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YA Fantasy The Thief of Ages

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#1 Dollophead

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 11:10 PM

Hi all: my synopsis is only 740 words but on Google docs it takes up like a page and a half? What do I do? Will agents still accept this?

I am very happy to return critiques :)

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Fourteen-year-old BETH is despised in her hometown for harboring a runaway fairy seven years ago, thus breaking the treaty between his immortal kingdom and her human nation. When her stepsisters enroll in Hale Royal Academy, Beth jumps at the chance to leave her old life behind and makes a deal with her stepmother in order to attend. But she has plans other than pretending to be her stepsisters’ servant while at school; she hopes to meet her long-lost cousin and find a real family.

 

While Beth tries to blend in at the Academy, she comforts feisty Princess IRIS and attempts to grow closer to her cousin despite his grumpy roommate VINCENT, who never leaves his side. But when Iris realizes Beth is the treaty-breaker, she divulges a dangerous secret: a fairy has been sighted over Hale Academy, and Beth may be the only one who can capture it.

 

Iris and Beth spend evenings patrolling campus for fairies when one night, they run into Vincent. During their confrontation, a fairy soars overhead and vanishes into the forest. After a fruitless search, Beth and her friends stumble into a hoard of demonic monsters called Darks. But they refuse to harm her, claiming she is the Wayfarer—a mythical thief who stole an all-powerful weapon.

 

Beth and her friends flee back to the Academy, where they report the fairy and their encounter with the Darks. While under investigation, Hale Academy is attacked by immortal fairy soldiers who are searching for their missing prince, SHEN, who was pretending to be Vincent all along. Beth realizes Shen is the same fairy she harbored seven years prior. Beth’s stepmother YANNA, a fairy spy and army commander—captures her and takes her to the Darks. Again, they refuse to kill Beth because she is the Wayfarer. Intrigued, Yanna turns the hunt on Beth, desperate to obtain the Wayfarer’s powerful weapon for the fairy king.

 

Beth escapes with help from TORRES, a wizard government agent. While making plans for asylum in the wizard kingdom, Beth discovers Shen has followed them. He begs to accompany them; Beth agrees and forgives him, despite Torres’s distrust. The Imperator KRAINE grants Beth, Shen, and Torres access into the magic kingdom and agrees to protect them from the fairies if Beth proves she is not the Wayfarer.

 

Beth, Shen, and Torres decide to travel to the elf kingdom, Ahellian, where she can obtain a fate-reading, knowing the results will convince Kraine. On the edge of the border, they are attacked by a dragon—one of many which are nesting on Ahellian’s Mt. Naquada for unknown reasons. Beth casts a spell she took and transports the dragon elsewhere, but the immortal elves are angered by her violation of their sacred anti-magic laws.

 

During her trial, in which Beth advocates for her innocence and a fate-reading, Yanna interrupts to offer the overpopulated Ahellian more land in exchange for Beth and access to the Cauldron, a mystical lake which prevents immortals from senescence. Outraged, the elves refuse and sentence Beth to join the dragon-hunters. The fairies leave empty-handed to lie in wait.

 

While hunting, a dragon stomps a magma fissure into the earth. Beth realizes the boiling magma must be coming from not-so-dormant Mt. Naquada, explaining the dragons’ presence, and rushes back to warn the elves. Though she is worried the fairies will invade their kingdom during the eruption and take the Cauldron, the elves are unconcerned.

 

Frustrated, Beth sneaks into the nearby fairy encampment to steal a spell. Shen questions if she is acting on selfish motives, but Beth tells him her reading no longer matters in the face of the imminent destruction. She encounters Shen’s mother, who gives Beth a spell on the condition Shen comes home after the end of the war. Returning to Ahellian, however, Mt. Naquada erupts. As she and Shen run for safety, Yanna leads a legion of soldiers in pursuit of Beth, hoping to capture her while Ahellian is clouded by pyroclast. Beth convinces the elves to battle the fairies while she casts a spell to displace the volcanic debris into the fairy kingdom.

 

The fairies retreat, choosing to aid their own people instead of pursuing her. Eager to thank her, the elves give her a healing and take her to the Cauldron for her reading. She steps into the waters to watch her soul displayed in starry nebulae. When the elf chief confirms she is the Wayfarer, Beth closes her eyes.

 


#2 bookgirl_kt

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Posted Today, 02:26 AM

Thanks for taking a look at mine! And sorry for taking so long to get back to you--I'd stopped checking. The synopsis thread moves much slower than the query one, fewer people here.

 

I think a page and a half length should be fine for most agents. I generally see a 1-2 page synopsis requirement for submissions. But there are a few agents who ask for a one page synopsis, so for them you might need to come up with a shorter version.

 

Fourteen-year-old BETH is despised in her hometown for harboring a runaway fairy seven years ago, thus breaking the treaty between his immortal kingdom and her human nation. Ooo. Interesting beginning! I think you could be more specific about the negative consequences of breaking the treaty. Did it start a war? Cause people to die? When her stepsisters enroll in Hale Royal Academy, Beth jumps at the chance to leave her old life behind and makes a deal with her stepmother in order to attend. Again, more specifics. What kind of deal? Exactly what is the cost of her choice? But she has plans other than pretending to be her stepsisters’ servant while at school; she hopes to meet her long-lost cousin and find a real family.

 

While Beth tries to blend in at the Academy, she comforts feisty Princess IRIS and attempts to grow closer to her cousin despite his grumpy roommate VINCENT, who never leaves his side. I'm a little confused about who her cousin is--the sentence makes it sound like Iris but then implies her cousin is male. But when Iris realizes Beth is the treaty-breaker, she divulges a dangerous secret: a fairy has been sighted over Hale Academy, and Beth may be the only one who can capture it. Why is Beth the only one? What does this have to do with the treaty being broken? Why would Beth want to capture the fairy? I don't necessarily need answers to all of these questions, but it would be nice to have enough grounding to know the most important stakes: what Beth's goal is and what it might cost her.

 

Iris and Beth spend evenings patrolling campus for fairies when one night, they run into Vincent. During their confrontation, a fairy soars overhead and vanishes into the forest. After a fruitless search, Beth and her friends stumble into a hoard of demonic monsters called Darks. But they refuse to harm her, claiming she is the Wayfarer—a mythical thief who stole an all-powerful weapon.

 

Beth and her friends flee back to the Academy, where they report the fairy and their encounter with the Darks. While under investigation, Hale Academy is attacked by immortal fairy soldiers who are searching for their missing prince, SHEN, who was pretending to be Vincent all along. Beth realizes Shen is the same fairy she harbored seven years prior. Cool twist. Beth’s stepmother YANNA, a fairy spy and army commander—captures her and takes her to the Darks. Here I think we're starting to get into "too many characters" territory. And also too many subplots. Again, they refuse to kill Beth because she is the Wayfarer. Intrigued, Yanna turns the hunt on Beth, desperate to obtain the Wayfarer’s powerful weapon for the fairy king.

 

Beth escapes with help from TORRES, a wizard government agent. While making plans for asylum in the wizard kingdom, Beth discovers Shen has followed them. He begs to accompany them; Beth agrees and forgives him, despite Torres’s distrust. The Imperator KRAINE grants Beth, Shen, and Torres access into the magic kingdom and agrees to protect them from the fairies if Beth proves she is not the Wayfarer. The general rule is three named characters in a synopsis: main character, love interest, and villain. I think you can get away with one or two more, but probably not this many. The characters also contribute to the story having a lot of subplots right now. I'd suggest picking just one plot arc and cutting everything else--with my own book, I had to leave out most of the plot to get it to something that would fit on one page. But agents expect you'll have to leave stuff out, they just want the story to have a clear beginning, middle, and ending.

 

Beth, Shen, and Torres decide to travel to the elf kingdom, Ahellian, where she can obtain a fate-reading, knowing the results will convince Kraine. On the edge of the border, they are attacked by a dragon—one of many which are nesting on Ahellian’s Mt. Naquada for unknown reasons. Beth casts a spell she took and transports the dragon elsewhere, but the immortal elves are angered by her violation of their sacred anti-magic laws.

 

During her trial, in which Beth advocates for her innocence and a fate-reading, Yanna interrupts to offer the overpopulated Ahellian more land in exchange for Beth and access to the Cauldron, a mystical lake which prevents immortals from senescence. Outraged, the elves refuse and sentence Beth to join the dragon-hunters. The fairies leave empty-handed to lie in wait. I suspect you could actually cut the last two paragraphs. All of this is "getting into subplots" territory. You could just make Beth's past and the treaty the main focus and only include anything in your story which is relevant to that plotline.

 

While hunting, a dragon stomps a magma fissure into the earth. Beth realizes the boiling magma must be coming from not-so-dormant Mt. Naquada, explaining the dragons’ presence, and rushes back to warn the elves. Though she is worried the fairies will invade their kingdom during the eruption and take the Cauldron, the elves are unconcerned. And this paragraph could be shortened and combined with the next one.

 

Frustrated, Beth sneaks into the nearby fairy encampment to steal a spell. Shen questions if she is acting on selfish motives, Why? She has nothing to gain from this. Also, can this inner conflict subplot be cut since it hasn't come up before now? but Beth tells him her reading no longer matters in the face of the imminent destruction. She encounters Shen’s mother, who gives Beth a spell on the condition Shen comes home after the end of the war. Returning to Ahellian, however, Mt. Naquada erupts. As she and Shen run for safety, Yanna leads a legion of soldiers in pursuit of Beth, hoping to capture her while Ahellian is clouded by pyroclast. Beth convinces the elves to battle the fairies while she casts a spell to displace the volcanic debris into the fairy kingdom. To be honest, until now I didn't understand the elves and the fairies were completely different groups.

 

The fairies retreat, choosing to aid their own people instead of pursuing her. Eager to thank her, the elves give her a healing and take her to the Cauldron for her reading. She steps into the waters to watch her soul displayed in starry nebulae. When the elf chief confirms she is the Wayfarer, Beth closes her eyes. I don't know what it means for her to be the Wayfarer. That's why I'd suggest making the query just focus on Beth's mysterious background and maybe the volcanic explosion. You could probably cut a lot of the school stuff too. Then you'd have enough space to elaborate on the world-building in a very narrow way--to explain what a Wayfarer is and why it's so important. Also, some characters like Iris and Torres completely dropped out of the story by the end, so you should probably cut them from the beginning.

 

This sounds like a cool story! I love complex fantasy. Unfortunately, they're the hardest kind of story to write a synopsis for. I feel your pain. But you've already got it impressively short. Good luck!







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