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A DARKNESS IN SPRING (horror/fantasy); revision post #1


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#1 MICRONESIA

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 03:42 PM

JEAN MILLER is a thirty-year-old hippie who moves to the Great Smoky Mountains to begin a new life, thanks to an ATM that started spitting out cash. Believing she caused this with a Wiccan spell, Jean is determined to use the money selflessly: by transforming a local inn into a women’s shelter. After decades spent living for herself, it’s about damn time she gave something back. Through loving deeds and nature worship, she hopes to inspire the community.

 

Until the inn is habitable, she’ll crash with MILES, an ex-hookup. Weird shit starts going down at his apartment complex. Rooms are tidied while no one’s home. Children’s singing echoes from the woods. Dark figures watch her drift asleep. When a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of hypothermia, Jean recalls legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits that steal people’s souls.

 

One afternoon, after falling into a trance, Jean’s mind is invaded by a warlock who calls himself THE LANDLORD. He tempts her with visions of a greener world—the lush future she’s always longed for. But in order for it to become a reality, twenty thousand people must die on a burning mountain.

 

Enthralled by the Landlord’s vision, yet horrified by the cost, Jean delves deeper into the region’s mysteries. With the help of a local PI, she learns that several suspicious deaths have taken place at the apartments and on a nearby mountain. The apartments’ owners recently bought property in places rumored to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” including the complex itself. Her investigation eventually leads her to the other tenants: an elderly woman who communicates with a lump under her carpet, an internet model dying of brain cancer, and DEVIN, an attractive single father taunted by tricksters who know he murdered his wife. Some tenants are victims of the Landlord, while others are accomplices—and it’s impossible for Jean to tell the difference.

 

Even so, she’s shocked to discover Miles is a changeling working for the Landlord. The Fair Folk, stewards of nature infuriated by man’s neglect, are poised to take control of humanity’s evolution. With their guidance, nature and society will thrive again. But in order for a changeling to inhabit flesh, a human soul must be evicted. The Landlord acts as the Fair Folks’ executioner, consuming souls and gaining personal power. Jean knows big changes are needed to ensure the planet’s long-term survival, but she’s desperate to achieve them without bloodshed.

 

A revelation concerning Devin’s murdered wife causes violence to erupt among neighbors. As bullets fly, Miles extends his invitation to the fairy Otherworld. Hoping to protect herself and LILLY, Devin’s young daughter, Jean escapes down a well within the walls. She and Lilly find themselves in the Otherworld. The Landlord presents himself as an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution. For years, he’s been gathering a coven of the magically gifted, including Jean. He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slay twenty thousand attendees in a fire. This sacrifice, along with his coven’s magical efforts, will “open up the mountain,” allowing the Fair Folk to enter our world freely. Jean is the only coven member yet to commit.

 

Though skeptical, Jean believes humanity can still change things—if it rejects modern distractions and gets back to loving nature. She refuses to help. Enraged, the Landlord unveils his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden. He attacks, but Jean shields herself and Lilly in a magic circle. Thanks to her urgent need to save others, the spell finally works. The Landlord escapes. Though she can stay forever in the heavenly Otherworld, she returns to the real world to stop him. However, time passes differently in the Otherworld, and she and Lilly return three hundred years in the future. The Fair Folks’ culling of humanity has worked. A family of fairy/human hybrids awaits. Lilly, a changeling herself, joins their side. The father shoots Jean. Crawling and wounded, she remains defiant. Still hell-bent on her mission, she gnashes her teeth and climbs the stairs.



#2 morgan.spraker

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 05:56 PM

JEAN MILLER is a thirty-year-old Wiccan who moves to North Carolina to start her own coven. Through loving deeds and nature worship, Jean hopes to “reclaim something the world has lost.” Why is this in quotes? Also, why does she think the previous two actions are the way to do this? In introducing character motivation, I think you need to be a little more specific. For a few weeks, she’ll crash with MILES, a former hookup. But Jean finds herself more drawn to DEVIN, Miles’ neighbor—a single father whose wife recently committed suicide. What draws her to Devin? I think you could combine the two sentences

 

Creepy shit starts going down at the apartment complex. This definitely doesn't fit the tone you've sent. I would rephrase and show Jean's role in the so-called "creepy shit" Rooms get tidied up while no one’s home. Shadows scurry. Children’s singing echoes from the woods. Worst of all, a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of exposure. Jean recalls the legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits said to steal children’s souls.

 

Two weeks into her stay, Jean is attacked by a spectral entity calling itself THE LANDLORD. I really like the name of the entity! This entity tempts her with visions of a more vibrant, sustainable world—the future she’s always longed for. In order for it to become a reality, a massive tragedy must occur. What type of massive tragedy? She awakens hours later, nearly dead from asphyxiation. I think you could cut this and be okay

 

FUZZY, an aging PI, is hired to investigate Jean’s attack. He learns about several sketchy deaths that have taken place at the complex. Fuzzy also suspects (correctly) that Devin murdered his wife. For some reason, the Landlord’s company recently bought property in places rumored to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” including the apartment complex. Devin, meanwhile, is electronically harassed by someone who knows his secret. The assailant makes no demands. Devin, falling hard for Jean, grows increasingly paranoid. Personally, I think this paragraph distracts from the main plot. Does Jean know that Devin murdered his wife? If Jean's the protag, keep it all in her point of view

 

Enticed by the Landlord’s visions of a better future, Jean delves deeper into the complex’s mysteries. She is shocked to discover that Miles works for the Landlord: a warlock. For years, the Landlord has been gathering a coven of magically-adept females. The Fair Folk, it seems, have major plans for humanity. What are those plans? Like in the changeling legends, a human soul must be replaced in order for a fairy to enter the real world. The Landlord acts as their executioner, gobbling  "gobbling" sticks out like a sore thumb with the tone you've built souls and gaining personal power.

