Monday, February 28, 2011

Synopsis 10: Redux

Eyes of Stone

[Author's Note: I've slashed and butchered and ignored its cries for mercy until I got this synopsis down to 692 words.]

Even living among the last of the gargoyles in Amarantia, ANAIIYA has always believed she's human. The day she awakens covered in blood is the day she realizes she’s…something else.

With supplies running thin and their home crumbling around them, Anaiiya’s gargoyle family teeters on the brink of starvation despite her increasingly frequent raids on the palace storerooms. The tribe’s fate seems sealed when the deranged Queen, seeing only traitors in every species that isn't human, hires a group of ‘pro-human’ fanatics known as the JYNGOS to destroy them. Faced with the destruction of the only family she’s ever known, Anaiiya blacks out and kills the thirty intruders but has no memory of how it happened.

The battle awakens something in Anaiiya. Now stone crumbles to powder at her touch and blood obeys her every command. The monster she’s becoming slowly takes over and fills Anaiiya with an ever-increasing lust for violence, making each day more of a struggle to control her bloodthirsty compulsions enough to defend her beloved tribe. As Anaiiya flexes her newfound supernatural muscles, she catches the attention of far more dangerous creatures than the mad Queen or her fanatical army.

SEFAL is a Nephilim—a half-demon abomination and the last of his kind, with all the powers of Hell at his command. He is also Anaiiya’s father. An ancient bargain forbids him from producing more than one child, making Anaiiya his only hope for restoring Nephilim to the world. He claims the Nephilim can set the world right—by ruling over it.

TARCOS is the lord of the Guardians—immortal shape-shifters chosen rather than born and sworn enemy race of the Nephilim. He restores the memories stolen from Anaiiya as a child and insists she, too, is a Guardian, which he claims is the true source of her powers.

Tarcos leaves Anaiiya to her own thoughts and sets off to prevent the war set in motion by the Jyngos between humans and the Mystic Races. Haunted by memories of her mother—the Queen—hurling her from the cliffs during an ice storm, Anaiiya sneaks into the palace to confront her. Sefal’s demonic magic has driven the Queen to insanity, but she still recognizes the bastard daughter she tried to kill twenty years ago. She attacks Anaiiya repeatedly with an axe, screaming that Anaiiya will bring about the end of the world, until Anaiiya loses control of the darkness within her and stabs her mother through the heart.

Sefal will not sit idly by and allow the Guardians to steal away his race’s only hope for a future. He springs his trap during the Prince’s coronation. The Prince collapses; he will die at the hands of Nephilim magic—leaving the Jyngo leader as the next heir to the throne—unless Anaiiya breaks the vial containing the Prince’s blood. But the vial contains another spell: One that will destroy the gargoyles.

To save her family, all Anaiiya must do is…nothing. But to do nothing is to embrace her Nephilim nature and condemn the world to darkness, genocide, and ruin.

The fate of the world is encased in glass, trembling in Anaiiya's fist. Howling in anguish, Anaiiya crushes the vial. The Prince recovers as the last gargoyle tribe dies. Anaiiya pours out her wrath upon the Jyngo leader and pulls his blood out through his skin until he dies.

Tarcos, drawn by Anaiiya’s grief, bursts into the air and attacks Sefal. Anaiiya joins the fight and injures Sefal, but hesitates to kill him. Sefal vows Anaiiya will never know peace or happiness until she joins him, and vanishes.

Under threat by Anaiiya, the Mystic Races grudgingly hammer out a treaty with the humans: Humans will kill all Jyngos on sight and avoid the Mystic Races’ territory, and the Mystic Races will not wipe humanity from the face of the Earth.

The Guardians gather survivors from other gargoyle tribes and place them under the protection of the other Mystic Races. Anaiiya finds some measure of peace in the knowledge that gargoyles will flourish again before she departs with the Guardians to embrace her destiny as a protector of Creation.

Comments

Great job on the word count! And this reads to me like a complete and satisfying story now. Which is weird right, with fewer words? ;o)

There are a couple of spots where I have questions, though.

TARCOS is the lord of the Guardians—immortal shape-shifters chosen rather than born and sworn enemy race of the Nephilim. He restores the memories stolen from Anaiiya as a child and insists she, too, is a Guardian, which he claims is the true source of her powers.

I'm not understanding the Guardians as well as I think I could. Who chooses them? If Anaiiya's one of them, does she shift shape too? The phrase "immortal shape-shifters" doesn't immediately chonjure up creatures with the power to crush planets, so Tarcos claiming her powers come from Guardian good seems unjustified. I would delete the word "race" and just call them "sworn enemies" as I'm not sure you can be part of a race if you're not born into it.

Tarcos leaves Anaiiya to her own thoughts and sets off to prevent the war set in motion by the Jyngos between humans and the Mystic Races.

I think you mean something more active like: Leaving Anaiiya to face down the torments of her childhood, Tarcos sets off to prevent...

Sefal will not sit idly by and allow the Guardians to steal away his race’s only hope for a future. He springs his trap during the Prince’s coronation. The Prince collapses; he will die at the hands of Nephilim magic—leaving the Jyngo leader as the next heir to the throne—unless Anaiiya breaks the vial containing the Prince’s blood. But the vial contains another spell: One that will destroy the gargoyles.

I think this will work better for the reader if you put the vial with the blood closer to the beginning of the paragraph: He springs his trap during the Prince's coronation, encasing a few drops of the Prince's blood in a charmed vial. And of course deleting containing the Prince's blood.

Tarcos, drawn by Anaiiya’s grief, bursts into the air and attacks Sefal. Anaiiya joins the fight and injures Sefal, but hesitates to kill him. