Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

A PRACTITIONER'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MAGICK - I Will Critique Yours Back!! (Updated in POST #8, Urban Fantasy)

Fiction Fantasy New Adult

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 63 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 01 July 2017 - 01:16 PM

After working on my query letter, I've written and re-written a synopsis to go with it. I'd love your feedback.

If you critique me, I'll brutally critique you!

Thanks

 

 

A Practitioner's Guide to Love and Magick

 

Synopsis:

 

Practitioner of the magic arts Jesse Demir works as an occult consultant for pulpy horror movies in modern day Los Angeles. Jesse is ecstatic after landing a job on Christmas slasher flick, "Ho Ho Hell 2," but when a mysterious new practitioner tries to summon a demon on set, Jesse is forced to face a debt from the past. Jesse owes his life to supernatural forces, and unless he can uncover the dark practitioner and stop her from summoning his unholy creditors, he’s a dead man walking.

 

To make matters worse, a spell gone wrong forces lone-wolf Jesse is to take on an apprentice, to train and eventually sacrifice. Unfortunately, Jesse’s new apprentice Donny is an awkward teen, more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to stay afloat in the world of the occult, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a handbook full of tips and tricks to train a sorcerer.

 

To get the tools they need to hunt the dark practitioner, Jesse and Donny hire eccentric occult saleswoman, Betty. Jesse and Betty hit it off, but low-life Jesse is too focused on his debt and ambitions for any serious commitment.

 

Sleuthing through the supernatural underbelly of Los Angeles, Jesse discovers that the black practitioner is a member of the movie crew. While Jesse sets out to find and kill the practitioner, Donny begins to come out of his shell, bonding with red-head Personal assistant Callie, developing as both a mage and a person.

 

After pinpointing the summoner, Jesse is captured by devoutly religious Templars, hell bent on executing wizards. Jesse escapes, but in the panic his apprentice is kidnapped by supernatural forces, the teen’s crush revealed as the dark practitioner. The PA worked with Jesse’s former mentor to trap the duo.

 

Jesse is devastated over the betrayal, and he is more determined stop the summoning. Jesse dukes it out with his former mentor and frees the apprentice, but fails to stop the summoning in time. The demon arrives in Los Angeles.  

 

At first Jesse flees, but ultimately returns to face his past. Team Jesse suffers heavy losses, and soon, the wizard comes face to face with his enemy. Jesse takes a chance and makes a high stakes deal with the monster, betting on himself in a duel with the creature. Guided by a last minute scheme and a newfound faith in others, Jesse manages to trick the demon, casting it out of the physical plane.

 

With his demon creditors gone and his friends safe, Jesse finally commits to a relationship with Betty, and recognizes that there’s more to life than magic, glory, and spells. Plus, the wizard becomes something of a minor celebrity after the occult incident hits the tabloids.

 

Though Donny is still sad over the loss of his crush, he has found a place in the world of the occult, and with Jesse by his side, will continue to grow. Although the supernatural gets bolder and bolder each day, Jesse will continue to do his best to maintain balance, in both LA’s occult scene and in his personal life.



#2 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 63 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:05 PM

No critiques? That would break my heart, except I'm a writer, so my heart is stone cold and rejection proof.

 

I've made the synopsis a bit easier to follow. 

Like usual If you critique me, I'll brutally critique you!

Thanks

 

 

A Practitioner's Guide to Love and Magick

 

Synopsis:

 

Practitioner of the magic arts Jesse Demir works as an occult consultant for pulpy horror movies in modern day Los Angeles. Jesse is ecstatic after landing a job on Christmas slasher flick, "Ho Ho Hell 2," but when a mysterious dark sorceress tries to summon a demon on set, Jesse is forced to face a debt from the past. Jesse owes his life to supernatural forces, and unless he can uncover the dark practitioner and stop her from summoning his unholy creditors, he’s a dead man walking. 

 

To make matters worse, a spell gone wrong forces lone-wolf Jesse is to take on an apprentice, to train and eventually sacrifice. Unfortunately, Jesse’s new apprentice Donny is an awkward teen, more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to stay afloat in the world of the occult, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a handbook full of tips and tricks to train a sorcerer.

 

To get the tools they need to hunt the dark practitioner, Jesse and Donny hire eccentric occult saleswoman, Betty. Jesse and Betty hit it off, but low-life Jesse is too focused on his debt and ambitions for any serious commitment.

 

Sleuthing through the supernatural underbelly of Los Angeles, Jesse discovers that the black practitioner is a member of the movie crew. While Jesse sets out to find and kill the practitioner, Donny begins to come out of his shell, bonding with red-head Personal assistant Callie, developing as both a mage and a person.

 

After pinpointing the summoner, Jesse is captured by devoutly religious Templars, hell bent on executing wizards. Jesse escapes, but in the panic his apprentice is kidnapped by supernatural forces, the teen’s crush revealed as the dark practitioner. The PA worked with Jesse’s former mentor to trap the duo.

 

Jesse is devastated over the betrayal, and he is more determined stop the summoning. Jesse dukes it out with his former mentor and frees the apprentice, but fails to stop the summoning in time. The demon arrives in Los Angeles.  

 

At first Jesse flees, but ultimately returns to face his past. Team Jesse suffers heavy losses, and soon, the wizard comes face to face with his enemy. Jesse takes a chance and makes a high stakes deal with the monster, betting on himself in a duel with the creature. Guided by a last minute scheme and a newfound faith in others, Jesse manages to trick the demon, casting it out of the physical plane.

 

With his demon creditors gone and his friends safe, Jesse finally commits to a relationship with Betty, and recognizes that there’s more to life than magic, glory, and spells. Plus, the wizard becomes something of a minor celebrity after the occult incident hits the tabloids.

 

Though Donny is still sad over the loss of his crush, he has found a place in the world of the occult, and with Jesse by his side, will continue to grow. Although the supernatural gets bolder and bolder each day, Jesse will continue to do his best to maintain balance, in both LA’s occult scene and in his personal life.



#3 Sreid

Sreid

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 86 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationEurope
  • Publishing Experience:None, except for querying a sci-fi thriller and a previous version of book 1 in my fantasy series (didn't secure representation).

Posted 12 July 2017 - 01:27 PM

Hi TheBest,

 

I'll give a stab at critiquing this. Everyone deserves that, and in return, you might consider giving my synopsis a look. As always, I'm no expert so whatever I say is just my humble opinion.

 

One thing it might be good to remember is that this synopsis will probably only be read right after an interested party (agent/editor) has finished reading your query. That means that if you repeat any sentences or phrases from your query, it'll sound redundant, and that's off-putting in my view. I've marked in purple the text you've repeated verbatim from the latest version of your query (which I must say is improving, though I'd still strongly recommend you replace the paragraph starting with "Open up Google..." with a statement of what is at stake for your main character). It also means that you don't need to restate facts already in evidence from your query, but instead can use the words to add some nuances.

 

No critiques? That would break my heart, except I'm a writer, so my heart is stone cold and rejection proof.

 

I've made the synopsis a bit easier to follow. 

Like usual If you critique me, I'll brutally critique you!

Thanks

 

 

A Practitioner's Guide to Love and Magick

 

Synopsis:

 

Practitioner of the magic arts Jesse Demir JESSE DEMIR works as an occult consultant for pulpy horror movies in modern day Los Angeles. I recognize this sentence. It's what you used as your hook for your query before you changed it to the far better one you now use. Unfortunately, this sentence is just as passive and unengaging here in the synopsis as it was in your query. I suggest you find a sentence using more action and emotion for the opening of your synopsis. It would be a shame to catch an agent's interest with your query, only to lose it with this sentence. Jesse is ecstatic after landing a job on Christmas slasher flick, "Ho Ho Hell 2," but when a mysterious dark sorceress tries to summon a demon It seems this demon might be your main antagonist. If so, you might consider giving it/him/her a NAME. on set, Jesse is forced to face a debt from the past. Jesse owes his life to supernatural forces, and unless he can uncover the dark practitioner and stop her from summoning his unholy creditors, he’s a dead man walking. 

 

To make matters worse, a spell gone wrong forces lone-wolf Jesse is to take on an apprentice, to train and eventually sacrifice. Unfortunately, Jesse’s new apprentice Donny DONNY is an awkward teen, more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Struggling to stay afloat in the world of the occult, Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help, a handbook full of tips and tricks to train a sorcerer.

