at all) and is in need of Darius's particular expertise. Though at first unwilling, Kate encourages Darius to take the case, and even follows him to Whitechapel in London. Then Darius and Hargreaves uncover that the 'Ripper' is a conspiracy manipulated by CAIN–an ancient werewolf with an incomprehensibly personal vendetta against Darius–the unthinkable happens. Cain kidnaps Kate. Though Hargreaves kills the Ripper and Darius manages to save her, Darius is shocked when he discovers that the werewolf cursed his dearest Kate with an arcane form of lycanthropy.

As a Wolven, Darius knows what he should do. As a husband, however, Darius refuses. With each full moon Kate's condition grows progressively worse. Curiously, however, her pregnancy is not affected in the slightest, even when she undergoes the change. On 20 April 1889 Darius Carlyle's firstborn son is literally ripped from Kate's womb by Kate herself, as she is torn between the pangs of labor and grotesque convulsions of metamorphosis. After countless failed attempts to cure Kate–including a Catholic exorcism–Darius finds an ancient Wolven ritual that may save her. But it requires the blood of the werewolf that turned Kate.

Darius captures Cain, but the ritual fails, and Kate helps Cain escape through the library. Unhinged, Darius tortures any werewolf he can find for information–while torturing himself for his failures. Eventually he locates Cain, and his dearest Kate. The only other possible cure he has found requires Darius to kill Cain. However, Darius is certain that he is also going to his own death. Leaving his son in Hargreaves' care, Darius meets Cain at Stonehenge.

The final entry of the journal is a letter Darius writes to his dearest Kate, in which he grievously recounts his final stand against Cain–and his beloved. Cain goads Darius's bloodlust as the Wolven cuts through the pack of werewolves, each kill swifter than the last, until it is intimately instinctive. But Darius only just restrains himself when his dearest Kate is the last left. She attacks Darius at Cain's command. Torn between love and bloodlust, Darius pleads with Kate to hold on to her indomitable humanity. Darius, using mystical tactics, manages to subdue Kate, and turn his rage towards Cain. But at the sound of a sudden snarl behind him Darius, on instinct, turns and strikes–driving his blade through Kate's heart. As silvery fire consumes her before Darius's eyes he is completely, utterly broken. And as a final taunt, Cain reveals to Darius that he stole a book from Darius's library when he was captured for the ritual, which Darius had never known of: a book of profane werewolf magick, that contains the actual cure for lycanthropy. Darius lashes out at Cain but the werewolf stays his hand, telling the Wolven to savor his vengeance a while longer. Cain then vanishes, leaving Darius alone amid the ashes of his dearest Kate. Wracked with grief and blame, Darius ends this final letter to the love that he killed, writing, "I'm sorry that I loved you," and vowing to right his wrongs. The journal ends here, Darius's fate after writing this letter unknown.

Some time later the journal finds its way into the hands of Darius's son. On the inside cover an inscription reads:

"TOBIAS,

If you ever read this, I hope you can understand; even if you can't forgive me.

Your father."

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#12 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 10:01 PM

[/bump]

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#13 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:11 PM

I just want to see if the synopsis is responsible for the rejections I've been getting lately. Will return the favor, thanks guys!

JJW

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#14 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:36 PM

Any other critiquers? Will return the favor!

 

JJW


My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#15 Monks

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 01:35 PM

First off, this seems like a really cool story, and overall, I think the synopsis is written really well. There's just one big issue that I think might be turning agents away. You go into WAY too much backstory. The plot begins when Darius takes on the Jack the Ripper case. Just about everything before that needs to be cut, in my opinion. Introduce Darius as a half-Wolven, with a brief explanation as to what that is (long-lived mystical werewolf hunters -- no more than that), maybe a brief clause about how he got started (avenging his father). Then introduce Katherine -- in a single sentence, MAYBE two. And then jump into the Jack the Ripper stuff. Hargreaves should be removed from the synopsis, I think. There are a few nitpicky critiques that I could make beyond that, but if you're going to be a substantial rewrite, then I'll just wait and critique the next version. Of course, this is just my own opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. But all the research I've done on synopsis writing suggests you need to get into the plot much more quickly than you do in this version.

