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The Girl in Man's Armor - synopsis


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#1 RachelThijssen

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:42 AM

Hi,

 

This is the first draft of my synopsis. I appreciate any advice and tips :)

 

Dalila accompanies her grandma to a ladies night in the city when a group of enemy soldiers infiltrate the city. These soldiers from Kash are then overwhelmed by general and prince Kazim and his army, which gives Dalila and her grandma the opportunity to escape.

Back home, a letter arrives which calls Dalila’s brother, Don, to a war camp. But Don stopped fighting as a soldier long ago and his wife is expecting a child. Dalila decides to go in her brother’s place and disguises herself to look like him.

At the war camp, she trains under general Kazim who soon finds that Dalila needs a lot of training if she wants to survive the war. Miraculously, Dalila masters the sword and the bow.

Then, the camp is attacked at night by enemy soldiers. Dalila and the others are taken hostage, staying at the Kash camp. The soldiers are led by a magician named Sokar, who tortures Dalila and the others for information. During torture, Dalila finds out that she might have magic in her blood. However, she doesn’t believe it yet.

Eventually, Dalila and Kazim are saved from the Kash camp by a stranger named Elyssa, who was looking for prince Kazim and only freed Dalila so she could help her. Later, Elyssa and her friends help Kazim and Dalila free the others. It’s during this battle when Dalila first uses magic to help her comrades.

On the way back from the camp, Elyssa kills Kazim and Dalila is left alone. While she mourns, the god of death called Ishtar visits her to make a deal. If Dalila kills the enemy King and ends the war, he will return Kazim to the living. Dalila accepts. She then goes to the city of Colchis to ask the Medean magicians for help.

The High Magus wants Dalila to train with a magician called Caden. She no longer wears her disguise, but another problem lingers. After some training, Dalila convinces Caden to go to Memphis with her to talk to the King about ending the war. Not long after their arrival, the city falls under siege.

Dalila and Caden convince the King to let them go to the capitol of Kash to kill the King, with the excuse of a peace delegation. Caden helps Dalila to put on the disguise of his brother, so that she’s not in as much danger.

Once they arrive, King Saul accepts to call a truce for a few days until their own King surrenders. Dalila talks the King into a marriage alliance with the King’s daughter instead. She then travels back to Medea to get Caden’s brother and to put on a disguise to make herself look like King Djoser’s daughter.

After the wedding night, Dalila kills King Saul in his sleep. Before she can escape the palace, she faces Sokar, who is the King’s advisor. Caden joins her and they battle him. Then Kazim appears and helps them as well. But Sokar uses dark magic and kills Caden.

Once again, Dalila mourns for the loss of a friend. When she married King Saul, Dalila was crowned Queen and now that the King is dead, she is the sole ruler of Kash.

Dalila continues training in magic with the High Magus while staying in Kash. Her family comes to visit her and her brother’s child is born and healthy.

Now, Dalila faces the task of finding Sokar, who escaped. Besides that, she must avoid being killed by anyone who is after the throne, while she rules a land that needs a lot of improvements. The story ends here.

 

Thanks!

 

-Rachel

 

 



#2 jphollis

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 11:02 PM

Hi,

 

This is the first draft of my synopsis. I appreciate any advice and tips :)

 

Dalila accompanies her grandma to a ladies night in the city when a group of enemy soldiers infiltrate the city ('in the city' twice. Avoid unnecessary repetition). These soldiers from Kash are then overwhelmed by general and prince Kazim and his army, which gives Dalila and her grandma the opportunity to escape. (I am already vastly confused. What time period are we in? Ladies night feels modern, but a prince and his army sounds medieval. I need to know the setting. The ages of the characters, or at least the main character, would also be useful)

 

Back home, a letter arrives which calls Dalila’s brother, Don, to a war camp ( might be stupid, but what is a war camp? Like a training ground?). But Don stopped fighting as a soldier long ago and his wife is expecting a child. Dalila decides to go in her brother’s place and disguises herself to look like him.

 

At the war camp, she trains under general Kazim (so he is a general and a prince? That is slightly confusing.) who soon finds that Dalila needs a lot of training if she wants to survive the war. Miraculously, Dalila masters the sword and the bow.

 

Then, the camp is attacked at night by enemy soldiers. Dalila and the others are taken hostage, staying at the Kash camp. The soldiers are led by a magician named Sokar, who tortures Dalila and the others for information. During torture, Dalila finds out that she might have magic in her blood (How does she discover this?). However, she doesn’t believe it yet.(Why not? The element of magic is too vague here. I dont know how she discovered it, what it is, or why she doesn't believe it. Until this paragraph, I didn't even know magic existed in your world.)