 

To get the tools they need to hunt the dark practitioner, Jesse and Donny hire eccentric occult saleswoman, Betty BETTY. Jesse and Betty hit it off, but low-life Jesse is too focused on his debt and ambitions for any serious commitment.

 

Sleuthing through the supernatural underbelly of Los Angeles, Jesse discovers that the black practitioner is a member of the movie crew. While Jesse sets out to find and kill the practitioner, Donny begins to come out of his shell, bonding with red-head Personal assistant Callie CALLIE, developing as both a mage and a person.

 

After pinpointing the summoner, Jesse is captured by devoutly religious Templars Templars were/are a devoutly religious group, so saying they're devoutly religious is redundant, hell heaven Seeing how templars consider their calling to be a heavenly one, calling them "hell bent" on something sounds to me like a contradiction. bent on executing wizards. Jesse escapes, but in the panic his apprentice is kidnapped by supernatural forces What supernatural forces? If angels, say so, or if Templars, tell us its them, otherwise this comes across as vague., the teen’s crush revealed as the dark practitioner. The PA worked with Jesse’s former mentor to trap the duo Might I suggest you either expound on the "former mentor", who sounds like an exciting plot twist? I take it they didn't part on friendly terms. Was Jesse meant to be a human sacrifice once he blossomed as a mage?.

 

Jesse is devastated over the betrayal, and he is more determined stop the summoning Is this the same summoning as was started on the set days, weeks, or months ago? That must be one looooooong summoning! I envisioned something like a chalk pentagram on the floor with incantations, burning some rare ingredients, and possibly some sort of sacrifice, but in any case, something which could be accomplished in a single ritualized sitting. You might consider giving us a hint as to why this summoning is taking so long. Did it really start on the movie set, or did Jesse only become aware of a planned summoning at that point?. Jesse dukes it out with his former mentor How? and frees the apprentice, but fails to stop the summoning in time. The demon arrives in Los Angeles.

 

Where are all the doves? 

 

At first Jesse flees, but ultimately returns to face his past. Team Jesse suffers heavy losses, and soon, the wizard comes face to face with his enemy If it's the demon, give us its name, please. Jesse takes a chance and makes a high stakes deal with the monster, and betting(s) on himself in a the duel with the creature. Guided by a last minute scheme and a newfound faith in others, Jesse manages to trick(s) the demon [name], casting it out of the physical plane.

 

With his demon creditors gone and his friends safe, Jesse finally commits to a relationship with Betty, and recognizes that discovers there’s more to life than magic, glory, and spells. Plus, the wizard becomes something of a minor celebrity after the occult incident hits the tabloids This seems to contradict the previous sentence..

 

Though Donny is still sad over the loss of his crush, he has found a place in the world of the occult, and with Jesse by his side, will continue to grow This sentence is all of a sudden written from Donny's perspective, then you return in the following one to Jesse. I found it jarring. Perhaps you could write it from Jesse's perspective like this: Jesse guides Donny as he struggles with a broken heart, and helps him find his place in occult LA. Although the supernatural demons and evildoers gets bolder and bolder each day, Jesse will continue(s) to do his best to maintain balance, in both LA’s occult scene and in his personal life. I don't know if this last paragraph really adds much to your synopsis. It feels like your story is basically resolved at the end of the previous paragraph.

It sounds like you have an interesting story. I hope this was helpful, and I wish you all the best with your writing.



#4 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 63 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:02 PM

Thanks for the feedback! I edited the synopsis, and here's what I got.

 

Like usual, critique me, and I will mercilessly critique you.

 

Thanks!

 

Wizard and movie consultant JESSE DEMIR is ecstatic after landing a job on pulpy christmas flick, "Ho Ho Hell 2," but when a dark sorceress tries to summon a demon on set, Jesse is dragged back into the world of the occult. Jesse owes his life to the sadistic demon lord UVALLA, and unless he can uncover the dark practitioner and stop her from summoning his unholy creditor, he forfeits his soul.

 

To make matters worse, a contract with a cuban goddess forces lone-wolf Jesse is to take on an apprentice, to train and sacrifice in her honor. Unfortunately, Jesse’s new apprentice DONNY is an awkward teen, more worried about his dating prospects than his magic.

Jesse struggles with his role as a master, especially since he had a rough split from his own mentor PIPER, after his teacher tried and failed to turn the young wizard into fodder for his dark cult. Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help training Donny, a handbook full of tips and tricks to train a sorcerer.