 

Also, just to weigh in on your original question about the ending, you absolutely have to give the full ending in the synopsis. This version is much more compelling than the previous versions that left the ending vague. And on that note, if Darius's fate after the battle with Cain is revealed in the book, then it should definitely be here in the synopsis. But if it's not (as I suspect is the case), then the ending you give here is fine.

 

But like I said, I think your story sounds interesting, and your writing seems strong. I think cutting some of the extraneous stuff from this will go a long way in getting agents to be more receptive.

 

Although DARIUS CARLYLE is only half-Wolven, he has killed more werewolves than any other in centuries. Wolven–mystical werewolf hunters with centuries-long lifespans–predate antiquity. Their mythic history claim their people are as old as the werewolves themselves. Wolven hunt werewolves; this is their purpose, and Darius Carlyle has been killing werewolves since the night one mauled his mother. Minutes later Darius slaughtered it, and relished in that retribution.

As he relates through his personal journals, Darius returns to Wolfstone Manor after many years abroad–learning esoteric secrets and hunting down werewolves, and gaining a reputation for it–upon the death of his grandfather. His father abdicating the majority of the will to him, Darius effectively becomes Lord of Wolfstone. He inherits the house, the estate and—most importantly—the library, and it's hoard of knowledge. Darius, with the aid of the steadfastly loyal JACOB HARGREAVES, continues hunting down werewolves, lest complacency get the better of him. Hargreaves keeps a watchful eye out for any werewolf for Darius to hunt.

Spending his one-hundred ninety-second birthday alone in a seedy pub in London, Darius happens upon KATHERINE HARROW. For Darius, the attraction is instantaneous: Here is a woman whose mortality doesn’t seem to hinder her spirit in the slightest. Even after all he’s seen, Darius is dumbfounded by Kate’s indomitability. Kate expresses and exudes the joy of the moment, refusing to conform to the demure standards of the day. And because she opens her mind, accepting Darius for the man he is, her unconditional love becomes the foundation of Darius’s humanity—and Darius becomes a better werewolf hunter for it.

By the autumn of 1888, Darius and Kate are married and expecting their first child, while Jack the Ripper has London choking on its own terror. Thanks to Hargreaves, Darius gains a reputation as an investigator of sorts. Hargreaves suspects the work of a werewolf, but Darius shrugs this off. But then an old friend writes to Darius, who has been working the case. He isn't even close to finding his man (if man he be at all) and is in need of Darius's particular expertise. Though at first unwilling, Kate encourages Darius to take the case, and even follows him to Whitechapel in London. Then Darius and Hargreaves uncover that the 'Ripper' is a conspiracy manipulated by CAIN–an ancient werewolf with an incomprehensibly personal vendetta against Darius–the unthinkable happens. Cain kidnaps Kate. Though Hargreaves kills the Ripper and Darius manages to save her, Darius is shocked when he discovers that the werewolf cursed his dearest Kate with an arcane form of lycanthropy.

As a Wolven, Darius knows what he should do. As a husband, however, Darius refuses. With each full moon Kate's condition grows progressively worse. Curiously, however, her pregnancy is not affected in the slightest, even when she undergoes the change. On 20 April 1889 Darius Carlyle's firstborn son is literally ripped from Kate's womb by Kate herself, as she is torn between the pangs of labor and grotesque convulsions of metamorphosis. After countless failed attempts to cure Kate–including a Catholic exorcism–Darius finds an ancient Wolven ritual that may save her. But it requires the blood of the werewolf that turned Kate.

Darius captures Cain, but the ritual fails, and Kate helps Cain escape through the library. Unhinged, Darius tortures any werewolf he can find for information–while torturing himself for his failures. Eventually he locates Cain, and his dearest Kate. The only other possible cure he has found requires Darius to kill Cain. However, Darius is certain that he is also going to his own death. Leaving his son in Hargreaves' care, Darius meets Cain at Stonehenge.