 

Eventually, Dalila and Kazim are saved from the Kash camp by a stranger named Elyssa, who was looking for prince Kazim and only freed Dalila so she could help her (Quite a long, wandering sentence. Maybe cut it into two.). Later, Elyssa and her friends help Kazim and Dalila free the others. It’s during this battle when that Dalila first uses magic to help her comrades. (What kind of magic and how does it work? Is she just shooting fiery spells at the enemy? Does she summon a dragon? Does she just snap her fingers and the enemies die? We need details here.)

 

On the way back from the camp, Elyssa kills Kazim and Dalila is left alone (Wait. Didn't Elyssa specifically save Kazim? So why suddenly kill him? Something is missing here.). While she mourns (Why is she mourning? I thought Kazim was just her general. Nothing has insinuated that they shared a special relationship.), the god of death called Ishtar visits her to make a deal. If Dalila kills the enemy King and ends the war, he will return Kazim to the living. Dalila accepts. She then goes to the city of Colchis to ask the Medean magicians for help. (And here I', worried that I'm going to lose track of all the names.)

 

The High Magus (Who?) wants Dalila to train with a magician called Caden. (Maybe erase the info about the Medean magicians and jump straight into her training with Caden. Those other magicians just seem like an unnecessary--at least for a synopsis-segue into Caden anyway.) She no longer wears her disguise (What disguise. Oh! She was dressing like a man. I had already forgotten this. Maybe clarify that about the disguise), but another problem lingers. After some training, Dalila convinces Caden to go to Memphis with her to talk to the King about ending the war. Not long after their arrival, the city falls under siege.

 

Dalila and Caden convince the King to let them go to the capitol of Kash to kill the King (Oh! I thought the King of Memphis was the enemy King. Too many names to keep track of!), with the excuse of a peace delegation. Caden helps Dalila to put on the disguise of his brother, so that she’s not in as much danger. (Another disguise?)

 

Once they arrive, King Saul accepts to call a truce for a few days until their own King surrenders. Dalila talks the King into a marriage alliance with the King’s daughter instead (Where did this come from? I'm lost.). She then travels back to Medea to get Caden’s brother (When was he in the story?) and to put on a disguise to make herself look like King Djoser’s daughter.

 

After the wedding night, Dalila kills King Saul in his sleep. Before she can escape the palace, she faces Sokar, who is the King’s advisor. Caden joins her and they battle him. Then Kazim appears and helps them as well. But Sokar uses dark magic and kills Caden.

 

Once again, Dalila mourns for the loss of a friend. When she married King Saul, Dalila was crowned Queen and now that the King is dead, she is the sole ruler of Kash.

 

Dalila continues training in magic with the High Magus while staying in Kash. Her family comes to visit her and her brother’s child is born and healthy.

 

Now, Dalila faces the task of finding Sokar, who escaped. Besides that, she must avoid being killed by anyone who is after the throne, while she rules a land that needs a lot of improvements. The story ends here.

 

Thanks!

 

-Rachel

I added the spaces between the paragraphs and believe you should too.

 

Overall, this synopsis was too complicated for me. I lost track of names, places, and who was where and why. I forgot about the disguise, didn't see the marriage proposal coming and wondered how Kazim just reappeared. Please simplify and lose as many names as possible. That is my advice.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

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#3 Nonicks

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 07:02 AM

Hi,

 

This is the first draft of my synopsis. I appreciate any advice and tips :)

 

Dalila accompanies her grandma to a ladies night in the city when a group of enemy soldiers infiltrate the city. These soldiers from Kash are then overwhelmed by general and prince Kazim and his army, which gives Dalila and her grandma the opportunity to escape.

Back home, a letter arrives which calls Dalila’s brother, Don, to a war camp. But Don stopped fighting as a soldier long ago and his wife is expecting a child. Dalila decides to go in her brother’s place and disguises herself to look like him.

At the war camp, she trains under general Kazim who soon finds that Dalila needs a lot of training if she wants to survive the war. Miraculously, Dalila masters the sword and the bow.

Then, the camp is attacked at night by enemy soldiers. Dalila and the others are taken hostage, staying at the Kash camp. The soldiers are led by a magician named Sokar, who tortures Dalila and the others for information. During torture, Dalila finds out that she might have magic in her blood. However, she doesn’t believe it yet.

