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Black Eyes (Urban Fantasy)


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#1 CS29

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:29 AM

Alright, I've put this off for long enough. My experience writing a synopsis is little to none, so any help or advice anyone can offer would be great. I definitely want to tighten this up and get the flow down, it just doesn't feel right as is. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer and I'd be happy to return the favor.

 

 

Sam Hain deals with monsters, whatever that may mean. He’s killed shape-shifters, bargained with demons, and cast undead back to oblivion. It’s his life’s work, because someone has to do it.

 

Amanda Michaels comes to him after her son, Bryan, has been missing for months. The police are at a dead end and have given up. It’s a story he’s heard before. No one comes to him as a first option. She also informs him that Bryan isn’t the first child to disappear in Lurnley, Missouri. A dozen or more other children have vanished in the last half-century.

 

Sam dives into the town’s history and discovers the disappearances began after a disaster in the mine that claimed nearly thirty lives. Digging deeper into Bryan himself he finds a journal account of the boy’s encounter with a girl with eyes as black as night. The description of her sounds eerily similar to the girl who vanished before Bryan. Speaking to the few locals who will talk to him, Sam learns that black-eyed children have appeared to the other kids who vanished.

 

Clearly the mine, the black-eyed kids, and the missing children are connected. With the help of a local reporter, Sam descends into the mine. There they stumble onto a monster unlike anything Sam has ever seen, a rarity in itself. The monster kills his new ally in a blink, gutting him and fleeing before Sam can react.

 

Sam retreats to the surface where he runs into the town sheriff, who is understandably suspicious. He tells the sheriff the truth of what happened and they return to the mine to find the reporter’s body missing and no sign of the monster. The sheriff arrests Sam.

He escapes from his cell with ease. It isn’t the first time he’s been locked up. He returns to the mine to learn more about the monster, hoping to discover a way to kill it. The sheriff finds him again, more amused than angry about his escape. Together, they delve into the mine, going deeper than before.

 

Sam locates the monster in its lair. The exact site of the collapse that set everything in motion. The creature doesn’t kill him. Instead, it taunts him and toys with him until he loses consciousness, waking up in the local hospital. The sheriff rescued him. He bears only a mark on his arms from the creature’s touch.

 

Over the course of the night, the blackness left on his arms begins to spread, rendering him weaker with every passing hour. The creature’s corruption also forged a connection between them. Sam can feel it probing his mind, and more still, can see what the black-eyed children see. They are connected through the creature.

 

Another child from town is taken, Bryan’s friend Tommy. Using his new link with the children and the creature, Sam and the sheriff track them down. Along the way Sam discovers the creature’s influence has left him with a debilitating weakness: light. Tiny amounts of light cause him unbearable agony.

 

He and the sheriff just miss the children, a step behind them, as the sheriff planned. He attacks Sam, revealing the monster corrupted and took control of him years ago. He is part of the reason the investigations of the kidnappings go nowhere. They struggle, with him nearly crushing Sam’s skull, but Sam manages to kill the sheriff.

 

Determined to kill the monster once and for all, to save himself as well as the children, he gathers what weapons he has left and returns to the mine.

 

Light hurts him, maybe it will hurt the monster too.

 

Sam returns to the thing’s nest in the deepest pit of the mine. The creature uses the children to attack him. He quickly realizes he has no choice but to fight them if he’s to have any chance of stopping this nightmare for good.

 

He fights his way past the kids to the monster itself. His body failing and his few weapons spent, Sam manages to weaken the monster enough to kill it. Not all the children survive, but he does keep his promise to Bryan’s mother. He brings her boy home.



#2 galaxyspinner

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:29 AM

Sam Hain (Protagonists with punny names are risky; in any case, put names of characters in all-caps the first time you use them in a synopsis) deals with monsters, whatever that may mean (My instinct is to replace "mean" with "entail"). He’s killed shape-shifters, bargained with demons, and cast undead back to oblivion. It’s his life’s work, because someone has to do it.

 

Amanda Michaels comes to him after her son, Bryan, has been missing for months. The police are at a dead end and have given up. It’s a story he’s heard before. No one comes to him as a first option. She also informs him that Bryan isn’t the first child to disappear in Lurnley, Missouri. A dozen or more other children have vanished in the last half-century. (Fifty years for twelve disappearances doesn't sound terribly unusual; is there something about these disappearances that might grab his attention?)

 

Sam dives into the town’s history and discovers the disappearances began after a disaster in the mine that claimed nearly thirty lives. Digging deeper into Bryan himself (comma) he finds a journal account of the boy’s encounter with a girl with (This sentence hits the ear badly. I'd want to find a way to not use "account" and "encounter" in quick succession, and avoid using the word "with" twice inside of four words) eyes as black as night. The description of her sounds eerily similar to the girl who vanished before Bryan. Speaking to the few locals who will talk to him, Sam learns that black-eyed children have appeared to the other kids who vanished.

 

Clearly the mine, the black-eyed kids, and the missing children are connected. With the help of a local reporter, Sam descends into the mine. There they stumble onto a monster unlike anything Sam has ever seen, a rarity in itself. The monster kills his new ally in a blink, gutting him and fleeing before Sam can react.

 

Sam retreats to the surface where he runs into the town sheriff, who is understandably suspicious. He tells the sheriff the truth of what happened and they return to the mine to find the reporter’s body missing and no sign of the monster. The sheriff arrests Sam.

 

He escapes from his cell with ease. It isn’t the first time he’s been locked up. He returns to the mine to learn more about the monster, hoping to discover a way to kill it. The sheriff finds him again, more amused than angry about his escape. Together, they delve into the mine, going deeper than before.

 

Sam locates the monster in its lair. (Do we really not get anything more specific than "monster"?) The exact site of the collapse that set everything in motion (sentence fragment). The creature doesn’t kill him. Instead, it taunts him and toys with him until he loses consciousness, waking up in the local hospital. The sheriff rescued him. He bears only a mark on his arms from the creature’s touch.

 

Over the course of the night, the blackness left on his arms begins to spread, rendering him weaker with every passing hour. The creature’s corruption also forged a connection between them. Sam can feel it probing his mind, and more still, can see what the black-eyed children see. They are connected through the creature.

 

Another child from town is taken, Bryan’s friend Tommy. Using his new link with the children and the creature, Sam and the sheriff track them down. Along the way Sam discovers the creature’s influence has left him with a debilitating weakness: light. Tiny amounts of light cause him unbearable agony.

 

He and the sheriff just miss the children, a step behind them, as the sheriff planned (awkward phrasing). He attacks Sam, revealing the monster corrupted and took control of him years ago. He is part of the reason the investigations of the kidnappings go nowhere. They struggle, with him nearly crushing Sam’s skull (awkward phrasing), but Sam manages to kill the sheriff.

 

Determined to kill the monster once and for all, to save himself as well as the children, he gathers what weapons he has left and returns to the mine.

 

Light hurts him, maybe it will hurt the monster too.

 

Sam returns to the thing’s nest in the deepest pit of the mine. The creature uses the children to attack him. He quickly realizes he has no choice but to fight them if he’s to have any chance of stopping this nightmare for good.

 

He fights his way past the kids to the monster itself. His body failing and his few weapons spent, Sam manages to weaken the monster enough to kill it. Not all the children survive, but he does keep his promise to Bryan’s mother. He brings her boy home.

 

(It's unsatisfying to me that the monster is never described as anything other than a monster. This isn't just a matter of what it is, either; we don't know why it's doing what it does. This is your main antagonist, and it lacks pathos.)


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#3 CS29

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 02:16 AM

Thanks for the feedback galaxyspinner!

 

SAM HAIN deals with monsters, whatever that may entail (I must say, I do like "entail" more.). He’s killed shape-shifters, bargained with demons, and cast undead back to oblivion. It’s his life’s work, because someone has to do it.

 

Amanda Michaels comes to him after her son, Bryan, has been missing for months. The police are at a dead end and have given up. It’s a story he’s heard before. No one comes to him as a first option. She also informs him that Bryan isn’t the first child to disappear in Lurnley, Missouri. A dozen or more other children have vanished in the last half-century, too many for a town the size of Lurnely.

 

Sam dives into the town’s history and discovers the disappearances began after a disaster in the mine that claimed nearly thirty lives. Digging deeper into Bryan himself, he finds the boy encountered a girl with eyes as black as night before he went missing. The description of her sounds eerily similar to the girl who vanished before Bryan. Speaking to the few locals who will talk to him, Sam learns that black-eyed children have appeared to the other kids who vanished.

 

Clearly the mine, the black-eyed kids, and the missing children are connected. With the help of a local reporter, Sam descends into the mine. There they stumble onto a being unlike anything Sam has ever seen, a rarity in itself. The creature blends into the darkness, moves too fast too see, and can tear through solid stone with its claws. The monster kills his new ally in a blink, gutting him and fleeing before Sam can react.

 

Sam retreats to the surface where he runs into the town sheriff, who is understandably suspicious. He tells the sheriff the truth of what happened and they return to the mine to find the reporter’s body missing and no sign of the monster. The sheriff arrests Sam.

 

He escapes from his cell with ease. It isn’t the first time he’s been locked up. He returns to the mine to learn more about the monster, hoping to discover a way to kill it. The sheriff finds him again, more amused than angry about his escape. Together, they delve into the mine, going deeper than before.

 

Sam locates the monster in its lair, the exact site of the collapse that set everything in motion. Shrouded in darkness and an unearthly cold, Sam can hardly see, let alone fight back. The creature doesn’t kill him. Instead, it taunts him and toys with him until he loses consciousness, waking up in the local hospital. The sheriff rescued him. He bears only a mark on his arms from the creature’s touch.

 

Over the course of the night, the blackness left on his arms begins to spread, rendering him weaker with every passing hour. The creature’s corruption also forged a connection between them. Sam can feel it probing his mind, and more still, can see what the black-eyed children see. They are connected through the creature controlling them and Sam himself is next.

 

Another child from town is taken, Bryan’s friend Tommy. Using his new link with the children and the creature, Sam and the sheriff track them down. Along the way Sam discovers the creature’s influence has left him with a debilitating weakness: light. Tiny amounts of light cause him unbearable agony.

 

He and the sheriff just miss the children, as the sheriff planned. He attacks Sam, revealing the monster corrupted and took control of him years ago. He is part of the reason the investigations of the kidnappings go nowhere. The sheriff attacks, nearly crushing Sam’s skull, but Sam manages to kill him.

 

Determined to kill the monster once and for all, to save himself as well as the children, he gathers what weapons he has left and returns to the mine.

 

Light hurts him, maybe it will hurt the monster too.

 

Sam returns to the thing’s nest in the deepest pit of the mine. The creature uses the children to attack him. He realizes he has no choice but to fight them if he’s to have any chance of stopping this nightmare for good and keep the monster's influence from spreading.

 

He fights his way past the kids to the monster itself. His body failing and his few weapons spent, Sam manages to weaken the monster enough to kill it. Not all the children survive, but he does keep his promise to Bryan’s mother. He brings her boy home.

 

 

Looking over this, I may not have explained the monster's purpose as well as I thought, but it's primary goal is simply to take over as many humans as possible. To spread its corruption as far and wide as it can manage. Thanks again!



#4 kathleenq

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:12 PM

Thanks for the feedback galaxyspinner!

 

SAM HAIN deals with monsters, whatever that may entail (I must say, I do like "entail" more.). He’s killed shape-shifters, bargained with demons, and cast undead back to oblivion. It’s his life’s work, because someone has to do it.

 

Amanda Michaels comes to him after her son, Bryan, has been missing for months. The police are at a dead end and have given up. It’s a story he’s heard before. No one comes to him as a first option (You say the police are at a dead end - doesn't that mean the police have tried and that Sam isn't the first option? Or if you mean no one comes to him first and that's why he's heard the story before, then I don't think you need those two sentences. It reads funny.). She also informs him that Bryan isn’t the first child to disappear in Lurnley, Missouri. A dozen or more other children have vanished in the last half-century, too many for a town the size of Lurnely. (what size?)

 

Sam dives into the town’s history and discovers the disappearances began after a disaster in the mine that claimed nearly thirty lives. Digging deeper into Bryan himself, he finds the boy encountered a girl with eyes as black as night before he went missing. The description of her sounds eerily similar to the girl who vanished before Bryan. Speaking to the few locals who will talk to him, Sam learns that black-eyed children have appeared to the other kids who vanished.

 

Clearly the mine, the black-eyed kids, and the missing children are connected. With the help of a local reporter, Sam descends into the mine. There they stumble onto a being unlike anything Sam has ever seen, a rarity in itself. The creature blends into the darkness, moves too fast too see, and can tear through solid stone with its claws. The monster kills his new ally in a blink, gutting him and fleeing before Sam can react.

 

Sam retreats to the surface where he runs into the town sheriff, who is understandably suspicious. He tells the sheriff the truth of what happened and they return to the mine to find the reporter’s body missing and no sign of the monster. The sheriff arrests Sam.

 

He escapes from his cell with ease. It isn’t the first time he’s been locked up. He and returns to the mine to learn more about the monster, hoping to discover a way to kill it. The sheriff finds him again, more amused than angry about his escape. Together, they delve into the mine, going deeper than before.

 

Sam locates the monster in its lair, the exact site of the collapse that set everything in motion. Shrouded in darkness and an unearthly cold, Sam can hardly see, let alone fight back. The creature doesn’t kill him. Instead, it taunts him and toys with him until he loses consciousness, waking up in the local hospital. The sheriff rescued him. He bears only a mark on his arms from the creature’s touch. (Sam or the sheriff? Also, if the sheriff went with Sam into the mine, where was he when the monster was toying with Sam?)

 

Over the course of the night, the blackness left on his arms begins to spread, rendering him weaker with every passing hour. The creature’s corruption also forged a connection between them. Sam can feel it probing his mind, and more still, can see what the black-eyed children see. They are connected through the creature controlling them and Sam himself is next. (Next for what? I thought he would be the next victim, but it was Tommy)

 

Another child from town is taken, Bryan’s friend Tommy. Using his new link with the children and the creature, Sam and the sheriff track them down. Along the way Sam discovers the creature’s influence has left him with a debilitating weakness: light. Tiny amounts of light cause him unbearable agony.

 

He and the sheriff just miss the children, as the sheriff planned. He attacks Sam, revealing the monster corrupted and took control of him years ago. He is part of the reason the investigations of the kidnappings go nowhere. The sheriff attacks, nearly crushing Sam’s skull, but Sam manages to kill him. (If light hurts Sam and the corrupted, how has the sheriff functioned as a regular person?)

 

Determined to kill the monster once and for all, to save himself as well as the children, he gathers what weapons he has left and returns to the mine.

 

Light hurts him, maybe it will hurt the monster too.

 

Sam returns to the thing’s nest in the deepest pit of the mine. The creature uses the children to attack him (Does the corruption also stop their growth? Otherwise some of the children would be adults by now, right?). He realizes he has no choice but to fight them if he’s to have any chance of stopping this nightmare for good and keep the monster's influence from spreading.

 

He fights his way past the kids to the monster itself. His body failing and his few weapons spent, Sam manages to weaken the monster enough to kill it. (If the weapons are spent, how does Sam weaken the monster?) Not all the children survive, but he does keep his promise to Bryan’s mother. He brings her boy home.

 

 

Looking over this, I may not have explained the monster's purpose as well as I thought, but it's primary goal is simply to take over as many humans as possible. To spread its corruption as far and wide as it can manage. Thanks again!


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#5 CS29

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:06 AM

Thanks for your feedback kathleenq!