The final entry of the journal is a letter Darius writes to his dearest Kate, in which he grievously recounts his final stand against Cain–and his beloved. Cain goads Darius's bloodlust as the Wolven cuts through the pack of werewolves, each kill swifter than the last, until it is intimately instinctive. But Darius only just restrains himself when his dearest Kate is the last left. She attacks Darius at Cain's command. Torn between love and bloodlust, Darius pleads with Kate to hold on to her indomitable humanity. Darius, using mystical tactics, manages to subdue Kate, and turn his rage towards Cain. But at the sound of a sudden snarl behind him Darius, on instinct, turns and strikes–driving his blade through Kate's heart. As silvery fire consumes her before Darius's eyes he is completely, utterly broken. And as a final taunt, Cain reveals to Darius that he stole a book from Darius's library when he was captured for the ritual, which Darius had never known of: a book of profane werewolf magick, that contains the actual cure for lycanthropy. Darius lashes out at Cain but the werewolf stays his hand, telling the Wolven to savor his vengeance a while longer. Cain then vanishes, leaving Darius alone amid the ashes of his dearest Kate. Wracked with grief and blame, Darius ends this final letter to the love that he killed, writing, "I'm sorry that I loved you," and vowing to right his wrongs. The journal ends here, Darius's fate after writing this letter unknown.

Some time later the journal finds its way into the hands of Darius's son. On the inside cover an inscription reads:

"TOBIAS,

If you ever read this, I hope you can understand; even if you can't forgive me.

Your father."

 


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#16 Paulsvault

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:08 PM

As someone who is still stumbling through the synopsis portion of my own work, I'll give you my ¢.02

 

The second half of your synopsis seemed pretty spot on (Beginning with By the autumn of 1888...). Before that seemed like more back story and stage setting that synopsis, but I someone may come along behind me and say that's just what you needed to do. How you rectify that, I do not know, as I am no master myself. The pacing and flow of the second half read very well though, and made the story become very interesting. The struggle is clear and the outcome, however necessary, is not one that gives any real happiness to Darius (which I'm sure was intended). He did his job, but killed his loved one in the process, thus causing him to spend the remainder of his life wrapped in grief and misery (my kind of ending, who needs happy endings after all!).

 

Best of luck to you and you're off to a good start!


The Warrior's Crown Query: http://agentquerycon...own-ya-fantasy/

The Warrior's Crown Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...own-ya-fantasy/

The Warrior's Crown First 250: http://agentquerycon...warriors-crown/

The Warrior's Crown Hook: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=337108

 

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. - James Douglas Morrison

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. - Ray Bradbury

 


#17 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:52 PM

Perhaps...?

SYNOPSIS: THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE

[The following has been taken and novelized from DARIUS CARLYLE's personal journal, dated 1875-1889)
 
When Darius returns to Wolfstone Manor following his grandfather's death, he finds himself inheriting the house, estate, and—most importantly—the library, and its hoard of esoteric lore. After a century and a half steeped in slaughter, Darius is grateful for a home of his own at last. But he continues covertly hunting werewolves, lest complacency get the better of him.

Then Darius happens upon the eucatastrophic KATHERINE HARROW.

By the autumn of 1888, Darius and Kate are married and expecting their first child. Meanwhile, Jack the Ripper has London choking on its own terror. Then an old friend writes Darius. He has been working the case, and isn't even close to finding his man (if man he be at all), and is in need of Darius's particular expertise. Though at first unwilling, Kate encourages Darius to take the case, and even follows him to Whitechapel in London. Though dismayed, Darius cannot help but be in awe of Kate's innate talent for subversion. When Darius uncovers that the 'Ripper' is a conspiracy manipulated by CAIN–an ancient werewolf with an incomprehensibly personal vendetta against Darius–the unthinkable happens. Cain kidnaps Kate. Though the Ripper is slain and Darius manages to save her, Darius is shocked when he discovers that the werewolf cursed his dearest Kate with an arcane form of lycanthropy.

With each full moon Kate's condition grows progressively worse. Curiously, however, her pregnancy is not affected in the slightest, even when she undergoes the Change. On 20 April 1889 Kate literally rips their firstborn son from her womb, torn between the pangs of labor and grotesque convulsions of metamorphosis. After countless failed attempts to cure Kate–including a Catholic exorcism–Darius finds an ancient Wolven ritual that may save her. But it requires the blood of the werewolf that turned Kate. 