Eventually, Dalila and Kazim are saved from the Kash camp by a stranger named Elyssa, who was looking for prince Kazim and only freed Dalila so she could help her. Later, Elyssa and her friends help Kazim and Dalila free the others. It’s during this battle when Dalila first uses magic to help her comrades.

On the way back from the camp, Elyssa kills Kazim and Dalila is left alone. While she mourns, the god of death called Ishtar visits her to make a deal. If Dalila kills the enemy King and ends the war, he will return Kazim to the living. Dalila accepts. She then goes to the city of Colchis to ask the Medean magicians for help.

The High Magus wants Dalila to train with a magician called Caden. She no longer wears her disguise, but another problem lingers. After some training, Dalila convinces Caden to go to Memphis with her to talk to the King about ending the war. Not long after their arrival, the city falls under siege.

Dalila and Caden convince the King to let them go to the capitol of Kash to kill the King, with the excuse of a peace delegation. Caden helps Dalila to put on the disguise of his brother, so that she’s not in as much danger.

Once they arrive, King Saul accepts to call a truce for a few days until their own King surrenders. Dalila talks the King into a marriage alliance with the King’s daughter instead. She then travels back to Medea to get Caden’s brother and to put on a disguise to make herself look like King Djoser’s daughter.

After the wedding night, Dalila kills King Saul in his sleep. Before she can escape the palace, she faces Sokar, who is the King’s advisor. Caden joins her and they battle him. Then Kazim appears and helps them as well. But Sokar uses dark magic and kills Caden.

Once again, Dalila mourns for the loss of a friend. When she married King Saul, Dalila was crowned Queen and now that the King is dead, she is the sole ruler of Kash.

Dalila continues training in magic with the High Magus while staying in Kash. Her family comes to visit her and her brother’s child is born and healthy.

Now, Dalila faces the task of finding Sokar, who escaped. Besides that, she must avoid being killed by anyone who is after the throne, while she rules a land that needs a lot of improvements. The story ends here.

 

Thanks!

 

-Rachel

 

So this is really hard to follow because there are too many names and because of the way this synopsis is written. There is no need to summarize the whole plot with every scene.
the way it is now, it sounds like "they did this, he did that, then she did this". It's hard to follow because these seem like occasional, meaningless scenes. Synopsis concentrates on plot points.
So I think this will help you:
Ssynopsis

 

Hope this was helpful. Revise and post again. 

And if you can, please take a look at my synopsis: link



#4 Patomac

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 09:18 PM

Howdy there,

 

I'd like to second the fact that I think you have a lot of names for a short synopsis. If you can at all get rid of them, it would be to your credit. 

 

One thing I think I'd like from this synopsis is a better idea of the world up front (so in the 1st or 2nd paragraph) based on the names in the middle (Ishtar, Colchis, Medea) it's obvious that this is set in our world in ancient times, or a fantasy setting loosely based on the same. The first names we encounter (Dalila, Kazim, Kash) convey a vaguely Arabic feeling, but they don't really tell me that for sure, so I have to guess at it a bit. 

 

Another thing I think is important is to convey a sense of what Dalila, as the main character, wants. The attack on the women's meeting doesn't convey a sense of want to me, but when Dalila joins the army to spare her brother, that does. Your story then sort of shifts when Kazim is killed and Dalila decides she's going to rescue him. The rest of the book seems to be about that, although you don't revisit what happens to Kazim at the end. I think you need to make that your strongest throughline in the synopsis. Also, since Kazim seems to be so important (though he's not around all the time) I'd like to know more about Dalila's relationship to him. Does she respect him? Feel loyalty to him as a ruler or commander? Is there a friendship or romantic relationship involved? You didn't tell me, so I don't know. 



#5 perpetual

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:23 PM

Hi,

 

This is the first draft of my synopsis. I appreciate any advice and tips :)

 

Dalila  DALILA [Name when it first appears initially is capitalized] accompanies her grandma GRANDMA to a ladies night in the city when a group of enemy soldiers infiltrate the city. That way you avoid repetition.These soldiers from Kash are then overwhelmed by general General and prince Prince [Since it's a title] Kazim KAZIM and his army, which gives Dalila and her grandma the opportunity to escape. Is the grandma vital to the plot? Because I think you can easily just convey this paragraph without including the grandma as a named character. Delila goes for a ladies night. City gets attacked. Prince Kazim comes to the rescue. Delila escapes.

