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The House of Ashes (YA Fantasy) New Draft at Post #27


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#1 jphollis

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 07:53 AM

New Draft at Post #27

 

Here it is, just under 1,000 words. Comments, critiques, and criticisms are all welcome.

 

15-year-old Kal believes that he is a reincarnation of a god, but the only way to prove it is by by completing the Finding. This involves earning a second name from a Patron god, and then searching for the name of his original incarnation. Only then can he master his flame and prove to the monks at the monastery where he was left as a baby that he’s not a nobody. On the other side of the shekel, 14-year-old Nia’s life is boundless in her airship with Senna, the Republican streetrat who took Nia in the day the Republic stole her family forever. Although she is one of the Reborn, Nia doesn’t care about her past incarnations. She only wishes to find her brother. So once a year she takes a day off from flying to wait at the Hall of Names, hoping he will show up for his annual allowance.

 

While waiting and hoping her brother will show up, bombs rock the city and a cloth covers Nia’s mouth and knocks her unconscious. She awakens, shackled within a camel-drawn wagon bouncing over the dunes outside Uruk. At the same time, Kal’s attempts to steal Nia’s airship but crashes into the ziggurat. After the dust settles, Abgal Zu, the only monk who believes in him, makes a deal with the temple administrator: Abgal Zu will accompany Kal south to Eridu, where he will train at the Lion Temple. After Senna’s airship is repaired, Kal will assist Senna in freeing his sister.

 

Kal’s training begins by swallowing his pride as Zara, the ten-year-old patron god of Eridu, mocks him for his inability to control his flame. But at least he gets his own lion cub out of the deal. Meanwhile, Nia’s new life of drudgery begins. The prison guards shave her head, apply a tattoo to her neck, and finally lead her to a room lined with chairs full of leather straps, wires, and green, glowing glass bulbs. After a half hour of torture, Nia learns why the Republic kidnapped her: they are using the Reborn as a new energy source by sucking the flame out of them.

 

After a week of gnawing on rock-hard barley cakes, sweating in a tightly packed cell, and daily torture sessions, the guards lead the prisoners outside for a demonstration. Armod, the Republic’s second-in-control, gives a speech about a future where Shumeria will power the Republic. When he introduces the one responsible for this technology, Nia can’t help but shout the name of her long-lost brother. Meanwhile, Kal makes a discovery of his own. During a trip to the market, he encounters a girl with a Republic tattoo across her neck. Assuming she is a spy for the Republic, Kal attempts to capture her but fails. He decides to keep her discovery a secret as he doesn’t wish to jeopardize Zara cancelling the test to earn his second name at the end of the week.

 

Despite sleepless nights and unrelenting training, Kal fails his test after he notices the spy in the audience. After chasing her down, he discovers that her name is Aria, an escapee from the House of Ashes. Aria wants nothing more than to get back at the Republic for killing her family.  After making a mysterious deal with Abgal Zu, she agrees to accompany Kal, Agbal Zu, and Senna on their quest to rescue Nia, but Nia might not be there by the time they arrive. After fighting against the guards to reach her brother, Nia is tortured twice daily, which begins to unleash her latent power to control the wind. Her brother arranges a secret meeting and explains how he began working with the Republic after their parents were killed, eventually developing the gargantuan weapon known as the Humbaba. All of which he regrets. He promises to break Nia out the next day.

 

The escape plan fails when Armod’s right-hand man, the Mask, catches wind of her brother’s treachery. Instead of a life with her brother like she always dreamed, Nia watches her brother’s life sucked away by his own creation, converting his flame into a green blast that melts a building-wide hole through a sand dune. Her flame is then sucked out until blackness folds over her eyes, which is when Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria burst in. While Kal holds back the Mask, Senna slings his unconscious sister onto his back. They run, but the Mask strikes Abgal Zu down, prompting Kal to defend the only man who ever believed in him. In the end, Aria forces Kal to leave a dead Abgal Zu behind and flee the House of Ashes.

 

After returning to Uruk, Kal, Zara, and Aria join the Brotherhood, a rebel group with the intention of releasing the Republic’s hold on Shumeria. Using Nia’s newfound intelligence, they plan a counterattack that is obliterated in the face of the Humbaba. Meanwhile, as Senna is flying Nia away to safety, she takes charge of the airship and flies them into the thick of the battle, just as Kal and the others attempt to destroy the Humbaba. A final, disastrous confrontation between the Mask and Kal ends with Kal locked inside the Humbaba to be destroyed just as Nia's brother was. But due to Kal’s enormous flame, he is able to overload the machine, which explodes and brings the Republic army to its knees.

 

Kal survives and wakes three days later to a festival in honor of those who fell and those who triumphed. He learns the Brotherhood captured Armod alive while the Mask escaped. Zara congratulates both him and Nia, and as a means of rewarding their growth, she bestows upon them second names. They prepare for the award ceremony that night and have their first real conversation together, during which they finally greet each other, having been too busy or too unconscious previously to do so, using their new names for the first time.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

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My Blog: jphollis.com


#2 Nonicks

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 12:56 PM

Take a look at this, it might help:

Synopsis



#3 jphollis

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 02:33 AM

Thanks Nonicks. Interesting article. So I've cut my synopsis down. This second attempt weighs in at precisely 500 words. Any thoughts are appreciated.

 

15-year-old Kal believes that he is a god reincarnate, but to master his flame he must first complete the Finding. This involves earning a second name before he can search for his original incarnation’s name.

 

14-year-old Nia doesn’t care about past incarnations. She only wishes to find her brother. But when Kal steals her airship in a bid to escape, she is separated from her adoptive brother, 16-year-old Senna. A simultaneous attack on the city leaves Nia stranded as soldiers haul her to the House of Ashes, a Republic prison.

 

 

Kal crashes the airship and is kicked out of the temple. But Abgal Zu, the only monk who believes in him, accompanies Kal south to Eridu, where he can train to earn his second name. However, once Senna’s airship is repaired, Kal must help free his sister.

 

 

Meanwhile, prison guards apply a tattoo to Nia’s neck and lead her to a room where a strange machine sucks out much of her flame. Nia learns that the Republic is using the Reborn as a new energy source for a massive weapon called the Humbaba. When the one responsible for this technology visits the House of Ashes, Nia can’t help but shout the name of her long-lost brother.

 

During the test to earn his second name, a girl with a Republic tattoo appears. Believing the girl to be a spy, Kal abandons his test and chases her down only to learn that fourteen-year-old Aria is an escapee from the House of Ashes. She agrees to accompany them on their quest to rescue Nia.

 

 

But Nia might not be there when they arrive. In a secret meeting, her brother expresses regret about working with the Republic and promises to break Nia out the next day. But his plan fails when the Mask, a mysterious guard sent from the Capital, catches wind of her brother’s treachery and kills him. Nia is only saved from the same fate when Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria burst in.

 

 

During their rescue, the Mask strikes Abgal Zu down. Aria forces Kal to leave a dead Abgal Zu behind and flee the House of Ashes with Senna and Nia. After a daring escape, Kal and Aria join the Brotherhood, a rebel group. Using Nia’s intelligence about the Humbaba, they plan a counterattack.

 

Meanwhile, Senna flies Nia away to safety, but Nia doesn’t want to be protected anymore. She takes their airship into the thick of the battle to help. A final confrontation between the Mask and Kal ends with Kal locked inside the Humbaba. But due to Kal’s enormous flame, he overloads the machine, which explodes and brings the Republic army to its knees.

 

Kal wakes three days later to a festival in honor of the battle. Zara gives both Kal and Nia second names. As they prepare for the award ceremony, Kal and Nia finally greet each other, having been too busy or too unconscious previously to do so, using their new names for the first time.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

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My Blog: jphollis.com


#4 Nonicks

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 10:12 AM

I have trouble finishing your synopsis. Let's do it according to the structure in the link I posted earlier.

 

Who is the main character? 

15-year-old Kal (you erased it, but as far as I remember, he pranks monks?)

 

What event/decision/change prompts the main character to take initial action?

 I actually don't know this from your current synopsis.

 

What is the first turning point? What action does the MC take or what decision does he/she make that changes the book’s direction? Once he/she crossed this line, there’s no going back.

I guess stealing the airship?

 

Now in a new life, the MC meets new people, experiences a new life, and meets the antagonist/villain.

I guess I would've described here the House of Ashes, unless the story does not take place there.

 

What is the middle turning point? What happens that causes the MC to make a 180 degree change in direction/change in emotion/change in anything?

I don't know, sorry :(

 

.

.

.

.

.

 

Continue this way. Answer these questions. Don't post another draft here, just answer this briefly and we'll continue with the analysis.

 

Hope this helps. If you can, please take a look at my latest revision. here



#5 jphollis

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 02:10 AM

Thanks so much for your advice, Nonicks. I was actually following a different structure, but I'm going to try to use the one you suggested. I think it is more comprehensive, and it's based on the monomyth, so I love that.

 

Anyway, here are my (not so) brief answers. I've tried to keep it as short as possible, but the total word count is around 650 words. Would love your comments (and others' comments!) on what I've got so far.

 

 

  1. Opening Image: An image/setting/concept that sets the stage for the story to come.

An uncomfortable truce unravels when the technology-loving Union begins kidnapping the religious Shumeria’s young people.

  1. Protagonist Intro: Who is the main character? Give 1-2 descriptive words and say what he she wants.

15-year-old Kal, a jokester orphan who calls a local temple his home, longs to master his flame and find his original incarnation’s name. Only then can he prove he really is a god reborn. On the other side of the coin, 14-year-old Nia doesn’t care about past incarnations. She only wishes to find her brother who was lost after their parents’ murder ten years earlier.

  1. Inciting incident: What event/decision/change prompts the main character to take initial action?

As Kal’s day of Remembrance approaches, he faces the prospect of becoming a full member of the temple. Knowing that he can prove he is a god if he stays, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape. This separates Nia from her adoptive brother, 16-year-old Senna, a Union boy who lives on the outskirts of the law. A simultaneous attack on the city leaves Nia stranded as soldiers attack the city.

  1. Plot Point 1: What is the turning point? What action does the MC take or what decision does he/she make that changes the book’s direction? Once he/she crossed this line, there’s no going back.

While Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, the only monk who believes in him, promises to help Kal on his quest. But only if he assists Senna in rescuing Nia, who has been hauled to a prison known as the House of Ashes.

  1. Conflict & Character Encounters: Now in a new life, the MC meets new people, experiences a new life, and meets the antagonist /villain.

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu travel to Eridu where they meet a true reborn god, Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old girl who accepts Kal as her student. Kal’s ultimate test will be when he fights Zara’s lion to earn a second name, the first step to finding his original name. Meanwhile, across the desert, prison guards apply a tattoo to Nia’s neck and lead her to a room where a strange machine sucks out much of her flame and pulls her to the brink of death.

  1. Midpoint: What is the middle turning point? What happens that causes the MC to make a 180 degree change in direction/change in emotion/change in anything? Again, once he/she has crossed this line, there’s no going back.

When the one responsible for this technology visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement. Kal is also surprised when a girl with a Republic tattoo appears during his test to earn a second name. Believing the girl to be a spy, Kal abandons his test and chases her down only to learn that fourteen-year-old Aria is an escapee from the House of Ashes. After a deal is made, she agrees to help them rescue Nia.

  1. Winning seems imminent, but…: What happens that makes the MC think he/she will win? She seems to have the upper hand, but then oh no! The antagonist defeats her and rushes off more powerful than ever before.

But Nia might not be there when they arrive. In a secret meeting, her brother exadmits that he helped build a massive weapon called the Humbaba that uses the Reborn’s flame as energy. Showing remorse, he promises to break Nia out the next day. But his plan fails when the Mask, a mysterious guard sent from the Union, catches wind of her brother’s treachery and kills him. Nia is only saved from the same fate when Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria burst in. During their rescue, Abgal Zu sacrifices himself to prevent the Mask from killing them all.

  1. Black moment: The MC is lower than low, and he/she must fight through the blackness of his/her emotions to find the strength for the final battle. What happens here?

Kal is devastated by Abgal Zu’s sacrifice and Nia by her brother’s death. When they make it back to Uruk, they join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

  1. Climax: What happens in the final blow-out between the MC and the antagonist?

But the Union strikes first, using the Humbaba against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood on the ground while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. But she appears at the last moment, when Kal has been trapped inside the Humbaba. His abundance of flame helps him destroy the Humbaba from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and attacks the Mask.

  1. Resolution: Does everyone live happily ever after? Yes? No? What happens to tie up all the loose ends?

With the Humbaba destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. Zara declares that both Kal and Nia have grown enough to earn their second names, which they are awarded at a ceremony with the whole Brotherhood present.

  1. Final Image: What is the final image you want to leave your reader with? Ha the MC succumbed to his/her demons or has he/she built a new life?

The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have taken the first major steps on their journey. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

______________________

 

My Blog: jphollis.com


#6 Nonicks

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 02:47 PM

Thanks so much for your advice, Nonicks. I was actually following a different structure, but I'm going to try to use the one you suggested. I think it is more comprehensive, and it's based on the monomyth, so I love that.

 

Anyway, here are my (not so) brief answers. I've tried to keep it as short as possible, but the total word count is around 650 words. Would love your comments (and others' comments!) on what I've got so far.