 

SAM HAIN deals with monsters, whatever that may entail. He’s killed shape-shifters, bargained with demons, and cast undead back to oblivion. It’s his life’s work, because someone has to do it.

 

Amanda Michaels comes to him after her son, Bryan, has been missing for months. The police are at a dead end and have given up. It’s a story he’s heard before. No one comes to him until they've tried everything else. She also informs him that Bryan isn’t the first child to disappear in Lurnley, Missouri. A dozen or more other children have vanished in the last half-century, too many for a town of a couple thousand people.

 

Sam dives into the town’s history and discovers the disappearances began after a disaster in the mine that claimed nearly thirty lives. Digging deeper into Bryan himself, he finds the boy encountered a girl with eyes as black as night before he went missing. The description of her sounds eerily similar to the girl who vanished before Bryan. Speaking to the few locals who will talk to him, Sam learns that black-eyed children have appeared to the other kids who vanished.

 

Clearly the mine, the black-eyed kids, and the missing children are connected. With the help of a local reporter, Sam descends into the mine. There they stumble onto a being unlike anything Sam has ever seen, a rarity in itself. The creature blends into the darkness, moves too fast too see, and can tear through solid stone with its claws. The monster kills his new ally in a blink, gutting him and fleeing before Sam can react.

 

Sam retreats to the surface where he runs into the town sheriff, who is understandably suspicious. He tells the sheriff the truth of what happened and they return to the mine to find the reporter’s body missing and no sign of the monster. The sheriff arrests Sam.

 

He escapes from his cell with ease and returns to the mine to learn more about the monster, hoping to discover a way to kill it. The sheriff finds him again, more amused than angry about his escape. Together, they delve into the mine, going deeper than before.

 

Sam locates the monster in its lair, the exact site of the collapse that set everything in motion. He descends alone to face the monster, knowing if it kills them both, no one will be left to fight. Shrouded in darkness and an unearthly cold, Sam can hardly see, let alone fight back. The creature doesn’t kill him. Instead, it taunts him and toys with him until he loses consciousness, waking up in the local hospital. The sheriff rescued him. Sam appeares unharmed, bearing only marks on his arms from the creature’s touch.

 

Over the course of the night, the blackness on his arms begins to spread, rendering him weaker with every passing hour. He also receives a visit from the children, more than the girl who vanished before Bryan. They appear exactly as they did when they went missing, untouched by the intervening years. They taunt Sam, encouraging him to join them before they vanish back into the night.

 

The creature’s corruption also forged a connection between them. Sam can feel it probing his mind, and more still, can see what the black-eyed children see. They are connected through the creature controlling them. The connection only grows stronger as the creature's influence spreads.

 

Another child from town is taken, Bryan’s friend Tommy. Using his new link with the children and the creature, Sam and the sheriff track them down. Along the way Sam discovers the creature’s influence has left him with a debilitating weakness: light. Tiny amounts of light cause him unbearable agony.

 

He and the sheriff just miss the children, as the sheriff planned. He turns on Sam, revealing the monster gained control of him years ago, using him, but never fully taking him. The sheriff is free to move in the light. The monster's pawn. He is part of the reason the investigations into the kidnappings go nowhere. He's kept others from exploring the mine and discovering the monster's lair. The sheriff attacks, nearly crushing Sam’s skull, but Sam manages to kill him.

 

Determined to kill the monster once and for all, to save himself as well as the children, he gathers what weapons he has left and returns to the mine.

 

Light hurts him, maybe it will hurt the monster too.

 

Sam returns to the thing’s nest in the deepest pit of the mine. The creature uses the children to attack him. He realizes he has no choice but to fight them if he’s to have any chance of stopping this nightmare for good and keep the monster's influence from spreading.

 

He fights his way past the kids to the creature itself. His body failing and his few weapons spent, Sam uses a simple flare stolen from the sheriff and his deputy to weaken the monster enough to kill it. As it burns, he carries Bryan from the depths of the mine back to the surface. Not all the children survive, but he does keep his promise to Bryan’s mother. He brings her boy home.






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