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Beacon of Hope -- Synopsis

Fiction Fantasy

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#1 Judy Mohr

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 04:05 PM

August 2018:

This manuscript has been shelved, and hence the synopsis has been removed from this site to the best of my ability. Sorry... Nothing to comment on here.

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#2 jphollis



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Posted 30 January 2017 - 10:54 PM


Okay... It's time to see what the critics here think of this synopsis. It's just under 600 words.


Wounds sustained in nightmares leave a pink scar between DREZEL's breasts (It would be nice to know her age here.). Her grasp on the physical world is faltering (What does this mean? It's too vague.). However, as a magical scout, she must find somewhere safe for her family to hide from the Bleeders—demons who gain their powers by feasting on magical blood. Drezel finds a cabin deep in the woods, but warriors hunting magicians lie in wait.
Twin brothers DEREK and JAROD kill one of Drezel's adopted brothers and injure two others (Again, age would be nice to know. I don't know if I'm reading about teenagers or adults. Also, maybe a brief description of who these people are. Are they bleeders? Are they other magicians?). Drezel's family fight back in earnest ('in earnest' is unnecessary here. Their brother just died. Of course they are fighting back). The encounter leaves Jarod barely conscious and Derek wounded. Drezel probes Derek's mind, only to discover that the dead man from her dreams is the brothers’ father (This is the first mention of any dreams, so it feels like it comes out of nowhere. Maybe hint at this in the first paragraph). She is somehow connected to the brothers, and is determined to find out how.
Derek, unarmed and little more than a prisoner, is sent to dispose of a Bleeder army tracking him and his brother. The moment Derek kills the magician with the Bleeders, the forest transforms, swallowing dead bodies whole. Derek flees before he is ripped apart, terrified. (This is all confusing. I thought he was a prisoner. Who sent him to dispose of this Bleeder army? Whose side is he on? Who is 'the magician with the Bleeders'?)
Still at the cabin, Jarod’s wounds become infected. Drezel uses her magic to heal him. While waiting for Jarod to awaken, Derek professes his love for Drezel and opens his soul to her, amplifying her powers. Unable to contain her magical light, she loses control over her emotions and a massive blizzard ensues—burying them alive. But the storm that nearly kills them slaughters a Bleeder garrison camped over the hill. (Interesting, but I feel like something is missing. I mean, Derek killed her brother. Why would she ever fall in love with him? See? Something is missing.)
Spring blossoms and the Bleeder demons discover the magicians' camp. Drezel shifts the camp out of phase with the rest of the world to hide, but the demons sense the magic. Derek again projects his soul into Drezel, reinforcing the shields. The Bleeders fall for the ruse and leave, but the encounter drains Drezel of life and she dies. Refusing to accept it, Derek and Jarod follow their instincts to link with her magic and bring her soul back. The cabin is no longer safe and the family must abandon it. Derek and Jarod go with them, but not as prisoners.
While on a reconnaissance mission, the brothers are attacked by Bleeders and are forced to fight. They join with the magic of the magician with them, giving them the ability to freeze time (Who is this magician and where did he suddenly appear from?). They kill the garrison after them. However, the Bleeder demon leader refuses to fight them. Instead, it warns them of the danger to Drezel and her family resulting from the MASTER's unstable magic. (Why would the Bleeder demon leader warn them? Something else is missing here. Also, who is this Master. The reader needs a brief description to know who this person is and orient which side he falls on in this war.))
Unable to control his abilities, the Master inadvertently destroys the supplies needed for survival. Drezel, Derek and Jarod head to a local trading post to procure supplies. In their absence, the Bleeders happen across her family's location—this time with three demons in tow. Many of Drezel's brothers and sisters are injured (Many? That's pretty vague. I mean, how many brothers and sisters does she have anyway?). The twins reestablish their connection to her soul, amplifying her abilities (This is the third time you've said this. It's feeling pretty repetitive by now). Drezel casts a spell to teleport her family to miles away; however, a little four-year-old magician is killed as a result.
Drezel, Derek and Jarod refuse to accept that the little girl is gone forever. They use their combined strength to reach across the boundary between life and death and find the child's soul, restoring the little girl to life and full health. However, Drezel and the brothers shine brightly and unshielded, and the spell leaves Drezel unconscious. To protect the family, the brothers decide to leave, taking an unconscious Drezel with them. They're not sure what the future holds for them, but destiny is calling all three of them. Together, they are the Beacon of Hope.



Besides the nitpicks I mentioned above, there appears to be a deeper problem. The ending does not leave me satisfied at all. I mean, the stakes were not clearly stated either. What does Drezel want? Just to keep her family safe? I mean, that's OK, but if that's the goal, she fails pretty miserably throughout the story, and at the end has to abandon them altogether. It doesn't have a very satisfying end as far as those stakes are concerned.


I feel like there are three main characters, but correct me if I am wrong: Drezel, Derek, and Jakob. But I have no idea what Derek and Jakon even want. What are their goals? Even more frustrating is that you dangled this idea of their father being in her dreams, injuring her and giving her that scar, but never mentioned any of those things again. It's a great set-up but no follow through.


I need to know more about what these characters want, what stands in their way, and the choices they have to make and the sacrifices those choices might entail. Also, if you are going to tantalize us with the father and the dreams in the beginning, we need follow up. Finally, the ending needs something more satisfying. What was their victory? How did they change?


Hope my comments helped a bit. 

No query or synopsis up yet. Stay tuned if you wish to reciprocate on a critique I've given you.


My Blog: jphollis.com

#3 Patomac


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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:05 PM

Howdy there,


I'm no synopsis expert, so take my criticism with a grain of salt, but one of the things I noticed about this synopsis was that it wasn't immediately clear to me who the main character was. I'm inclined to think Drezel because you mentioned her first, but Derek and Jarod seem to do a lot in the rest of the query. I'm not really clear who they are, and more importantly, who they are to the readers. Are they heroes? Villains? Am I supposed to be rooting for them or not?


When I read a little farther, it's obvious that they're supposed to be heroes, but it's not clear upfront, which makes the rest of the query confusing. You have a pretty clear description of the events that follow, but I guess I'm just not sure who Drezel and Derek and Jarod are and why they do what they do (other than for plain survival). 


Also, I know you're probably trying to chop words whenever you can (I know I am!) but I'm not really clear on how this universe works. I know you have magic and demons and dangerous dreams, but you seem to do a lot of resurrecting people from the dead. I feel like I need to know the limitations on that power specifically (and the rest of the magic in general) before I can buy in to any of it. Otherwise, what threat is death anyway?

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fiction, Fantasy

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