 

 

  1. Opening Image: An image/setting/concept that sets the stage for the story to come.

An uncomfortable truce unravels when the technology-loving Union begins kidnapping the religious Shumeria’s young people. (I actually prefer without the setup, it's not that interesting without the proper context)

  1. Protagonist Intro: Who is the main character? Give 1-2 descriptive words and say what he she wants.

15-year-old Kal, a jokester orphan who calls a local temple his home, longs to master his flame and find his original incarnation’s name. Only then can he prove he really is a god reborn. On the other side of the coin, 14-year-old Nia doesn’t care about past incarnations. She only wishes to find her brother who was lost after their parents’ murder ten years earlier.

  1. Inciting incident: What event/decision/change prompts the main character to take initial action?

As Kal’s day of Remembrance approaches, he faces the prospect of becoming a full member of the temple. Knowing that he can prove he is a god if he stays, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape. (I don't see any logic in this sentence. He will prove that he's God if he stays, but he decides to escape?) This separates Nia from her adoptive brother, 16-year-old Senna, a Union boy who lives on the outskirts of the law. A simultaneous attack on the city leaves Nia stranded as soldiers attack the city.

  1. Plot Point 1: What is the turning point? What action does the MC take or what decision does he/she make that changes the book’s direction? Once he/she crossed this line, there’s no going back.

While Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, the only monk who believes in him, promises to help Kal on his quest. But only if he assists Senna in rescuing Nia, who has been hauled to a prison known as the House of Ashes.

  1. Conflict & Character Encounters: Now in a new life, the MC meets new people, experiences a new life, and meets the antagonist /villain.

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu travel to Eridu where they meet a true reborn god, Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old girl who accepts Kal as her student. Kal’s ultimate test will be when he fights Zara’s lion to earn a second name, the first step to finding his original name. Meanwhile, across the desert, prison guards apply a tattoo to Nia’s neck and lead her to a room where a strange machine sucks out much of her flame and pulls her to the brink of death.(is this a real flame?)

  1. Midpoint: What is the middle turning point? What happens that causes the MC to make a 180 degree change in direction/change in emotion/change in anything? Again, once he/she has crossed this line, there’s no going back.

When the one responsible for this technology (what technology?)visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement. Kal is also surprised when a girl with a Republic tattoo (this tatoo is not clear)appears during his test to earn a second name. Believing the girl to be a spy, Kal abandons his test and chases her down only to learn that fourteen-year-old Aria is an escapee from the House of Ashes. (and why is this a midpoint? Does make your MC make a 180 degree change?)After a deal is made,(what deal?) she agrees to help them rescue Nia.

  1. Winning seems imminent, but…: What happens that makes the MC think he/she will win? She seems to have the upper hand, but then oh no! The antagonist defeats her and rushes off more powerful than ever before.

But Nia might not be there when they arrive. In a secret meeting, her brother exadmits that he helped build a massive weapon called the Humbaba that uses the Reborn’s flame as energy. Showing remorse, he promises to break Nia out the next day. But his plan fails when the Mask, a mysterious guard sent from the Union, catches wind of her brother’s treachery and kills him. Nia is only saved from the same fate when Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria burst in. During their rescue, Abgal Zu sacrifices himself to prevent the Mask from killing them all. (you made a mess. In one sentence, what makes Kal and Nia think they'd wind?)

  1. Black moment: The MC is lower than low, and he/she must fight through the blackness of his/her emotions to find the strength for the final battle. What happens here?

Kal is devastated by Abgal Zu’s sacrifice and Nia by her brother’s death. When they make it back to Uruk, they join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.(Abgal Zu is not such an important character, I actually didn't remember her. Why is she here? Why Kal is devastated by her?)

  1. Climax: What happens in the final blow-out between the MC and the antagonist?

But the Union strikes first, using the Humbaba against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood on the ground while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. But she appears at the last moment, when Kal has been trapped inside the Humbaba. His abundance of flame helps him destroy the Humbaba from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and attacks the Mask.

  1. Resolution: Does everyone live happily ever after? Yes? No? What happens to tie up all the loose ends?

With the Humbaba destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. Zara declares that both Kal and Nia have grown enough to earn their second names, (I didn't know Nia was searching  for her second name, just Kal)which they are awarded at a ceremony with the whole Brotherhood present. 

  1. Final Image: What is the final image you want to leave your reader with? Ha the MC succumbed to his/her demons or has he/she built a new life?

The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have taken the first major steps on their journey. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.

 

So I hope this helped. :)

 

Can you take a look at my latest revision? here 



#7 jphollis

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 07:14 AM

Thanks again, Nonicks! Here is my next attempt:

 

 

1. Opening Image: An image/setting/concept that sets the stage for the story to come.

An uncomfortable truce unravels when the technology-loving Union begins kidnapping the religious Shumeria’s young people.

 

2. Protagonist Intro: Who is the main character? Give 1-2 descriptive words and say what he she wants.

15-year-old Kal, a jokester orphan who calls a local temple his home, longs to master his flame and find his original incarnation’s name. Only then can he prove he really is a god reborn. On the other side of the coin, 14-year-old Nia doesn’t care about past incarnations. She only wishes to find her brother who was lost after their parents’ murder ten years earlier.

 

3. Inciting incident: What event/decision/change prompts the main character to take initial action?

As Kal’s day of Remembrance approaches, he faces the prospect of becoming a full member of the temple. Knowing that he can’t prove his heritage if he stays, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape. This separates Nia from her adoptive brother, 16-year-old Senna, a Union boy who lives on the outskirts of the law. A simultaneous attack on the city by Union soldiers leaves Nia stranded.

 

4. Plot Point 1: What is the turning point? What action does the MC take or what decision does he/she make that changes the book’s direction? Once he/she crossed this line, there’s no going back.

While Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, the only monk who believes in him, promises to help Kal on his quest. But only if he assists Senna in rescuing Nia, who has been captured by the Union and hauled to a prison known as the House of Ashes.

 

5. Conflict & Character Encounters: Now in a new life, the MC meets new people, experiences a new life, and meets the antagonist /villain.

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu travel to Eridu where they meet a Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old patron god, who accepts Kal as her student. Kal’s ultimate test will be when he fights Zara’s lion to earn a second name, the first step to finding his original name. Meanwhile, across the desert, prison guards apply a Uniontattoo to Nia’s neck and lead her to a room where a strange machine sucks out much of the magical flame that all of the Reborn possess and pulls her to the brink of death.

 

6. Midpoint: What is the middle turning point? What happens that causes the MC to make a 180 degree change in direction/change in emotion/change in anything? Again, once he/she has crossed this line, there’s no going back.

When the one responsible for this strange machine visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement. Her dream of living with her brother again is smashed. Kal is also shocked when a girl with a Union tattoo appears during his test to earn a second name. Believing the girl to be a spy, Kal abandons his test and chases her down only to learn that fourteen-year-old Aria is an escapee from the House of Ashes. Although she agrees to help them rescue Nia, with the test left incomplete, Kal’s dream of earning a second name is broken.