Back home, a letter arrives which calls Dalila’s brother, Don DON, to a war camp. But Don stopped fighting as a soldier long ago and has a child on the way [The less characters named, the better]his wife is expecting a child. Dalila decides to go in her brother’s place and disguises herself to look like him.

At the war camp, she trains under general Kazim who soon finds that Dalila needs a lot of training if she wants to survive the war. And this doesn't make his suspicious, considering this is supposedly a previous soldier? Miraculously, Miraculously or under Kazim's tutilage? It's unclear if you mean miraculously in a figurative or literal sense. Dalila masters the sword and the bow.

Then, the camp is attacked at night by enemy soldiers. Dalila and the others are taken hostage, staying at the Kash camp. So the enemies are staying in the same camp? That doesn't seem like a wise strategy... The soldiers are led by a magician named Sokar, who tortures Dalila and the others for information on what? What does he want?. During torture, While being tortured, [Reads awkwardly as is] Dalila finds out that she might have magic in her blood. However, she doesn’t believe it yet. Not a fan of these sentences. How does she find out she MIGHT have magic? What happens? And why is this not enough to convince her?

Eventually, Dalila and Kazim I didn't realize Kazim got kidnapped as well. I just figured it was other soldiers. So this needs to be clearer sooner. are saved from the Kash camp by a stranger named Elyssa, who was looking for prince Kazim Why is she looking for Prince Kazim?and only freed Dalila so she could help her.How does Elyssa know Dalila could be of any use? Later, Elyssa and her friends help Kazim and Dalila free the others. It’s during this battle when Dalila first uses magic to help her comrades.It'd be good to be specific on what exactly her magic entails. What makes Dalila special and your novel different from others?

On the way back from the camp, Elyssa kills Kazim What? Why? and Dalila is left alone. How does Dalila feel about Kazim's death? "left alone" doesn't convey what their relationship was. While she mourns, the god of death, called Ishtar, visits her to make a deal. If Dalila kills the enemy King and ends the war, he will return Kazim to the living. Dalila accepts. She then goes to the city of Colchis to ask the Medean magicians for help.

The High Magus wants Dalila to train with a magician called Caden. She no longer wears her disguise,I forgot about the disguise so it needs to be more present throughout your synopsis. Does it ever become a problem? If so, how? If not, when does Dalila decide it's safe to stop wearing it? but another problem lingers.This half of the sentence implies the disguise was a problem. Is that true? Also, what other problem lingers? After some training, Dalila convinces Caden to go to Memphis with her to talk to the King about ending the war. Not long after their arrival, the city falls under siege.

Dalila and Caden convince the King to let them go to the capitol of Kash to kill the King, with the excuse of a peace delegation. Caden helps Dalila to put on the disguise of his brother, so that she’s not in as much danger.Why is being dressed as her brother less dangerous? Does it not put her own brother in more danger?

Once they arrive, King Saul accepts to call a truce for a few days until their own King surrenders. This sentence has made me lose track of who the two kings are? Dalila talks the King into a marriage alliance with the King’s daughter instead. She then travels back to Medea to get Caden’s brother and to put on a disguise to make herself look like King Djoser’s daughter.

After the wedding night, Dalila kills King Saul in his sleep. Before she can escape the palace, she faces Sokar, who is the King’s advisor. Caden joins her and they battle him. Then Kazim appears So the promise made to Dalila was kept? Is Kazim not a bit confused that he's alive again? and helps them as well. But Sokar uses dark magic and kills Caden.

Once again, Dalila mourns for the loss of a friend. When she married King Saul, Dalila was crowned Queen and now that the King is dead, she is the sole ruler of Kash. Would this still apply if she was the one that killed the king?

Dalila continues training in magic with the High Magus while staying in Kash. Her family comes to visit her and her brother’s child is born and healthy.

Now, Dalila faces the task of finding Sokar, who escaped. Besides that, she must avoid being killed by anyone who is after the throne, while she rules a land that needs a lot of improvements. The story ends here. You definitely don't need this :)

 

Thanks!

 

-Rachel

 

So, as you can see, it was a tad difficult to keep track of the world and of the all the names. I think it's important for you to establish the world first and foremost because when she went out for a ladies' night, I assumed a modern world. Also, in the ending, whatever happened to Kazim?

 

Synopses are really difficult so keep trying! :) Focus on the main plot points as opposed to a scene by scene retelling. Who are your main characters, what are the main obstacles they face, how do they overcome them. Everything else is fluff. :)

 

Best wishes!


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