 

MADELINE, a neighbor who babysits Devin’s daughter, is furious to learn he’s a murderer. You don't need to introduce Madeline -- stick with Jean. With some nudging from the Landlord, she kills him. Jean flees, tumbling down a magic well. In the underground fairy world, she and Fuzzy confront Miles. Not only was he Devin’s electronic assailant, Miles is one of the fairy changelings. With the aid of a clever trick, Fuzzy nabs the musical box: the portal between worlds.

 

The Landlord turns out to be an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution. He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slaughter thousands of attendees in a fire. This sacrifice—combined with his coven’s magical efforts—will “open up the mountain,” again, why in quotes? allowing the Fair Folk to enter our world freely.

 

Jean changes her tune. Doesn't fit with tone Though skeptical, she believes humanity can still change things on its own—if it rejects modern distractions and gets back to loving nature. Furious, the Landlord reveals his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden.

 

He attacks, but Jean shields herself in a magic circle. The Landlord escapes. She vows to return to the real world and stop him. Unfortunately, she returns three-hundred years in the future—since time passes differently in the fairy world I would figure out a way to show this rather than plainly stating it. In the meantime, the Landlord’s overhaul of humanity has worked. An awaiting family of fairy/human hybrids shoots her. Crawling and dying, Jean remains defiant. She welcomes the next world, whatever it might entail. Wow, what an ending!!!

You have the basic flow of your story down, but you should limit how many characters you introduce ("Fuzzy" can be "the detective" and "Madeline" can be "the neighbor") and stay focused on Jean -- she is the protagonist, after all. If you don't mind, would you take a look at my synopsis? http://agentquerycon...erity-synopsis/



#3 MICRONESIA

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 07:00 PM

Thanks!

 

Just out of curiosity, is it a hard-and-fast rule that we should ONLY stick to the protagonist's story? The PI's story directly affects what happens in the climax, as does Devin's. I'm not really sure how the ending will make sense without them. Hmmm...

 

Looking at yours now!



#4 MICRONESIA

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 05:45 PM

Version #2 posted. I ditched the subplots. Hopefully it's simpler now.



#5 smithgirl

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:23 PM

JEAN MILLER is a thirty-year-old Wiccan who moves to North Carolina to start her own coven. She figures with the way humanity is destroying the Earth, I think Earth is capitalized here because used as a proper noun. a return to pagan simplicity is the only way to save it. Through loving deeds and nature worship, Jean hopes to inspire a revolution.

 

For a few weeks, she’ll crashes with MILES, a former hookup. Weird events start taking place at the apartment complex. Rooms are tidied while no one’s home comma children’s singing echoes from the woods comma dark figures watch her as she sleeps. When a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of exposure, Jean recalls the legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits said to steal children’s souls.

 

Two weeks into her stay, Jean is attacked by a spectral entity calling itself THE LANDLORD. Ha! Funny! This entity tempts her with visions of a more vibrant, sustainable world—the future she’s always longed for. But the Landlord explains that in order for this world to become a reality, a massive tragedy must occur. The Landlord exits before explaining.

 

Enticed by the Landlord’s visions of a better future, Jean delves deeper into the complex’s mysteries. With the help of FUZZY, a local PI, Jean learns that several sketchy deaths have occurred taken place at the complex. For some reason, the Landlord’s company recently bought property in places rumored whispered to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” including the apartment complex.

 

Jean is shocked to discover that Miles works for the Landlord: a warlock. For years, the Landlord has been gathering a coven of magically-adept females. So is Miles a woman or a man? I had assumed Miles was a man, but it says that the Landlord is collecting women. The Fair Folk—stewards of nature infuriated by man’s neglect—plan to start culling humanity. Like in the legends, a human must die and their soul must be replaced by a fairy soul in order for a fairy to enter the real world. The Landlord acts as their executioner of humans, consuming souls and gaining personal power. I'm a bit unclear: a human dies, the soul is taken, and a fairy enters the real world? So the Landlord kills people? I tried to make this clearer -- but maybe not correct if I didn't understand correctly.

 

In the underground fairy world, Jean and Fuzzy confront Miles—revealed to be a fairy changeling. The Landlord turns out to be an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution.  He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slaughter thousands of attendees in a fire. This sacrifice—combined with his coven’s magical efforts—will “open up the mountain,” allowing the Fair Folk to enter our world freely.

 

Though skeptical, Jean believes people can still change things on their own—if they reject modern distractions and get back to loving nature. I'm unclear how just Jean's belief is enough. Wouldn't she have to convince humanity? Enraged, the Landlord unveils his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden.

 

He attacks, but Jean shields herself in a magic circle. The Landlord escapes. She vows to return to the real world and stop him. However, she forgets that time passes differently in the fairy world, and when she returns it's three-hundred years in the future. The Fair Folks’ culling of humanity has worked. An awaiting family of fairy/human hybrids shoots her. Crawling and dying, Jean remains defiant. She welcomes the afterlife, whatever it might entail. Oh! Not happy ending!