 

7. Winning seems imminent, but…: What happens that makes the MC think he/she will win? She seems to have the upper hand, but then oh no! The antagonist defeats her and rushes off more powerful than ever before.

In a secret meeting with her brother, Nia learns that she was wrong about him. He was tricked into building this machine for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s renewed hope is dashed when the Mask, a mysterious guard sent from the Union, executes her brother for his treachery. Nia is only saved from the same fate when Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria burst in. After rescuing Nia, they nearly escape, but Abgal Zu sacrifices himself to stop the Mask.

 

8. Black moment: The MC is lower than low, and he/she must fight through the blackness of his/her emotions to find the strength for the final battle. What happens here?

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, return to Uruk where they join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

 

9. Climax: What happens in the final blow-out between the MC and the antagonist?

But the Union strikes first, using the Humbaba against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood on the ground while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. But she appears at the last moment, when Kal has been trapped inside the Humbaba. His abundance of flame helps him destroy the Humbaba from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and attacks the Mask.

 

10. Resolution: Does everyone live happily ever after? Yes? No? What happens to tie up all the loose ends?

With the Humbaba destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. For their part in the victory, Zara awards both Kal and Nia second names during a ceremony with the whole Brotherhood present.

 

11. Final Image: What is the final image you want to leave your reader with? Has the MC succumbed to his/her demons or has he/she built a new life?

The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

______________________

 

My Blog: jphollis.com


#8 Nonicks

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 02:03 PM

Thanks again, Nonicks! Here is my next attempt:

 

 

1. Opening Image: An image/setting/concept that sets the stage for the story to come.

An uncomfortable truce unravels when the technology-loving Union begins kidnapping the religious Shumeria’s young people.

 

2. Protagonist Intro: Who is the main character? Give 1-2 descriptive words and say what he she wants.

15-year-old Kal, a jokester orphan who calls a local temple his home, longs to master his flame and find his original incarnation’s name. Only then can he prove he really is a god reborn. On the other side of the coin, 14-year-old Nia doesn’t care about past incarnations. She only wishes to find her brother who was lost after their parents’ murder ten years earlier.

 

3. Inciting incident: What event/decision/change prompts the main character to take initial action?

As Kal’s day of Remembrance approaches, he faces the prospect of becoming a full member of the temple. Knowing that he can’t prove his heritage if he stays,(something is still missing: only members who have heritage can become full members of the temple?) Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape. This separates Nia from her adoptive brother, 16-year-old Senna, a Union boy who lives on the outskirts of the law. A simultaneous attack on the city by Union soldiers leaves Nia stranded.

 

4. Plot Point 1: What is the turning point? What action does the MC take or what decision does he/she make that changes the book’s direction? Once he/she crossed this line, there’s no going back.

While Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, the only monk who believes in him, promises to help Kal on his quest. But only if he assists Senna in rescuing Nia, who has been captured by the Union and hauled to a prison known as the House of Ashes.

 

5. Conflict & Character Encounters: Now in a new life, the MC meets new people, experiences a new life, and meets the antagonist /villain.

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu travel to Eridu where they meet a Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old patron god, who accepts Kal as her student. Kal’s ultimate test will be when he fights Zara’s lion to earn a second name, the first step to finding his original name. Meanwhile, across the desert, prison guards apply a Uniontattoo to Nia’s neck and lead her to a room where a strange (explain why this is strange, or don't say it's strange at all) machine sucks out much of the magical flame that all of the Reborn possess and pulls her to the brink of death.(can you explain a bit more? What is this flame? I understand that all the Reborn have this flame and they can't live without it, am I correct?)

 

6. Midpoint: What is the middle turning point? What happens that causes the MC to make a 180 degree change in direction/change in emotion/change in anything? Again, once he/she has crossed this line, there’s no going back.

When the one responsible for this strange machine visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement. Her dream of living with her brother again is smashed. Kal is also shocked when a girl with a Union tattoo appears during his test to earn a second name. Believing the girl to be a spy, Kal abandons his test and chases her down only to learn that fourteen-year-old Aria is an escapee from the House of Ashes. Although she agrees to help them rescue Nia, with the test left incomplete, Kal’s dream of earning a second name is broken.

 

7. Winning seems imminent, but…: What happens that makes the MC think he/she will win? She seems to have the upper hand, but then oh no! The antagonist defeats her and rushes off more powerful than ever before.

In a secret meeting with her brother, Nia learns that she was wrong about him. He was tricked into building this machine for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s renewed hope is dashed when the Mask, a mysterious guard sent from the Union, executes her brother for his treachery. Nia is only saved from the same fate when Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria burst in. After rescuing Nia, they nearly escape, but Abgal Zu sacrifices himself to stop the Mask.

 

8. Black moment: The MC is lower than low, and he/she must fight through the blackness of his/her emotions to find the strength for the final battle. What happens here?

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, return to Uruk where they join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Humbaba(this is the first time in this revision that you mention Humbaba), they plan an attack.

 

9. Climax: What happens in the final blow-out between the MC and the antagonist?

But the Union strikes first, using the Humbaba against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood on the ground while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. But she appears at the last moment, when Kal has been trapped inside the Humbaba. His abundance of flame(you haven't told that previously, if you don't tell about his abundance of flame, it will seem like "deus ex machina", because this is the thing that helps them win, right? Then you should mention this detail in the beginning)   helps him destroy the Humbaba from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and attacks the Mask.

 

10. Resolution: Does everyone live happily ever after? Yes? No? What happens to tie up all the loose ends?

With the Humbaba destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. For their part in the victory, Zara awards both Kal and Nia second names during a ceremony with the whole Brotherhood present.

 

11. Final Image: What is the final image you want to leave your reader with? Has the MC succumbed to his/her demons or has he/she built a new life?

The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.

 

 

This is much better. But I got lost with all the names. Are you sure you need all of the names of characters and places? Can you maybe name Abgal Zu "the monk" instead?

 

 

Thank you for your comments on my query, they were great! Another revision, thanks in advance! link



#9 Jennifer D.

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:58 PM

Thanks for your comments, jphollis! Here are my thoughts. (My suggested rewrites are in bold.)



Thanks again, Nonicks! Here is my next attempt:

 

 

1. Opening Image: An image/setting/concept that sets the stage for the story to come.

An uncomfortable truce unravels when the technology-loving Union begins kidnapping the religious Shumeria’s young people.

 

2. Protagonist Intro: Who is the main character? Give 1-2 descriptive words and say what he she wants.

15-year-old Kal, a jokester orphan who calls a local temple his home, longs to master his flame and find his original incarnation’s name. Only then can he prove he really is a god reborn. On the other side of the coin, 14-year-old Nia doesn’t care about past incarnations. She only wishes to find her brother who was lost after their parents’ murder ten years earlier.