 

To get the tools they need to hunt the dark practitioner, Jesse and Donny hire eccentric occult and dove saleswoman, BETTY. Jesse and Betty hit it off, but low-life Jesse is too focused on his debt and ambitions for any serious commitment.

 

Sleuthing through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, Jesse discovers that the black practitioner is a member of the movie crew. While Jesse sets out to find and kill the practitioner, Donny begins to come out of his shell, bonding with red-head personal assistant CALLIE, developing as both a mage and a person.

 

After pinpointing the summoner, Jesse is captured by the devoutly religious Templars, hell bent on executing wizards. Jesse escapes, but in the panic his apprentice is kidnapped, the teen’s crush revealed as the dark practitioner. The PA worked with Jesse’s former mentor Piper to trap the duo.

 

Jesse is devastated over the betrayal, and he is more determined stop the demon from crossing over. Jesse dukes it out with his former mentor, and frees the apprentice, but fails to stop the summoning in time. The demon lord Uvalla arrives in Los Angeles.

 

 

At first Jesse flees, but ultimately returns to face his past. Team Jesse suffers heavy losses, and soon, the wizard comes face to face with Uvalla. Jesse takes a chance and makes a high stakes deal with the monster, betting on himself in a duel with the creature. Guided by a last minute scheme and a newfound faith in others, Jesse manages to trick Uvalla, casting him out of the physical plane.

 

With his demon creditors gone and his friends safe, Jesse finally commits to a relationship with Betty, and discovers there’s more to life than just magic, glory, and spells. However, the wizard does become something of a minor celebrity after the occult incident hits the tabloids, and certainly enjoys the spotlight.

 

Though Donny is still sad over the loss of his crush, he has found a place in the world of the occult, and with Jesse by his side, will continue to grow. Although the supernatural gets bolder and bolder each day, Jesse will continue to do his best to maintain balance, in both LA’s occult scene and in his personal life.



#5 bkarperien

bkarperien

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 127 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:13 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I edited the synopsis, and here's what I got.

 

Like usual, critique me, and I will mercilessly critique you.

 

Thanks!

 

Wizard and movie consultant JESSE DEMIR is ecstatic after landing a job on a pulpy christmas flick, "Ho Ho Hell 2," but when a dark sorceress tries to summon a demon on set, Jesse is dragged back into the world of the occult. Jesse owes his life to the sadistic demon lord UVALLA, and unless he can uncover the dark practitioner  sorceress and stop her from summoning his unholy creditor, he forfeits his soul.

Great hook, the only problem I had here was that I didn't quite get that a. the sorceress was trying to summon Uvalla and b. the sorceress failed. 

 

To make matters worse, a contract with a Cuban goddess forces lone-wolf Jesse is to take on an apprentice, to train and sacrifice in her honor. Unfortunately, Jesse’s new apprentice DONNY is an awkward teen, more worried about his dating prospects than his magic.

Jesse struggles with his role as a master, especially since he had a rough split from his own mentor PIPER, (leave out unnecessary names) after he his teacher tried and failed to turn Jesse the young wizard into fodder for his dark cult. Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help training Donny, a handbook full of tips and tricks to train a sorcerer. ​(Unnecessary, doesn't add to plot)

 

To get the tools they need to hunt the dark practitioner, Jesse and Donny hire eccentric occult and dove saleswoman, BETTY. Jesse and Betty hit it off, but low-life Jesse is too focused on his debt and ambitions for any serious commitment.

 

Sleuthing through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, Jesse discovers that the sorceress black practitioner is a member of the movie crew. While Jesse sets out to find and kill the practitioner, Donny begins to come out of his shell, bonding with red-head personal assistant CALLIE, developing as both a mage and a person.

 

After pinpointing the summoner, Jesse is captured by the devoutly religious Templars (This came out of nowhere. Set up who these people are early on), hell bent on executing wizards. Jesse escapes, but in the panic Donny his apprentice is kidnapped by Callie, who is revealed to be the sorceress. , the teen’s crush revealed as the dark practitioner. The PA(what's the PA?) worked with Jesse’s former mentor Piper to trap the duo. (Maybe try: Jesse's former mentor orchestrated the trap.)