 

Overall, I think your synopsis is clear. I made a few recommendations, and I had the one question about Jean's belief. But I think you've done a good job of making a long novel into a nice short synopsis that conveys the crux of the story. Good job! That' so hard to do. Can you please look at my synopsis when you get a chance? Thanks! http://agentquerycon...revised-post-4/



#6 KET Writes

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 01:25 PM

JEAN MILLER is a young Wiccan who moves to rural North Carolina to start a new life—thanks to an ATM that started spitting out cash. Determined to use the money selflessly, Jean plans to transform a local inn into a women’s shelter. Through loving deeds and nature worship, she hopes to inspire the community. Personally I like this opening. It gives a great sense of Jean's personality, and I even had a small smile on my lips as I read it.

 

For a few weeks, she’ll crashes with MILES, a former hookup. Strange events start taking place at the apartment complex. Rooms are tidied while no one’s home. Children’s singing echoes from the woods. Dark figures watch her as she sleeps. When a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of exposure, Jean recalls the legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits said to steal people’s souls.

 

Two weeks into her stay, Jean is attacked by a spectral entity calling itself THE LANDLORD. This entity tempts I'm curious because he attacks her, then tempts her. These don't seem to go together. How was she attacked? her with visions of a greener world—the eco-conscious future she’s always longed for. In order for it to become a reality, a massive tragedy must occur. She’s left with the image of thousands of people dying on a burning mountain.

 

Enticed by the Landlord’s visions of a better future, yet shaken by the cost, Jean delves deeper into the complex’s mysteries. With the help of Miles and FUZZY, a local PI, Jean learns that several suspicious deaths have taken place at the complex and in the woods. For some reason, the Landlord’s company When you called the landlord a spectral entity, it has me thinking it's a ghost. How does it have a company? How did they connect this spectral entity to a company? recently bought property in places rumored to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” including the apartment complex.

 

Jean is shocked to discover that Miles works for the Landlord: a warlock. Ah. A warlock. I wonder if you could somehow incorporate this before mentioning the  company. This way we know the Landlord is a physical being.  For years, the Landlord has been gathering a coven of the magically-gifted. The Fair Folk—stewards of nature infuriated by man’s neglect—plan to cull humanity, slaughtering millions the world over. With their guidance, the planet will thrive again. The Landlord acts as their executioner, consuming souls and gaining personal power.

 

In the underground Otherworld, How did they get there? This seems like a big jump. Even a quick transition line might help. Jean and Fuzzy confront Miles, who is revealed to be a changeling. The Landlord introduces himself: an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution. He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slay thousands of attendees in a fire. This sacrifice—along with his coven’s magical efforts—will “open up the mountain,” letting the Fair Folk enter our world freely.

 

Though skeptical, Jean believes humanity can still change things on its own—if it rejects modern distractions and gets back to loving nature. She refuses to help. Enraged, the Landlord unveils his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden. 

 

He attacks, but Jean shields herself in a magic circle. The Landlord escapes. She vows to return to the real world and stop him. I'm wondering what the how is, how will she stop him? However, time passes differently in the Otherworld, and she returns three-hundred years in the future. Out of curiosity, does she know about this time difference?  The Fair Folks’ culling of humanity has worked. An awaiting family of fairy/human hybrids shoots her. Crawling and dying, Jean remains defiant. She welcomes the next world, whatever it might entail. Ahh noooooo she doesn't succeed! I'm thinking though, with such a sad ending, we need to know more of what Jean sacrifices, for it to really hit home and feel for her. Right now, with what I know, I'm kinda left with an "ah that kinda sucks for her". Because I don't know what she did to fight her way to save humanity. Just that she vowed to return and stop him.

 

I really like the layers of your plot. It seems to be well thought out story. I just find myself wanting to know a bit more about the actions Jean takes. Also side note, because it opens with her being Wiccan, I keep expecting this to come more into play. But the only time I see the relevance is when she shields herself in a magic circle, and it being the reason the Landlord tries to convince her to help.


If my feedback was helpful, I'd appreciate some thoughts on my YA Urban Fantasy Query !

 


#7 MICRONESIA

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 10:29 AM

Added some bits, chopped some bits, etc. As always, critique for critique!

 

I didn't realize this forum was so dead, haha.



#8 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 05:59 PM

JEAN MILLER is a thirty-year-old hippie who moves to the North Carolina mountains to start a new life—thanks to an ATM that starts spitting out cash. Believing she caused this with a Wiccan spell, Jean is determined to use the money selflessly: by transforming a local inn into a women’s shelter. Through loving deeds and nature worship, she hopes to inspire the community. (Is this woman a Wiccan? I only ask because some might be confused as to why her first line of reasoning would go straight to a Wiccan spell.  But I also might just be overthinking that.)

 

For a few weeks, she crashes with MILES (why/how does she end up crashing there?), an ex-hookup. Strange events start taking place at his apartment complex. Rooms are tidied while no one’s home. Children’s singing echoes from the woods. Dark figures watch her as she sleeps. (Creepy) When a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of exposure, Jean recalls legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits that steal children’s souls. (also creepy, good good)

 

One afternoon, after falling into a trance, Jean is visited by a warlock who calls himself THE LANDLORD. He tempts her with visions of a greener world—the lush future she’s always longed for. But in order for it to become a reality, thousands of people must die on a burning mountain. Jean awakens gasping for air, choking on dollar bills. (Dollar bills - this raises all kinds of questions for me. Did she fall into a trance in a room filled with huge piles of bills a la the movie Blow? I'm guessing the choking on bills is about to the money she intends on using for her women's shelter, but I guess I'm just baffled where these all bills came from, haha.  Maybe that could be worded a differently or omitted entirely.)

 

Enthralled by the Landlord’s vision of a green world, yet horrified by the cost, Jean delves deeper into the region’s mysteries. With the help of a local PI, she learns that several suspicious deaths have taken place at the apartments and on a nearby mountain. For some reason (this is one of those naughty, redundant phrases you don't ever need), the Landlord’s company (how did she find out the Landlord had a company? A business company or the company of other people? Is he a literal landlord as well? The only time he was mentioned before was in a trance, so how did she come to find out he was actually real?) recently bought property in places rumored to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” including the apartment complex. Her investigation eventually introduces her to the other tenants: an elderly woman who communicates with a lump under her carpet, an internet model dying of brain cancer, and an attractive single father taunted by tricksters who know he murdered his wife. Some tenants are victims of the Landlord, while others are accomplices—and it’s impossible for Jean to tell the difference. ​(After reading the whole synopsis, I'm not sure it's necessary to go into the details about the other tenants, although I am partial to the lady and the lump.  You could just say "Her investigation eventually introduces her to the other tenants.  Some are victims of the Landlord, while others are accomplices—and it’s impossible for Jean to tell the difference.")

 

Even so, she is shocked to discover that Miles is a changeling working for the Landlord. The Fair Folk—stewards of nature infuriated by man’s neglect—are poised to take control of humanity’s evolution. (I am to assume the Landlord is part of the Fair Folk, correct?) With their guidance (and eugenics), man and nature will thrive. But in order for a changeling to inhabit flesh, a human soul must be evicted. The Landlord acts as the Fair Folks’ executioner, consuming souls and gaining personal power. (Looking at an older synopsis, I like this explanation better: For years, the Landlord has been gathering a coven of the magically-gifted. The Fair Folk—stewards of nature infuriated by man’s neglect—plan to cull humanity, slaughtering millions the world over. With their guidance, the planet will thrive again. The Landlord acts as their executioner, consuming souls and gaining personal power.)

 

After a confrontation (between who? and what happens with Miles after she learns he's a dirty, two-timing changeling?) leaves several tenants dead, Jean escapes down a well within the walls (the walls of the apartment complex? This could be a bit more descriptive). She finds herself in the Otherworld. (yes, you definitely need to describe how she went from the walls to a well to a different world, since this seems to be a major turning point of the novel.) The Landlord introduces himself as an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution. For years, he has been gathering a coven of the magically-gifted—including Jean. He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slay thousands of attendees in a fire. (Dear God, I think I know someone like this who lives in my town :0) This sacrifice—along with his coven’s magical efforts—will “open up the mountain,” allowing the Fair Folk to enter our world freely. 

 

Though skeptical, Jean believes humanity can still change things on its own—if it rejects modern distractions and gets back to loving nature. She refuses to help. Enraged, the Landlord unveils his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden.

 

He attacks, but Jean shields herself in a magic circle (Wiccan spell? Maybe explain this a bit better). The Landlord escapes. Though she can stay forever in the heavenly Otherworld, she returns to the real world to stop him. However, time passes differently in the Otherworld, and Jean returns three-hundred years in the future. The Fair Folks’ culling of humanity has worked. (Nice twist!) An awaiting family of fairy/human hybrids shoots her. Crawling and wounded, Jean remains defiant. Hell-bent on her mission, she gnashes her teeth and climbs the stairs. (I like this very "horror story" ending)

 

As nit-picky as I seemed going through this, this flowed well and I was never confused at the sequence of events.  There were just little details of certain things were I had to make the connection myself that could be more clear.

Also - the beginning with the ATM and wanting to make a women's shelter - we don't hear about this again, so it just seems like a loose plot thread.  I also thought there would be more mentions of Wiccan stuff apart from at the beginning and end, but it did have that sort of "vibe" throughout it.

But I liked this - it was creepy, had good horror aspects, and I liked the fact that it wasn't your average ghosts-haunting-the-place story. The whole nature/Wiccan/folklore/fairy aspect makes it unique for me.



#9 PureZhar3

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 07:09 PM

JEAN MILLER is a thirty-year-old hippie who moves to the North Carolina mountains to start a new life—thanks to an ATM that starts spitting out cash. Believing she caused this with a Wiccan spell, Jean is determined to use the money selflessly: by transforming a local inn into a women’s shelter. Through loving deeds and nature worship, she hopes to inspire the community.

 

For a few weeks, she crashes with MILES, an ex-hookup. Strange events start taking place at his apartment complex. Rooms are tidied while no one’s home. Children’s singing echoes from the woods. Dark figures watch her as she sleeps. How precisely does she know they're watching her, if she's asleep? When a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of exposure I may just be ignorant (quite possible) but I'm not sure what you mean by "dies of exposure", Jean recalls legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits that steal children’s souls.

 

One afternoon, after falling into a trance, Jean is visited by a warlock who calls himself THE LANDLORD. He tempts her with visions of a greener world—the lush future she’s always longed for. But in order for it to become a reality, thousands of people must die on a burning mountain. Jean awakens gasping for air, choking on dollar bills.

 

Enthralled by the Landlord’s vision of a green world, yet horrified by the cost, Jean delves deeper into the region’s mysteries. With the help of a local PI, she learns that several suspicious deaths have taken place at the apartments and on a nearby mountain. For some reason, the Landlord’s company recently bought property in places rumored to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” including the apartment complex. Her investigation eventually introduces her to the other tenants: an elderly woman who communicates with a lump under her carpet, an internet model dying of brain cancer, and an attractive single father taunted by tricksters who know he murdered his wife. I like this sentence! It has good voice/unique aspectsSome tenants are victims of the Landlord, while others are accomplices—and it’s impossible for Jean to tell the difference.

 

Even so, she is shocked to discover that Miles is a changeling working for the Landlord. The Fair Folk—stewards of nature infuriated by man’s neglect—are poised to take control of humanity’s evolution. With their guidance (and eugenics) I don't like the parentheses, man and nature will thrive. But in order for a changeling to inhabit flesh, a human soul must be evicted. The Landlord acts as the Fair Folks’ executioner, consuming souls and gaining personal power.

 

After a confrontation leaves several tenants dead, Jean escapes down a well within the walls. She finds herself in the Otherworld. The Landlord introduces himself as an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution. For years, he has been gathering a coven of the magically-gifted—including Jean. He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slay thousands of attendees in a fire. This sacrifice—along with his coven’s magical efforts—will “open up the mountain,” allowing the Fair Folk to enter our world freely.

 

Though skeptical, Jean believes humanity can still change things on its own—if it rejects modern distractions and gets back to loving nature. She refuses to help. Enraged, the Landlord unveils his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden.

 

He attacks, but Jean shields herself in a magic circle. The Landlord escapes. Though she can stay forever in the heavenly Otherworld, she returns to the real world to stop him. However, time passes differently in the Otherworld, and Jean returns three-hundred years in the future. The Fair Folks’ culling of humanity has worked. An awaiting family of fairy/human hybrids shoots her. Crawling and wounded, Jean remains defiant. Hell-bent on her mission, she gnashes her teeth and climbs the stairs.

 

Is this where it ends? I assume so, but it seemed sudden. Otherwise, it's a cool creepy/nature belnd here.


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#10 MICRONESIA

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 10:18 AM

Hell yeah! Thanks, y'all! I went with pretty much all of your suggestions. Disgruntled: I clarified the confrontation that sends her to the Otherworld. Does it make more sense now? Less? I also got rid of the dollar bills detail. You're right -- it raises too many questions. Zhar: I struggled over that sleep line myself! I've finally changed it. Better?

 

A couple quick things...

 

I didn't revert to the original culling/slaughter part because Jean doesn't KNOW this yet. At least, she doesn't realize the scope of the horror they will unleash. If she knew, would she even consider helping them? Probably not. With the way it was worded before, she might come off as less sympathetic. The Fair Folk are doing good things, ultimately. That's why all this is so tempting. 

 

On the inn: she kinda drops it once these other huge concerns come in. It's partly why she moves to NC; it's also meant to show her love of nature and generally altruistic ideals. Should I add a line mentioning that the "inn project" gets abandoned? I figure most readers will have assumed this, but I might be wrong.

 

I feel like I have to at least MENTION the neighbors. Their chapters take up a pretty good portion of the book, but I definitely don't want to dig into their subplots in a 500-700 word synopsis. Hmmm...

 

I'll look at y'alls' right now. Thanks again!



#11 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 11:42 AM

Hell yeah! Thanks, y'all! I went with pretty much all of your suggestions. Disgruntled: I clarified the confrontation that sends her to the Otherworld. Does it make more sense now? Less? I also got rid of the dollar bills detail. You're right -- it raises too many questions. Zhar: I struggled over that sleep line myself! I've finally changed it. Better?

 

A couple quick things...

 

I didn't revert to the original culling/slaughter part because Jean doesn't KNOW this yet. At least, she doesn't realize the scope of the horror they will unleash. If she knew, would she even consider helping them? Probably not. With the way it was worded before, she might come off as less sympathetic. The Fair Folk are doing good things, ultimately. That's why all this is so tempting. 

 

On the inn: she kinda drops it once these other huge concerns come in. It's partly why she moves to NC; it's also meant to show her love of nature and generally altruistic ideals. Should I add a line mentioning that the "inn project" gets abandoned? I figure most readers will have assumed this, but I might be wrong. Ooh - ok gotcha.  I might have just been overthinking this as well.

 

I feel like I have to at least MENTION the neighbors. Their chapters take up a pretty good portion of the book, but I definitely don't want to dig into their subplots in a 500-700 word synopsis. Hmmm... I feel your pain! I have four story lines in my novel, and had to cut out two entirely plus the bulk of a third just to fit it in under 1,000 words, so I guess I've just become numb to not mentioning large chapters of the story.  Either way, though, I think keeping them in doesn't add nor hurt the synopsis, so if you want to keep them in go ahead.

 

I'll look at y'alls' right now. Thanks again!



#12 MICRONESIA

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 04:56 PM

"Joy Division play gothic dirges for the cold new decade: the 1980s. The clean guitar tones, sweeping synths and urgent basslines are offset by Ian Curtis' mournful moans -- summoning a sorrow so beautiful you'll gladly climb into your own coffin. Attached are the first thirty seconds of their debut album, per your request, along with the entire forty-minute recording played on fast-forward. Thank you for your time and consideration."



#13 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:47 AM

"Joy Division play gothic dirges for the cold new decade: the 1980s. The clean guitar tones, sweeping synths and urgent basslines are offset by Ian Curtis' mournful moans -- summoning a sorrow so beautiful you'll gladly climb into your own coffin. Attached are the first thirty seconds of their debut album, per your request, along with the entire forty-minute recording played on fast-forward. Thank you for your time and consideration."

 

BAHAHA - EXACTLY!!!!



#14 MICRONESIA

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:12 PM

A revelation concerning Devin’s murdered wife causes bloodshed to erupt among neighbors. As bullets fly, Jean confronts Miles, who extends his invitation to the fairy Otherworld. Hoping to protect herself and LUCY, Devin’s young daughter, Jean escapes down a well within the walls. She and Lucy find themselves in the Otherworld.

 
 
Does this part make sense now? Or do I need to explain more? I REALLY don't want to go into detail about how this sub-plot comes to a head, haha. 
 
What say y'uns?


#15 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:39 PM

Just read over the new synopsis - I'm not going to do a line-by-line because it looked good to me and I had nothing to add to it.  The paragraph concerning them entering the Otherworld also made sense to me.

I like the additions you put in about the neighbours, especially concerning Lucy and her role in the end.  It definitely gave the ending more oomph.  Like, oh no, not only has the culling worked and Jean gets shot, but the girl she was protecting turned out to be a changeling! What a punch to the gut!



#16 VSChapman

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 05:32 PM

JEAN MILLER is a thirty-year-old hippie who moves to the North Carolina mountains to begin a new life, thanks to an ATM that started spitting out cash. Believing she caused this with a Wiccan spell, Jean is determined to use the money selflessly: by transforming a local inn into a women’s shelter. After years spent living for herself, it’s about damn time she gave something back. Through loving deeds and nature worship, she hopes to inspire the community.

 

Until the inn is habitable, she’ll crash with MILES, an ex-hookup. Weird shit starts going down at his apartment complex. Rooms are tidied while no one’s home. Children’s singing echoes from the woods. Dark figures watch her drift asleep. When a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of hypothermia, Jean recalls childhood legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits that steal children’s souls.

 

One afternoon, after falling into a trance, Jean’s mind is invaded by a warlock who calls himself THE LANDLORD. He tempts her with visions of a greener world—the lush future she’s always longed for. But in order for it to become a reality, twenty-thousand people must die on a burning mountain.

 

Enthralled by the Landlord’s vision, yet horrified by the cost, Jean delves deeper into the region’s mysteries. With the help of a local PI, she learns that several suspicious deaths have taken place at the apartments and on a nearby mountain. The apartments’ owners recently bought property in places rumored to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” including the complex itself. Her investigation eventually leads her to the other tenants: an elderly woman who communicates with a lump under her carpet, an internet model dying of brain cancer, and DEVIN, an attractive single father taunted by tricksters who know he murdered his wife. Some tenants are victims of the Landlord, while others are accomplices—and it’s impossible for Jean to tell the difference.

 

Even so, she’s shocked to discover Miles is a changeling working for the Landlord. The Fair Folk, stewards of nature infuriated by man’s neglect, are poised to take control of humanity’s evolution. With their guidance, man and nature will thrive again. But in order for a changeling to inhabit flesh, a human soul must be evicted. The Landlord acts as the Fair Folks’ executioner, consuming souls and gaining personal power. Jean knows big changes are needed to ensure the planet’s long-term survival, but she’s desperate to achieve them without bloodshed.

 

A revelation concerning Devin’s murdered wife causes violence to erupt among neighbors. As bullets fly, Miles extends his invitation to the fairy Otherworld. Hoping to protect herself and LUCY, Devin’s young daughter, Jean escapes down a well within the walls. She and Lucy find themselves in the Otherworld.

 

The Landlord presents himself as an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution. (this is the only part I'm confused about. Does the Landlord look like this when Jean first sees him? Or is he presenting himself in a new disguise here so she doesn't know he's the landlord?) For years, he’s been gathering a coven of the magically-gifted, including Jean. He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slay twenty-thousand attendees in a fire. This sacrifice, along with his coven’s magical efforts, will “open up the mountain,” allowing the Fair Folk to enter our world freely.

 

Though skeptical, Jean believes humanity can still change things—if it rejects modern distractions and gets back to loving nature. She refuses to help. Enraged, the Landlord unveils his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden.

 

He attacks, but Jean shields herself and Lucy in a magic circle. Thanks to her urgent need to save others, the spell finally works. The Landlord escapes. Though she can stay forever in the heavenly Otherworld, she returns to the real world to stop him. However, time passes differently in the Otherworld, and she and Lucy return three-hundred years in the future. The Fair Folks’ culling of humanity has worked. A family of fairy/human hybrids awaits. Lucy, a changeling herself, joins their side. The father shoots Jean. Crawling and wounded, she remains defiant. Still hell-bent on her mission, she gnashes her teeth and climbs the stairs.

Other than the one question it all looks pretty good! 



#17 cmmg

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 12:46 PM

JEAN MILLER is a thirty-year-old hippie who moves to the Great Smoky Mountains to begin a new life, thanks to an ATM that started spitting out cash (This feels odd to me, because the ATM is random. The order you have this in, the ATM adds nothing but confusion, because you already say she moved and saying "because an ATM spit out money" isn't, less confusing? If you said "when an ATM starts spitting out money, JEAN MILLER, 30year old hippie, takes it and runs..." or something, it's more clear her actions are a reaction to a random event, rather than the random event adding no illumination on the situation). Believing she caused this with a Wiccan spell, Jean is determined to use the money selflessly (These two clauses are unrelated. If Jean DIDN'T believe the money was caused by a Wiccan spell, would she then use it selfishly? How is her belief related to how she uses the money? Also, I know you have "believe" because she doesn't yet know it was a Wiccan spell, but I think it's little wordy, and weakens the sentence): by transforming a local inn into a women’s shelter. After decades spent living for herself, it’s about damn time she gave something back (I like this sentence!). Through loving deeds and nature worship, she hopes to inspire the community.  (I'm not sure what this sentence adds. There's already implied she wants to help the community via the women's shelter, and I'm not sure how nature worship would help. Maybe if the sentiment is "But Jean won't stop at the shelter, she wants to inspire the community through nature worship and encouraging [some example of a specific love deed]" Right now this is kind of vague, and doesn't add much other than a start of characterization that Jean likes nature, which I feel is glossed over. If you want that to be the point of your sentence you could easily try something to the effect of "but the inn is just the beginning, more than anything Jean wants to help the community get back to nature.[Maybe one additional sentence of WHY this is important to her] )

 

Until the inn is habitable, she’ll crash with MILES, an ex-hookup. Weird shit starts going down at his apartment complex.(I like the first sentence but I think the transition between these is choppy. You could even add "But then weird shit starts to go down") Rooms are tidied while no one’s home. Children’s singing echoes from the woods. Dark figures watch her drift asleep. (I like these examples because they're specific and they give a good feel) When a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of hypothermia, Jean recalls legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits that steal people’s souls. (I don't like that she "recalls" legends, and I think this is a weak introduction to the Fair Folk which are the prominent villains. I know you're still (probably) playing with Jean's uncertainty, but I don't think that uncertainty is super important to understanding the rest of the synopsis given magic happens in the next paragraph. I mean, it might be true, but I'd say try to introduce this strong. Even saying Jean "discovers" gives Jean more agency, even if it's not 100% accurate.  If she remembers it, it's not really action)

 

One afternoon, after falling into a trance, Jean’s mind is invaded by a warlock who calls himself THE LANDLORD. He tempts her with visions of a greener world—the lush future she’s always longed for (See, my main problem with Jean is that I don't get a sense of why she cares about this or what's at stake for her. Weird stuff is happening, but why can't she just move, for instance? I feel like the previous chapter implies that what's at stake is her life, but here it seems like what's at stake is not hers but other people's lives vs a green future and honestly, it is no contest to me to pick 20,000 lives. I don't understand her enough to know what would even drive her to hesitate here. Why does she care so much about a green future? Not just the fact that she cares, but why so much that this is a reasonable dilemma for her). But in order for it to become a reality, twenty thousand people must die on a burning mountain.

 

Enthralled by the Landlord’s vision, yet horrified by the cost, Jean delves deeper into the region’s mysteries. (It's natural to want to figure out the mysteries (which is what saves this sentence and paragraph) but again, why is the vision so enthralling to her?) With the help of a local PI, she learns that several suspicious deaths have taken place at the apartments and on a nearby mountain. (a relateable mystery!) The apartments’ owners recently bought property in places rumored to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” (Why is this in quotes? She knows weird stuff is happening. Even if you're implying disbelief, some of your disbelief and quotes add a distance that I don't think is helping here. Disbelief and suspicious by definition add distance. If you want ambiguity then just state a sentence with confidence, but with conflicting evidence. ) including the complex itself. Her investigation eventually leads her to the other tenants: an elderly woman who communicates with a lump under her carpet, an internet model dying of brain cancer, and DEVIN, an attractive single father taunted by tricksters who know he murdered his wife (I like the descriptions of the tenants but Devin's is a little wordy, and I'm not sure that the reader nees to know that the faeires know that he murdered his wife. If you cut it, people will assume they know ). Some tenants are victims of the Landlord, while others are accomplices—and it’s impossible for Jean to tell the difference. (This I like, because it plays into the "what the hell is happening?" which is a universal question and not the "should I kill a bunch of people for a green earth" which is not universal or understandable from Jean's POV so far)

 

Even so, she’s shocked to discover Miles is a changeling working for the Landlord. The Fair Folk, stewards of nature infuriated by human’s (There;s literally 0 reason to say man when you mean human, especially if your POV character is a woman) neglect, are poised to take control of humanity’s evolution (I get lost as to what the second half of this sentence means exactly. Is the fact that they're stewards and presumably then appointed by someone important? Is the take away that they care about evolution and want to help humanity evolve or are they just pissed off and want revenge for nature? You have a few different tid bits here I think could be clarified). With their guidance, nature and society will thrive again (Why do they even care about society? WHy isn't nature their only concern if they were appointed by nature? Sorry to get nitty gritty about their concern, but I feel like their motivation and position could be cleaer). But in order for a changeling to inhabit flesh, a human soul must be evicted. The Landlord acts as the Fair Folks’ executioner (This makes it sound like he kills Fair Folk and not humans), consuming souls and gaining personal power. Jean knows big changes are needed to ensure the planet’s long-term survival, but she’s desperate to achieve them without bloodshed (This is sort of a "well, obviously" moment that anyone reasonable would have. There's no real conflict here, no one is going to disagree with Jean on this. This statement is presented to make it clear she disagrees with something that everyone would assume she disagrees with, so I'm not sure what this sentence is supposed to accomplish.).