 

Fifteen-year-old Kal, a jokester orphan and local temple resident [I'd use a word here that shows the nature of his stay -- is he an honored guest / hanger-on / beloved mascot?], longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just a [slum rat / nobody / etc.], but he's really a god reborn. [On the other side of town / In a nearby palace / In her airship above the city / Etc], fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about past incarnations. She only wants to find her brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

3. Inciting incident: What event/decision/change prompts the main character to take initial action?

As Kal’s day of Remembrance approaches, he faces the prospect of becoming a full member of the temple. Knowing that he can’t prove his heritage if he stays, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape. This separates Nia from her adoptive brother, 16-year-old Senna, a Union boy who lives on the outskirts of the law. A simultaneous attack on the city by Union soldiers leaves Nia stranded.

 

Faced with the gloomy prospect of becoming a full -- and permanent -- member of the temple, Kal takes advantage of a Union attack on the city, stealing Nia's airship in a bid to escape the city. Without her ship, Nia is stranded -- and separated from her adoptive brother, sixteen-year-old Senna, a Union boy living on the outskirts of the law. [My suggestion here is a little confusing, but my main point is to connect the plot points.]

 

4. Plot Point 1: What is the turning point? What action does the MC take or what decision does he/she make that changes the book’s direction? Once he/she crossed this line, there’s no going back.

While Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, the only monk who believes in him, promises to help Kal on his quest. But only if he assists Senna in rescuing Nia, who has been captured by the Union and hauled to a prison known as the House of Ashes.

 

When Kal crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, an ancient monk and Kal's mentor, promises to help Kal on his quest. In return, Kal must help Senna rescue Nia, who is trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

5. Conflict & Character Encounters: Now in a new life, the MC meets new people, experiences a new life, and meets the antagonist /villain.

 

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu travel to Eridu where they meet a Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old patron god, who accepts Kal as her student. Kal’s ultimate test will be when he fights Zara’s lion to earn a second name, the first step to finding his original name. Meanwhile, across the desert, prison guards apply a Uniontattoo to Nia’s neck and lead her to a room where a strange machine sucks out much of the magical flame that all of the Reborn possess and pulls her to the brink of death.

 

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu meet Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old patron god, who accepts Kal as her student. Meanwhile, across the desert, prison guards apply a Union tattoo to Nia’s neck and use a strange machine to suck out much of her magical Reborn flame, pulling her to the brink of death. [I think you want to be more specific about what this flame is at the beginning - what does it mean?]

 

6. Midpoint: What is the middle turning point? What happens that causes the MC to make a 180 degree change in direction/change in emotion/change in anything? Again, once he/she has crossed this line, there’s no going back.

 

When the one responsible for this strange machine visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement. Her dream of living with her brother again is smashed. Kal is also shocked when a girl with a Union tattoo appears during his test to earn a second name. Believing the girl to be a spy, Kal abandons his test and chases her down only to learn that fourteen-year-old Aria is an escapee from the House of Ashes. Although she agrees to help them rescue Nia, with the test left incomplete, Kal’s dream of earning a second name is broken.

 

When the machine's inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. [I thought Kal was her brother until I read this.] Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia in solitary confinement, smashing her dream of a happy reunion with her brother.  

Kal abandons his training with Zara to join forces with Aria, a fourteen-year-old escapee from the House of Ashes. [This is too truncated, but the information about the second name and Zara feel a little too detailed to include in a synopsis.]

 

7. Winning seems imminent, but…: What happens that makes the MC think he/she will win? She seems to have the upper hand, but then oh no! The antagonist defeats her and rushes off more powerful than ever before.

In a secret meeting with her brother, Nia learns that she was wrong about him. He was tricked into building this machine for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s renewed hope is dashed when the Mask, a mysterious guard sent from the Union, executes her brother for his treachery. Nia is only saved from the same fate when Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria burst in. After rescuing Nia, they nearly escape, but Abgal Zu sacrifices himself to stop the Mask.

 

 

In a secret meeting with her brother, Nia learns that he was tricked into inventing the flame-sucking machine for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia's hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria -- but Abgal Zu is killed in the fight. [I'd leave out the Mask - you've got a lot of proper nouns already.]

 

8. Black moment: The MC is lower than low, and he/she must fight through the blackness of his/her emotions to find the strength for the final battle. What happens here?

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, return to Uruk where they join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

 

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the mysterious machine, they plan an attack. [The Humbaba is the machine, right? I wouldn't add another proper noun.]

 

9. Climax: What happens in the final blow-out between the MC and the antagonist?

 

But the Union strikes first, using the Humbaba against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood on the ground while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. But she appears at the last moment, when Kal has been trapped inside the Humbaba. His abundance of flame helps him destroy the Humbaba from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and attacks the Mask.

 

But the Union strikes first, using the machine against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. Kal is trapped inside the machine and uses his abundance of flame to destroy the machine from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

10. Resolution: Does everyone live happily ever after? Yes? No? What happens to tie up all the loose ends?

With the Humbaba destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. For their part in the victory, Zara awards both Kal and Nia second names during a ceremony with the whole Brotherhood present.

 

With the machine destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. [Again, the second name issue seems like a secondary problem.]

 

11. Final Image: What is the final image you want to leave your reader with? Has the MC succumbed to his/her demons or has he/she built a new life?

The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.

 

The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.



#10 jphollis

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 08:35 AM

Thanks to Jennifer D. & Nonicks, I am back with a much improved synopsis:

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, a jokester and local temple resident since he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reborn. In her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack the city. Separated from her adoptive brother, sixteen-year-old Senna, a Union boy living on the outskirts of the law, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, an ancient monk and Kal’s mentor, promises to help Kal on his quest. In return, he must help Senna rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu meet Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old patron god, who accepts Kal as her student. Kal will learn to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by a devastating weapon.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement, smashing her dream of a happy reunion. Kal abandons his training with Zara to chase down an apparent Union spy. When the spy is revealed to be fourteen-year-old Aria, an escapee from the House of Ashes, she is recruited to join their prison break.

 

In a secret meeting with her brother, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the weapon for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria—but Abgal Zu is killed in their fight to escape.