 

Jesse is devastated over the betrayal, and he is more determined stop the demon from crossing over. Jesse dukes it out with his former mentor and frees Donny, but fails to stop Callie the summoning in time. The demon lord Uvalla arrives in Los Angeles.

 

 

At first Jesse flees, but ultimately returns to face his past. Team Jesse (He has a team now? Thought he was a lone wolf?) suffers heavy losses, and soon, the wizard

 

When Jesse comes face to face with Uvalla, he takes a chance and makes a high stakes deal with the monster, betting on himself in a duel with the creature. (What deal? Could use more specifics) Guided by a last minute scheme and a newfound faith in others, Jesse manages to trick Uvalla, casting him out of the physical plane.

 

With his demon creditors gone and his friends safe, Jesse finally commits to a relationship with Betty, and discovers there’s more to life than just magic and glory. However, the wizard he does become something of a minor celebrity after the occult incident hits the tabloids, and certainly enjoys the spotlight. 

(So, what motivates Jesse? You make a big deal of him being in the spotlight at the end. Is he hungry for attention? Does he want to be famous? Without having that facet of his character set-up from the very beginning, it's unclear why you'd put that in. As it stands, all I know from the beginning is that he struck a deal with the devil and he doesn't play well with others. So he's flawed, but there's nothing that makes me really empathize with or like him.)

Though Donny is still sad over the loss of his crush, he has found a place in the world of the occult, and with Jesse by his side, will continue to grow. (Focus here on Jesse: How is he stepping into his role as Donny's mentor, and how does that impact Donny?) Although the supernatural gets bolder and bolder each day, Jesse will continue to do his best to maintain balance, in both LA’s occult scene and in his personal life.

It looks like you've got the plot summarized pretty well, I'd just like to get a better sense of Jesse's character. You give us that at the end, but you could do a little more to set it up at the beginning.

Anyway, I enjoyed that, sounds like a good read :)


Check out my query :)

Or, if you're really awesome, check out my synopsis.

 


#6 kacimari

kacimari

    Kacimari

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 124 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:Novels: Antithesis (YA Sci-Fi), Reflection Pond (#1), Poison Tree (Reflection Pond, #2) (YA Fantasy). Stepping Stones (YA Contemporary Fantasy). As an editor: Out of the Green: Tales from Fairyland.
    Short fiction in Sucker Literary Volume III,
    Spark Volume VII, and the inaugural issue of Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things.

Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:48 PM

Wizard and movie consultant JESSE DEMIR is ecstatic after landing a job on pulpy Christmas flick, "Ho Ho Hell 2," BECAUSE...(it's not occult?) but when a dark sorceress tries to summon a demon on set, Jesse is dragged back into the world of the occult. It's not clear that he was drawn OUT of the world to begin with, so this needs some clarification with the "because" above. Jesse owes his life to the sadistic demon lord UVALLA, and unless he can uncover the dark practitioner and stop her from summoning his unholy creditor, he forfeits his soul. So is the dark sorceress summoning Uvalla? The way it's written, I don't see the logical cause/effect trajectory. It's also not clear that Jesse doesn't know WHO the sorceress is.

 

To make matters worse, a contract with a cuban goddess forces lone-wolf Jesse is to take on an apprentice, to train and sacrifice in her honor. This feels like an outlier of information I don't necessarily need. I need to know he has an apprentice, but not why since it never comes full circle in the synopsis. (We never hear from the cuban goddess again.) Unfortunately, Jesse’s new apprentice DONNY is an awkward teen, more worried about his dating prospects than his magic. Does this happen before or after the sorceress tries to summon the demon? Once again, there is no cause/effect so every paragraph feels like a list of things that happen rather than a coherent whole story.

Jesse struggles with his role as a master, especially since he had a rough split from his own mentor PIPER, after his teacher tried and failed to turn the young wizard into fodder for his dark cult. Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help training Donny, a handbook full of tips and tricks to train a sorcerer. I like how this paragraph relates to the last - however, I'm not clear how "A Practicioner's Guide" applies to the story except that it's a tool he's using for training. How does this relate to the demon and sorceress?