Darius manages to snare Cain, but the ritual fails, and Kate helps Cain escape through the library. Unhinged, Darius tortures any werewolf he can find for information–while torturing himself for his failures. Eventually he locates Cain, and his dearest Kate. The only other possible cure he has found requires Darius to kill Cain. However, Darius is certain that he is also going to his own death. Leaving his son in a trusted friend's care, Darius meets Cain at Stonehenge. 

The final entry of the journal is a letter Darius writes to his dearest Kate, in which he grievously recounts his final stand against Cain, and his beloved. Cain goads Darius's bloodlust as the Wolven cuts through the pack of werewolves, each kill swifter than the last, until it is intimately instinctive. But Darius only just restrains himself when his dearest Kate is the last left. She attacks Darius at Cain's command. Torn between love and bloodlust, Darius pleads with Kate to hold on to her indomitable humanity. Darius, using mystical tactics, manages to subdue Kate, and turn his rage towards Cain. But at the sound of a sudden snarl behind him Darius, on instinct, turns and strikes–driving his blade through Kate's heart. As silvery fire consumes her before Darius's eyes he is completely, utterly broken. And as a final taunt, Cain reveals to Darius that he stole a book from Darius's library when he was captured for the ritual, which Darius had never known of: a book of profane werewolf magick, that contains the actual cure for lycanthropy. Darius lashes out at Cain but the werewolf stays his hand, telling the Wolven to savor his vengeance a while longer. Cain then vanishes, leaving Darius alone amid the ashes of his dearest Kate. Wracked with grief and blame, Darius ends this final letter to the love that he killed, writing, "I'm sorry that I loved you," and vowing to right his wrongs. The journal ends here, Darius's fate after writing this letter unknown. 

Some time later the journal finds its way into the hands of Darius's son. On the inside cover an inscription reads:

"TOBIAS,

If you ever read this, I hope you can understand; even if you can't forgive me. 

Your father."

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#18 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:12 AM

Deleted

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#19 Monks

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:53 AM

I don't mean for this to sound overly negative, and this is all just my opinion, but so far as I'm concerned, the problems are all still there. You made the superfluous section shorter, but it's still there and still superfluous. The entire second paragraph can just be cut outright. All it says is, "Darius inherits a house, which doesn't play into the plot, from his grandfather, who doesn't play into the plot, and he has an assistant, who doesn't play into the plot, and he keeps hunting werewolves, lest complacency get the better of him, a.k.a. nothing changes." Obviously, I'm being a bit flippant here, but only to point out where the dead weight is. The house, the grandfather, the grandfather's death -- none of that is mentioned again after this paragraph.

 

As for where the story begins, I'm sure you're right. I'm sure the story begins when Darius meets Kate, or even earlier. But the PLOT begins when Darius gets on the Jack the Ripper case. That's when something happens that changes the status quo, the inciting incident that spurs the rest of the events of the plot. It's a plot synopsis, not a story synopsis, and there's definitely a difference. For that reason, I think Kate's introduction is still too long. The introduction basically says, "Darius falls in love with Kate, and here's some thematic stuff that will come up later." But so far as the plot is concerned, still nothing has happened. I agree that you need to introduce her, because she becomes plot relevant later. But a whole paragraph for her is too long, especially when you set it up as if his meeting Kate is the inciting incident ("Then Darius happens upon..."), but there's no payoff in the next paragraph.

 

As for Hargreaves, none of that sequel stuff matters. You're not selling the sequel, you're selling this. Hargreaves does nothing in the context of the synopsis. He's introduced, but does nothing in that introduction other than provide vague aid. You say that thanks to him, Darius gains a reputation as an investigator, but you don't mention how Hargreaves plays into that at all, and I don't think you need to mention that about Darius's reputation anyway. Then Hargreaves suspects werewolf, but Darius shrugs it off, i.e. nothing changes. Then Darius and Hargreaves uncover the Ripper conspiracy -- Hargreaves could easily be plucked right out of that sentence. And finally, Darius leaves Tobias in his care. But nothing comes of that (again, in the synopsis -- I'm sure it's important in the novel). Could just as easily say Darius leaves Tobias with a friend/servant/babysitter. So Hargreaves might be an important character in the story, and he might be important in the whole plot. But in the super concise, streamlined version of the plot that a synopsis necessarily is, he does nothing. He should be cut.