 

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Union’s new weapon, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first, using the weapon against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. Kal is trapped inside the weapon, but his abundance of flame overloads and destroys the machine from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

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My Blog: jphollis.com


#11 Nonicks

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 01:31 PM

Thanks to Jennifer D. & Nonicks, I am back with a much improved synopsis:

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, a jokester and local temple resident since he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reborn. (I'd start this sentence with  "on the other hand" or something like "the person who doesn't care about incarnations", to show that a switch of POV has been made.)In her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack the city. Separated from her adoptive brother, sixteen-year-old Senna, a Union boy living on the outskirts of the law, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, an ancient monk and Kal’s mentor, promises to help Kal on his quest. In return, he must help Senna rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu meet Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old patron god, who accepts Kal as her student. Kal will learn to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, (Yes! This is the connection I've been looking for.)but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by a devastating weapon.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement, smashing her dream of a happy reunion. (You don't need this sentence because this is shocking and we know it) Kal abandons his training with Zara to chase down an apparent Union spy. When the spy is revealed to be fourteen-year-old Aria, an escapee from the House of Ashes, she is recruited to join their prison break.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. (Because you started this paragraph with Nia, so if you continue with Nia it is easier to follow) In a secret meeting with her brother, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the weapon for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria—but Abgal Zu is killed in their fight to escape.

 

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Union’s new weapon, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first, using the weapon against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. Kal is trapped inside the weapon, but his abundance of flame overloads and destroys the machine from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.

 

It's getting better and better with each revision. Good job! 

 

I'll be happy if you check out my latest revision and say if it's better. link



#12 AJTaylor

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 07:22 PM

Hi, Here are some thoughts:

 

Thanks to Jennifer D. & Nonicks, I am back with a much improved synopsis:

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, a jokester and local temple resident since he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reborn. Because Reborn is capitalized and reborn not, it makes the Reborm seem more important, when you are trying to create the opposite effect. I would drop the "Reborn" and go for some other way of saying this. In her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

This is very clear to me.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack the city. Separated from her adoptive brother, sixteen-year-old Senna, a Union boy living on the outskirts of the law, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, an ancient monk and Kal’s mentor, promises to help Kal on his quest. In return, he must help Senna rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Still very clear.

 

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu meet Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old patron god, (I wonder why patron is not capitalized here, as other words are.) who accepts Kal as her student. Kal will learn to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by a devastating weapon. don't like 'weaponized' and 'weapon' so close together

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement, smashing her dream of a happy reunion. Kal abandons his training with Zara to chase down an apparent Union spy. When the spy is revealed to be fourteen-year-old Aria, an escapee from the House of Ashes, she is recruited to join their prison break.

 

this all seems very exciting and clear

 

In a secret meeting with her brother, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the weapon for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria—but Abgal Zu is killed in their fight to escape.

 

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Union’s new weapon, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first, using the weapon against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. Kal is trapped inside the weapon, but his abundance of flame overloads and destroys the machine from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.

 

Yes, nice conclusion, with a sense that there is more to be told in your series.

 

Overall, I think this is very good. One thing: I didn't like the many references to 'weapon.' I thought if it is so central to your story, perhaps give it a name, so you don't have to keep saying a weapon or the weapon throughout the synopis.

 

Hope that was helpful, and I appreciate your efforts with mine.



#13 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 01:59 AM

Thanks for looking at mine, here are my thoughts:

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, a jokester and local temple resident since he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reborn. What makes him think he would have a past incarnation? In her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack the city. Separated from her adoptive brother, sixteen-year-old Senna, a Union boy living on the outskirts of the law, (this sentence runs on a bit, might divide in two) Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, Abgal Zu, an ancient monk and Kal’s mentor, promises to help Kal on his quest. In return, he must help Senna rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes. Why does Abgal care?

 

Kal, Senna, and Abgal Zu meet Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old patron god, who accepts Kal as her student. Kal will learn to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by a devastating weapon.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. Before his identity is revealed, he locks Nia away in solitary confinement, smashing her dream of a happy reunion. Kal abandons his training with Zara to chase down an apparent Union spy. When the spy is revealed to be fourteen-year-old Aria, an escapee from the House of Ashes, she is recruited to join their prison break. This is getting character heavy. I think I've read it's best to limit your characters in a synopsis. Could Aria be cut?

 

In a secret meeting with her brother, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the weapon for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, Abgal Zu, and Aria—but Abgal Zu is killed in their fight to escape. I'm starting to lose track of who everyone is.

 

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Union’s new weapon, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first, using the weapon against their city. Kal fights with the Brotherhood while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. Kal is trapped inside the weapon, but his abundance of flame overloads and destroys the machine from within, while Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation. I'm missing motivations: why is the Union evil and the Brotherhood good?

 

Overall, this was a strong and clear synopsis. Most of my points are minor.



#14 jphollis

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:12 PM

Thanks Nonicks, AJTaylor, and bookgirl_kt. Got some great ideas . Here is the next draft. It's clocking in at 525 words, so if anyone has suggestions for where I can cut it to lower the word count below 500, I'd be most appreciative. Let me know if it's getting clearer too. Thanks again!

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, resident jokester at the local temple where he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reincarnated. On the other hand, in her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about her past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate and find a Patron, someone with a proven pedigree as a previous god and the only one who can help him find the name of his original incarnation. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack and begin abducting teenagers. Separated from her adoptive brother, Senna, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, an ancient monk who is Kal’s mentor, promises to help him on his quest. The monk sees Kal’s abundance of magical Flame and believes Kal’s declarations of being a god reincarnated may not be boasting. In return, Kal must help Senna rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Kal, Senna, and the monk meet Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old Patron, who accepts Kal as her student. Kal will learn to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by the Humbaba, the true purpose behind the House of Ashes and the reason for all of the abductions.

 

Kal abandons his boring training with the Patron to chase down an apparent Union spy. When the spy is revealed to be fourteen-year-old Aria, an escapee from the House of Ashes, she is recruited to join their prison break.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. In a secret meeting with him, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the Humbaba for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, Aria, and the monk—but in their fight to escape, the monk is killed.

 

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. With Nia’s knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first. Kal fights with the Brotherhood while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. During the battle, Kal is trapped inside the Humbaba, but his abundance of flame overloads and destroys the machine from within. Meanwhile Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

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#15 Nonicks

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 04:47 PM

Thanks Nonicks, AJTaylor, and bookgirl_kt. Got some great ideas . Here is the next draft. It's clocking in at 525 words, so if anyone has suggestions for where I can cut it to lower the word count below 500, I'd be most appreciative. Let me know if it's getting clearer too. Thanks again!

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, resident jokester at the local temple where he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reincarnated. On the other hand, in her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about her past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate and find a Patron, someone with a proven pedigree as a previous god and the only one who can help him find the name of his original incarnation. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack and begin abducting teenagers. Separated from her adoptive brother, Senna, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, an ancient monk who is Kal’s mentor, promises to help him on his quest. The monk sees Kal’s abundance of magical Flame and believes Kal’s declarations of being a god reincarnated may not be boasting. In return, Kal must help Senna rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Kal, Senna, and the monk meet Zara, a rambunctious ten-year-old Patron, who accepts Kal as her student. Kal is accepted as a student and (you write it better... but this way you don't need all these names.) will learn to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by the Humbaba, the true purpose behind the House of Ashes and the reason for all of the abductions.