 

To get the tools they need to hunt the dark practitioner, Jesse and Donny hire eccentric occult and dove saleswoman, BETTY. Jesse and Betty hit it off, but low-life Jesse is too focused on his debt and ambitions for any serious commitment. The "unholy creditor" is really witty from above, but doesn't make sense until I get to this paragraph and get a better sense of Jesse's behaviors. Can you move this up higher so we have a better understanding of who Jesse is throughout the synopsis?

 

Sleuthing through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, Jesse discovers that the black practitioner is a member of the movie crew. While Jesse sets out to find and kill the practitioner, Donny begins to come out of his shell, bonding with red-head personal assistant CALLIE, developing as both a mage and a person. This feels a lot like a subplot, but I realize it's Callie who ends up being the sorceress, so it's necessary, HOWEVER, I think you need to relate it to Jesse's story. Is it annoying dragging the kid around? Is Callie distracting Donny from what he's supposed to be doing and therefore slowing Jesse down? Show me how this affect Jesse.

 

After pinpointing the summoner, Jesse is captured by the devoutly religious Templars, hell bent on executing wizards. Jesse escapes, but in the panic his apprentice is kidnapped, the teen’s crush revealed as the dark practitioner. The PA worked with Jesse’s former mentor Piper to trap the duo. I still feel that every paragraph is very "list like" and doesn't have any voice. Can you use more cause/effect sentences? I think it will help pull the pieces together. Things like WHEN this happens, Jesse must...whatever he does. IF something doesn't happen, then Jesse must...etc.

 

Jesse is devastated over the betrayal, and he is more determined stop the demon from crossing over. Crossing over is unclear. Jesse dukes it out with his former mentor, and frees the apprentice, but fails to stop the summoning in time. I'd use their names instead of titles for clarity. The demon lord Uvalla arrives in Los Angeles.

 

 

At first Jesse flees, but ultimately returns to face his past. Team Jesse suffers heavy losses, vague what are "heavy losses?" and soon, the wizard comes face to face with Uvalla. Jesse takes a chance and makes a high stakes deal with the monster, betting on himself in a duel with the creature. Guided by a last minute scheme and a newfound faith in others, What causes this sudden faith? It seems like everyone has betrayed Jesse. Jesse manages to trick Uvalla, casting him out of the physical plane.

 

With his demon creditors gone and his friends safe, Jesse finally commits to a relationship with Betty, and discovers there’s more to life than just magic, glory, and spells. However, the wizard does become something of a minor celebrity after the occult incident hits the tabloids, and certainly enjoys the spotlight. The way you've described Jesse, he seems pretty smarmy with few redeeming qualities. Not sure if that's how you want our hero to come across.

 

Though Donny is still sad over the loss of his crush, he has found a place in the world of the occult, and with Jesse by his side, will continue to grow. Although the supernatural gets bolder and bolder each day, Jesse will continue to do his best to maintain balance, in both LA’s occult scene and in his personal life. I like that it has a happy ending for both Jesse and Donny, but I still think there is a lot to be done to make the story feel cohesive. In addition to the cause/effect statements, I think the synopsis would benefit from some voice to make it sound less like a list and more like a story. I also would consider cutting down some of the names - there are a lot and you tend to go back to using their titles, anyway. Perhaps his former mentor's name can go? I'd like a bit more characterization of Jesse and Donny. I get a sense that they might be funny to see together, but the humor doesn't come through here.

 

Best of luck!


Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.

#7 Sreid

Sreid

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 86 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationEurope
  • Publishing Experience:None, except for querying a sci-fi thriller and a previous version of book 1 in my fantasy series (didn't secure representation).

Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:56 AM

I find this version much better. Giving your antagonist a name helps, and replacing the repeated text from your query makes it sound fresher, while revealing new facets of your story.

 

There are some missed words and grammar errors left to weed out, but on the whole, i think this works.



#8 TheBest

TheBest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 63 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I've just finished my first young and new adult Sci-fi novel, which I'm very proud of, and eager to get published. I've written two plays and a novella, self-published online.

Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:00 PM

I built a new synopsis with your critiques. Here it is. There's more voice, clarity, and detail.

 

As always, critique me, and I'll brutally critique you.

 

I would love to get your opinions.

 

Thanks!

 

 

When a witch tries to summon a demon onto the set of Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” wizard and movie consultant JESSE DEMIR is forced to face a debt from the past. Jesse owes his life to the demon lord UVALLA, and unless he can uncover the dark witch and stop her from summoning his unholy creditor, he forfeits his soul. Jesse’s pretty sure he needs that.