 

A revelation concerning Devin’s murdered wife causes violence to erupt among neighbors. As bullets fly, Miles extends his invitation to the fairy Otherworld (This seems like something REALLY different to happen at the end). Hoping to protect herself and LILLY, (Her name is not important)Devin’s young daughter, Jean escapes down a well within the walls. She and LillyThey find themselves in the Otherworld. The Landlord presents himself as an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution (1. Didn't Jean already talk to him, so shouldn't she already know this information? 2. hippie is a really specific word to use for both Jean AND the Landlord, even if you're drawing parallels). For years, he’s been gathering a coven of the magically gifted, including Jean (Is she even magically gifted? Since earlier you only said she "believed" that the ATM thing was because of a spell, and she's done nothing magical herself, I'm not so certain this is a fact). He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slay twenty thousand attendees in a fire. This sacrifice, along with his coven’s magical efforts, will “open up the mountain,” (Why is this in quotes?) allowing the Fair Folk to enter our world freely. Jean is the only coven member yet to commit.

 

Though skeptical (skeptical of what? This dude's plan to murder a bunch of people? I should think so. Sorry.), Jean believes humanity can still change things—if it rejects modern distractions and gets back to loving nature (the phrase "loving nature" is very vague and so is the phrase "modern distractions" if you don't mean anything specific by this, you could just start this whole thing with "Jean believes humanity can still change things." ). She refuses to help. Enraged, the Landlord unveils his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden (I am all for mixing mythology and genres but some people aren't going to like a Fair Folk story that has Christian religious mythos in it as well). He attacks, but Jean shields herself and Lilly in a magic circle (I don't care about Lily or if she's shielded because I don't know anything about Lily.). Thanks to her urgent need to save others, the spell finally works. (Why is it finally? did she try it before? What urgent needs to save the others, other coven members? HUmanity? You're talking only about Jean believing humans can change and the Landlord attacking until then and I don't get a sense that Jean really cares about anyone specific. Even LIly) The Landlord escapes. Though she can stay forever in the heavenly Otherworld, she returns to the real world to stop him. However, time passes differently in the Otherworld, and she and Lilly return three hundred years in the future. (interesting!) The Fair Folks’ culling of humanity has worked (how so and in what way? Maybe that's not important but I'm thinking, if Jean didn't help, why did they need her if they could do this without her). A family of fairy/human hybrids awaits (no idea what this means). Lilly, a changeling herself (this is a pretty last minute reveal accounted to a purpse I'm not sure of), joins their side (What is their side? They're hyrdids is that good or bad). The father shoots Jean. Crawling and wounded, she remains defiant. Still hell-bent on her mission, she gnashes her teeth and climbs the stairs (This just ends with her climbing stairs?).

 

 

Sorry to get REALLY specific on some of the lines but I feel like overall I have three main issues with the synopsis. I think the first is that I really don't understand Jean's characterization or motivation about the green earth thing, which means I'm not invested in any "conflict" about achieving that. Investigating strange happenings? That's pretty universal, but a lot of what she's doing, I just don't get WHY she feels so strongly about it, or what's in it for her.

 

The other issue is I think you have a lot of distance to the magical aspects in the beginning which weakens the prose. The prose in the second half is much strong, but also confusing, partly because of the distance in the first half. I get that she doesn't understand what's happening, but some of the important can be simplified. For instance, adding Lily, doesn't really add anything, and even though she's there, it feels like a subplot, but I don't think it's developed why Jean cares about her, and all that stuff at the end is recounted but I wasn't invested in Lily, she was just, there. On the other hand for the magical powers, the fact that she has them is underscored because it's a very late addition of what that means. Obviously, I assume in the book these things are properly foreshadowed, but here here it doesn't feel foreshadowed.

 

The last issue, is that I felt like this synopsis pulled in two directions because of the details give. This is sort of related to the earlier, but the focus on the first half is solving the mystery and not being murdered (it sounds like straight up horror) and the focus of the second half reads like fantasy where she has to stop an evil coven of destroying the world through the use of magic spells she hasn't learned before.

 

Overall, in terms of it making sense what is actually happening, I was mostly okay. I understood what being pulled into the Otherworld meant (and I liked that it added a time skip), but I didn't always understand logic of what Jean was doing and why.

 

I know you're central problem is going to be how to get information to the reader that the character doesn't know but honestly, you can cheat a little and introduce information a little bit earlier even if Jean doesn't know it. And second, if something is a major revelation, you need to treat it as such here. Talk about how surprisingly/difficult it is/her reaction to these revelations if that's important. Right now, it feels like we just get information and it's very startling for the reader, but not for the characters, which makes it confusing.

 

 

Lastly, it doesn't seem like the Fair Folk are ultimately doing good things and I have a hard thinking that anyone would really think that. For instance, this is like if the Fair Folk said "I'm going to murder this innocent man, so I can use his organs to save these seven other sick people!" Like, that's not ultimately doing good. That's not and shouldn't be a tempting offer. It should be something that makes it clear the Fair Folk are doing what THEY think is right, but it's readily apparent that it's not right. If anyone told me to my fact that killing even one innocent person could be justified, I would say that they should be the first to volunteer to die than. Maybe I'm too hard on Kantian or categorically morality vs consequential morality but I feel like if you're synopsis or query or book banks on people buying into the premise that killing a large amount of innocents can in any way be moral, you're going to have a bad time. Now, I'm not saying that that what's you're doing, necessarily, but I think it's important to realize that this is like the Trolley problem. Everyone loves consequential morality when it's 1 person going to die vs 5 people going to die because they're BOTH tied to rail road tracks. BUT the second you have to push an innocent man on a track where there's 5 people, people don't like that anymore. And the Fair Folk are the second scenario.  ANd I feel like the synopsis doesn't treat it as the second option in the Trolley problem, but as a genuine "tempting" offer, that is not tempting the second you think about it.


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