 

Kal abandons his boring training with the Patron to chase down an apparent Union spy. When the spy is revealed to be fourteen-year-old Aria, an escapee from the House of Ashes, she is recruited to join their prison break. (you really don't need this character in your synopsis. She's not important and you already have too many names)

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. In a secret meeting with him, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the Humbaba for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, Aria, and the monk—but in their fight to escape, the monk is killed.

 

Devastated by the deaths of their loved ones, Kal and Nia, along with Senna and Aria, join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels and With Nia’s knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first. Kal fights with the Brotherhood while Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety. During the battle, Kal is trapped inside the Humbaba, but his abundance of flame overloads and destroys the machine from within. Meanwhile Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while searching for who they were in their original incarnation.

 

 

This is great. I only erased sentences because you asked so. I'd still consider reducing the amount of characters because all these names are too confusing, but it's your decision. 

 

And I'll be happy to read your thoughts on my latest revision, your comments are great. link



#16 jphollis

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 11:05 PM

Thanks again Nonicks! You've helped me more than you know on this query.

 

I ended up erasing Aria from the synopsis. You were right. I didn't need her. Actually, I erased that whole paragraph where she was introduced. I also ended up not naming the Patron this time. She doesn't appear in the synopsis for long, so giving her a name was just adding more confusion.

 

I ended up tweaking some sentences here and there, but not a whole lot else has changed. Hopefully I'm nearing the end. Let me know if you have any more suggestions. 

 

For everyone else, please let me know what you think. Even if you can only say it's good or only see one mistake, let me know. 

 

Thanks!

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, resident jokester at the local temple where he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reincarnated. On the other hand, in her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about her past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate and find a Patron, someone with a proven pedigree as a previous god and the only one who can help him find the name of his original incarnation. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack and begin abducting teenagers. Separated from her adoptive brother, Senna, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, an ancient monk who is Kal’s mentor, promises to help him on his quest. The monk sees Kal’s abundance of magical Flame and believes Kal’s declarations of being a god reincarnated may not be boasting. In return, Kal must help Senna rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Kal meets a rambunctious ten-year-old Patron who accepts Kal as her student. He learns to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by the Humbaba, the true purpose behind the House of Ashes and the reason for all of the abductions.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. In a secret meeting with him, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the Humbaba for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, and the monk—but in their fight to escape, the monk is killed.

 

Devastated by his death, Kal puts his training with the Patron on hold to join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. Nia also joins, hoping to get revenge for her brother. With her knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first. While Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety, Kal is trapped inside the Humbaba, but his abundance of flame overloads and destroys the machine from within. Meanwhile Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while training their Flame and searching for who they were in their original incarnation.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

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#17 Nonicks

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 04:19 PM

Thanks again Nonicks! You've helped me more than you know on this query.

 

I ended up erasing Aria from the synopsis. You were right. I didn't need her. Actually, I erased that whole paragraph where she was introduced. I also ended up not naming the Patron this time. She doesn't appear in the synopsis for long, so giving her a name was just adding more confusion.

 

I ended up tweaking some sentences here and there, but not a whole lot else has changed. Hopefully I'm nearing the end. Let me know if you have any more suggestions. 

 

For everyone else, please let me know what you think. Even if you can only say it's good or only see one mistake, let me know. 

 

Thanks!

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, resident jokester at the local temple where he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reincarnated. On the other hand, in her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about her past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate and find a Patron, someone with a proven pedigree as a previous god and the only one who can help him find the name of his original incarnation. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack and begin abducting teenagers. Separated from her adoptive brother, Senna, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, an ancient monk who is Kal’s mentor, promises to help him on his quest. The monk sees Kal’s abundance of magical Flame and believes Kal’s declarations of being a god reincarnated may not be boasting.(I'd rewrite it so the sentence ends with his flame. Because readers usually remember the end of the sentence and you really want them to remember this bit of information)In return, Kal must help Senna rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Kal meets a rambunctious ten-year-old Patron who accepts Kal as her student. He learns to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by the Humbaba, the true purpose behind the House of Ashes and the reason for all of the abductions.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. In a secret meeting with him, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the Humbaba for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna,and her brother, and the monk—but in their fight to escape, the monk is killed. (Do you really need it? He's a minor character (in a synopsis) and he also dies. :-/ )

 

Devastated by his death, Kal puts his training with the Patron on hold to join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. Nia also joins, hoping to get revenge for her brother. With her knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first. While Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety, Kal is trapped inside the Humbaba, but his abundance of flame overloads and destroys the machine from within. (I'd rewrite this sentence to end it with the most important thing - the abundance of his flame, to make it more dramatic) Meanwhile Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while training their Flame and searching for who they were in their original incarnation.

 

 

Getting better and better. The less names the better. I erased some sentences that I thought were unnecessary. Does it make sense?

 

By the way, you've helped me a lot as well. (If you need a CP, just PM.  :wink:  ) And query - link, thanks in advance!



#18 jphollis

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 10:46 AM

Nonicks, I incorporated most of your recommendations, except for the part about the monk. He doesn't appear for long in the synopsis, but he is Kal's mentor and his death (like Ben Kenobi's death in Star Wars) spurs Kal on to fight with the rebels. I think erasing the sentence about his death would mean losing some of that emotion and meaning. Also, in the same paragraph, you recommended changing 'Senna' to 'her brother', but I'm avoiding doing that so as not to confuse the reader, as Nia's real brother just died and Senna is just her adoptive brother. Your other suggestions were spot-on, though. Thanks!

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, resident jokester at the local temple where he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reincarnated. On the other hand, in her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about her past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate and find a Patron, someone with a proven pedigree as a previous god and the only one who can help him find the name of his original incarnation. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack and begin abducting teenagers. Separated from her adoptive brother, Senna, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, an ancient monk who is Kal’s mentor, promises to help him on his quest. The monk believes Kal’s declarations of being a god reincarnated may not be boasting after seeing his abundance of Flame. In return for the monk’s guidance, Kal must rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Kal meets a rambunctious Patron who accepts Kal as her student. He learns to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by the Humbaba, the true purpose behind the House of Ashes and the reason for all of the abductions.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. In a secret meeting with him, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the Humbaba for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, and the monk—but in their fight to escape, the monk is killed.

 

Devastated by his death, Kal puts his training with the Patron on hold to join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. Nia also joins, hoping to get revenge for her brother. With her knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first. While Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety, Kal is trapped inside the Humbaba, but he manages to overload and destroy the machine from within with his overflowing Flame. Meanwhile Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while training their Flame and searching for who they were in their original incarnation.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

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My Blog: jphollis.com


#19 Nonicks

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 02:45 PM

 

Nonicks, I incorporated most of your recommendations, except for the part about the monk. He doesn't appear for long in the synopsis, but he is Kal's mentor and his death (like Ben Kenobi's death in Star Wars) spurs Kal on to fight with the rebels. I think erasing the sentence about his death would mean losing some of that emotion and meaning. Also, in the same paragraph, you recommended changing 'Senna' to 'her brother', but I'm avoiding doing that so as not to confuse the reader, as Nia's real brother just died and Senna is just her adoptive brother. Your other suggestions were spot-on, though. Thanks!