To get an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on a cranky cuban goddess’s son as an apprentice, to train and sacrifice in her honor. Unfortunately, Jesse’s new apprentice DONNY is an awkward teen more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Clearly, there isn’t much family resemblance.


Jesse struggles as a teacher, especially since he had a rough split from his own mentor PIPER, after his master tried and failed to turn the young wizard into fodder for his dark cult. The great and powerful Jesse Demir was trained to battle the supernatural, not teen angst. Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help teaching Donny, a handbook full of tips and tricks to train a sorcerer.

 

To get the tools they need to hunt the dark practitioner, Jesse and Donny hire eccentric occult and dove saleswoman, BETTY. Jesse and Betty hit it off, but low-life Jesse is too focused on his debt and ambitions for any serious commitment.

 

Sleuthing through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, Jesse discovers that the black practitioner is a member of the movie crew. While Jesse sets out to find and kill the witch, Donny begins to come out of his shell, bonding with red-head personal assistant CALLIE, developing as both a mage and a person.

 

After pinpointing the summoner, Jesse is captured by the devoutly religious Templars, hell bent on executing wizards. Jesse escapes, but in the panic his apprentice is kidnapped, the teen’s crush exposed as the black practitioner. The assistant worked with Jesse’s former mentor Piper to trap the duo.

 

Jesse is devastated over the betrayal, becoming even more determined to stop the demon from crossing over. Jesse dukes it out with his former mentor, and frees the apprentice, but fails to stop the summoning in time. Surprise! The demon is revealed to have been possessing the body of the Templar’s ‘holy’ leader, waiting patiently for a witch to let him slip into our world. The demon lord Uvalla arrives in Los Angeles.

 

At first Jesse flees, but a newfound conscience forces him to return and at least try to stop the demon's havoc. Breaking every rule in the "Practitioner's Guidebook," the wizard comes face to face with Uvalla. Jesse takes a chance and makes a high stakes deal with the monster, betting his soul in a duel with the creature. Guided by a last minute scheme, advice from a dove, and a newfound faith in others, Jesse manages to trick Uvalla, casting him out of the physical plane.

 

With his demon creditor gone and his friends safe, Jesse finally commits to a relationship with Betty, and discovers there’s more to life than dollar signs and fame. However, the wizard does become something of a minor celebrity after the occult incident hits the tabloids, and certainly enjoys the spotlight. Everything in moderation.

 

Though Donny is still torn up over the loss of his crush, he has found a place in the world of the occult, and with Jesse by his side, will continue to grow. The supernatural gets bolder and bolder each day, and Jesse is done hiding in Hollywood. The mage will do his best to maintain balance, in both LA’s occult scene and in his personal life.



#9 Sreid

Sreid

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 86 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationEurope
  • Publishing Experience:None, except for querying a sci-fi thriller and a previous version of book 1 in my fantasy series (didn't secure representation).

Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:01 PM

Congratulations! I think this is much better than your previous drafts. It reads with a lot more cohesion, and it feels like a rough gem that can now do with some polishing.

 

One unanswered question I still have has to do with the time frame. You start with someone trying to summon the demon, Uvalla, on the movie set. Since Jesse doesn't appear to stop or even delay that summoning, it appears to continue throughout the bulk of your story, while Jesse trains an apprentice, falls in love and is captured by both Templars and his former mentor. That seems like a massively long ritual, which I doubt is the case in your story. I presume there is something which delays or postpones the summoning ritual, perhaps some vital ingredient that's missing. If that's so, please show us what that is, and if not, please show us that the summoning is a long process, because it seems in your first paragraph that Jesse expects the immanent arrival of his "unholy creditor".

I built a new synopsis with your critiques. Here it is. There's more voice, clarity, and detail.

 

As always, critique me, and I'll brutally critique you.

 

I would love to get your opinions.

 

Thanks!

 

 

When a witch tries to summon a demon onto the set of Christmas horror flick, “Ho Ho Hell 2,” wizard and movie consultant JESSE DEMIR is forced to face a debt from the past.​ Much better opening sentence. Jesse owes his life to the demon lord UVALLA, and unless he can uncover the dark witch and stop her from summoning his unholy creditor, he forfeits his soul. Jesse’s pretty sure he needs that.