 

And finally, the major twist you mention concerning Tobias -- if it's in this novel, it goes in the synopsis. If it only comes up in the sequel, then it's fine (and even necessary) to leave it out.

 

Sorry to come across as so negative (if I am coming across that way). I think you have a REALLY strong, concise, and well-written synopsis here. It's just got a lot of extra words tacked on that, once removed, will leave it totally solid.


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#20 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 12:40 AM

Dammit I hate this stupid iPad. Anyway...

Perhaps...?


SYNOPSIS: THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE

[The following has been extracted and novelized from DARIUS CARLYLE's personal journal, dated 1875-1889]

When Darius returns to Wolfstone Manor following his grandfather's death, he finds himself inheriting the house, estate, and—most importantly—the library, and its hoard of esoteric lore. After a century and a half steeped in slaughter, Darius is grateful for a home of his own at last. But he continues covertly hunting werewolves, lest complacency get the better of him.

Then Darius happens upon the eucatastrophic KATHERINE HARROW.

By the autumn of 1888, Darius and Kate are married and expecting their first child. Meanwhile, Jack the Ripper has London choking on its own terror. Then the inspector in charge of the case writes Darius. He isn't even close to finding his man (if man he be at all), and is in need of Darius's particular expertise. Though at first unwilling, Kate encourages Darius to take the case, and even follows him to Whitechapel in London. Though dismayed, Darius cannot help but be in awe of Kate's innate talent for subversion. When Darius uncovers that the 'Ripper' is a conspiracy manipulated by CAIN–a so-called 'True Ancient' werewolf with an incomprehensibly personal vendetta against Darius's family–the unthinkable happens. Cain kidnaps Kate. Though the Ripper is slain and Darius manages to save her, Darius is shocked to discover that the werewolf has cursed his dearest Kate with an arcane form of lycanthropy.

With each full moon Kate's condition grows progressively worse. Curiously, however, her pregnancy is not affected in the slightest, even when she undergoes the Change. On 20 April 1889 Kate literally rips their firstborn son from her womb, torn between the pangs of labor and grotesque convulsions of metamorphosis. After countless failed attempts to cure Kate–including a Catholic exorcism–Darius finds an ancient Wolven ritual that may save her. But it requires the blood of the werewolf that turned Kate.

Darius manages to snare Cain, but the ritual fails, and Kate helps Cain escape through the library. Unhinged, Darius tortures any werewolf he can find for information–while torturing himself for his failures. Eventually he locates Cain, and his dearest Kate. The only other possible cure he has found requires Darius to kill Cain. Certain he is going to his own death, Darius sorrowfully leaves his son in the care of his last trusted friend in this world.

Then Darius meets Cain at Stonehenge.

The final entry of the journal is a letter Darius writes to his dearest Kate, in which he grievously recounts his final stand against Cain, and his beloved. Cain goads Darius's bloodlust as the Wolven cuts through the pack of werewolves, each kill swifter than the last, until it is intimately instinctive. But Darius only just restrains himself when his dearest Kate is the last left. She attacks Darius at Cain's command. Torn between love and bloodlust, Darius pleads with Kate to hold on to her indomitable humanity. Darius, using mystical tactics, manages to subdue Kate, and turn his rage towards Cain. But at the sound of a sudden snarl behind him Darius, on instinct, turns and strikes–driving his blade through Kate's heart. As silvery fire consumes her before Darius's eyes he is completely, utterly broken. And as a final taunt, Cain reveals to Darius that he stole a book from Darius's library when he was captured for the ritual, which Darius had never known of: a book of profane werewolf magick, that contains the actual cure for lycanthropy. Darius lashes out at Cain but the werewolf stays his hand, telling the Wolven to savor his vengeance a while longer. Cain then vanishes, leaving Darius alone amid the ashes of his dearest Kate. Wracked with grief and blame, Darius ends this final letter to the love that he killed, writing, "I'm sorry that I loved you," and vowing to right his wrongs. The journal ends here, Darius's fate after writing this letter unknown.

Some time later the journal finds its way into the hands of Darius's son. On the inside cover an inscription reads:

"TOBIAS,

If you ever read this, I hope you can understand; even if you can't forgive me.
Your father."

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 





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