 

:blink:  I actually thought that Senna was her brother! I didn't understand from the synopsis that Senna is her adoptive brother.

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, resident jokester at the local temple where he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reincarnated. On the other hand, in her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about her past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate and find a Patron, someone with a proven pedigree as a previous god and the only one who can help him find the name of his original incarnation. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack and begin abducting teenagers. Separated from her adoptive brother, Senna, Nia is captured by the soldiers.

 

(Okay, so now I see that Senna is NOT the brother she is looking for. It could be just me, but an agent who reads fast, might get confused too. I'd ask for another opinion or try to rewrite/consider omitting something/rearrange sentences to make it clear that these are two different brothers.)

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, an ancient monk who is Kal’s mentor, promises to help him on his quest. The monk believes Kal’s declarations of being a god reincarnated may not be boasting after seeing his abundance of Flame. In return for the monk’s guidance, Kal must rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes.

 

Kal meets a rambunctious Patron who accepts Kal as her student. He learns to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. Meanwhile, across the desert, Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by the Humbaba, the true purpose behind the House of Ashes and the reason for all of the abductions.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. In a secret meeting with him, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the Humbaba for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, and the monk—but in their fight to escape, the monk is killed.

 

Devastated by his death, Kal puts his training with the Patron on hold to join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. Nia also joins, hoping to get revenge for her brother. With her knowledge of the Humbaba, they plan an attack.

 

But the Union strikes first. While Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety, Kal is trapped inside the Humbaba, but he manages to overload and destroy the machine from within with his overflowing Flame. Meanwhile Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union. (I'd rewrite this with a bit more suspense. Maybe something like "...inside the Humbaba, his Flame is about to be sucked for good. But seconds before the end, he manages to overload..." - just a thought. :)

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while training their Flame and searching for who they were in their original incarnation.

 

 

I still think about the brother thing and trying to analyze this. You wrote, her older brother, and I thought of erasing the "older" because this is such a small detail that nobody pays attention to, but now I see that this is the detail that makes the difference (well, apart from "adoptive brother"). But these are adjectives, and adjectives sometimes get neglected. 

 

For example, "an ancient monk" - you don't really need the "ancient". Does it really matter that he is old? 

"a rambunctious Patron"

 

Did this help?

 

And thank you for your comments, the are absolutely amazing. I revised again and will be happy to hear your thoughts. link



#20 Rykter

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 05:56 PM

Thank jphollis for your work on my synopsis- I have made some changes if you want to take another look at it. Here is my critique of yours:

 

 

Fourteen-year-old Kal, resident jokester at the local temple where he was abandoned as a baby, longs to find his original incarnation's name -- only then can he prove he's not just another Reborn with no past but a bona fide god reincarnated. (or I think I like "reincarnated god" better) Just as you said for mine, this first sentence is too long. I think even better would be: Fourteen-year-old Kal, resident jokester at the local temple where he was abandoned as a baby, longs to prove is a reincarnated god. On the other hand, in her airship above the city, fourteen-year-old Nia doesn't care about her past incarnations. She only wants to find her older brother, lost after their parents' murder ten years ago.

 

Faced with the prospect of becoming a permanent member of the temple, Kal steals Nia’s airship in a bid to escape his fate and find a Patron, someone with a proven pedigree as a previous god and the only one who can help him find the name of his original incarnation. Another super long sentence. The reader cannot absorb all this information. Without her airship, Nia is stranded when Union forces attack and begin abducting teenagers. Separated from her adoptive brother, Senna, Nia is captured by the soldiers. Not sure what the inclusion of Senna adds here. The fewer characters you introduce the clearer it will be. 

 

After Kal ultimately crashes the airship, an ancient monk who is Kal’s mentor, promises to help him on his quest. The monk believes Kal’s declarations of being a god reincarnated may not be boasting after seeing his abundance of Flame. Okay, since you have not introduced or explained 'Flame' it feels empty. I would say, more like: Because of Kal's advanced ability to ... the monk believes their may be some truth to Kal's claim as a god reincarnated.  In return for the monk’s guidance, Kal must rescue Nia, who is now trapped in a Union prison, the House of Ashes. good.

 

Kal meets a rambunctious Patron who accepts Kal as her student. He learns to use his Flame, the magic all Reborn possess, but few can access. This seems extra and disconnected. Maybe if you segway- On his journey to the prison, Kal meets a Patron who teaches him to use his Flame, a magic that all Reborn possesses. Meanwhile, across the desert, in the desert prison Nia’s Flame is sucked out and weaponized by the Humbaba to power a weapon, the true purpose behind the House of Ashes and the reason for all of behind the abductions. I would leave the Humbaba out. Naming them does nothing for the reader but cause confusion and raise questions.

 

When the weapon’s inventor visits the House of Ashes, Nia recognizes her long-lost brother. In a secret meeting with him, Nia learns he was tricked into inventing the Humbaba  the weapon for the Union. They plan an escape, but Nia’s hope is dashed when her brother is executed for his treachery. 'hope is dashed' falls a bit flat. Maybe but they are caught and her brother is executed. Nia is saved by Kal, Senna, unnecessary character for your synopsis and the monk—but in their fight to escape, the monk is killed.

 

Devastated by his death, Kal puts his training with the Patron on hold to join the Brotherhood, a group of rebels. Nia also joins, hoping to get revenge for her brother. to revenge her brother's death. With her knowledge of the Humbaba,the Union's super-weapon they plan an attack. she helps plan the attack on the desert prison.

 

But the Union strikes first. While Senna convinces Nia to retreat to safety, The plan is executed successfully until Kal is trapped inside the Humbaba, weapon, but he manages to overload and destroy the machine from within with his overflowing Flame. Meanwhile Nia swoops down in her airship and launches a surprise attack against the Union.

 

With the weapon destroyed, the Brotherhood celebrates their victory. The Union lost this battle, but the war rages on. Both Kal and Nia have suffered loss, but they have found a place they belong. They will both continue to fight for the Brotherhood while training their Flame and searching for who they were in their original incarnation. This needs a little something extra. Does Kal ever find out the name of his original incarnation? If not, you may have an unsatisfied reader expectation. I think you need for him to find a clue to this or something. I also think that with Nia, you should discuss the death of her brother and how the destruction of the weapon allows her to heal from his loss. As it is now, it does not wrap things up as it should.

 

I think you have a lot of great things in here and with some revisions can be a solid synopsis. Good luck!






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