To get an extension on his debt, lone-wolf Jesse takes on a cranky cuban goddess’s son as an apprentice, to train and sacrifice in her honor. ​Good explanation for taking on the apprentice. Unfortunately, Jesse’s new apprentice DONNY is an awkward teen more concerned with getting a date than getting a wand. Clearly, there isn’t much family resemblance. So the debt extension is a no-go. Does Jesse have a change of heart here, deciding he's unwilling to sacrifice another person to save himself? Your next sentence seems to imply that, but it would be nice to see the transition.


Jesse struggles as a teacher, especially since he had a ​recalling the rough split from his own mentor PIPER, ​The next time he appears, you refer to him as "former mentor", so there's no need to name him. after his master tried and failed to turn the young wizard into fodder for his dark cult. The great and powerful Jesse Demir was ​trained He went from being a young wizard to being great and powerful with no transition. Might I suggest something like: ​Out of that necessity, Jesse taught himself the skills to battle the supernatural, not teen angst. Jesse turns to “A Practitioner's Guide” for help teaching Donny, a handbook full of tips and tricks to train a sorcerer.

 

To get the tools they need to hunt the dark practitioner, Jesse and Donny hire eccentric occult and dove saleswoman, BETTY. Jesse and Betty hit it off, but low-life ​I don't think calling him a low-life actually adds anything to this. Jesse is too focused on his debt and ambitions for any serious commitment.

 

Sleuthing through the occult underbelly of Los Angeles, Jesse discovers that the black practitioner is a member of the movie crew. While Jesse sets out to find and kill the witch, Donny begins to come​(s) out of his shell, bonding with red-head personal assistant​(,) CALLIE, developing as both a mage and a person.

 

After pinpointing the summoner, Jesse is captured by the devoutly religious ​Templars are considered to be a deeply religious, even fanatical, organisation, so saying that here becomes redundant. Templars, hell bent ​on ​I still don't think this is a good way to describe a group who sees hunting wizards as their holy mission. Perhaps ​devoted to executing wizards. Jesse escapes, but in the panic his apprentice is kidnapped, ​and the teen’s crush ​is exposed as the black practitioner. The assistant worked with Jesse’s former mentor Piper to trap the duo.

 

Jesse is devastated over the betrayal, becoming even more determined to stop the demon from crossing over. ​This sentence doesn't work for me. It sounds like his devastation strengthens his determination, where the opposite is usually the case. Perhaps something like: ​Jesse's desperation grows following the betrayal, knowing the odds of him stopping the demon from crossing over are dwindling. Jesse ​He dukes it out with his former mentor, and frees the apprentice, but fails to stop the summoning in time. Surprise! ​Let us be surprised instead of telling us we'll be surprised. The demon is revealed to have been possessing ​resurrects in the body of the Templar’s ‘holy’ leader, ​who has waiting​ed patiently for a witch to let him slip into our world. The demon lord Uvalla arrives in Los Angeles.

 

At first Jesse flees, but a newfound conscience forces him to return and at least try to stop the demon's havoc. Breaking every rule in the "Practitioner's Guidebook," the wizard comes face to face with Uvalla. Jesse takes a chance and makes a high stakes deal with the monster, betting his soul in a duel with the creature. Guided by a last minute scheme, advice from a dove ​Nice that you brought the doves into it., and a newfound​ You just used "newfound". Perhaps ​renewed faith in others, Jesse manages to trick Uvalla, casting him out of the physical plane.

 

With his demon creditor gone and his friends safe, Jesse finally commits to a relationship with Betty, and discovers there’s more to life than dollar signs and fame. However, the wizard does become something of a minor celebrity after the occult incident hits the tabloids, and certainly enjoys the spotlight. Everything in moderation. ​Nice.

 

Though Donny is still torn up over the loss of his crush, he has found a place in the world of the occult, and with Jesse by his side, will continue to grow. The supernatural gets bolder and bolder each day, and Jesse is done hiding in Hollywood. The mage ​You call him both wizard and mage. Might I suggest you stick with only one. will do his best to maintain balance, in both LA’s occult scene and in his personal life.

Like I said earlier, this was a lot more cohesive. I hope my opinions were helpful. Feel free to take a look at my attempts at writing a "Hook".







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

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users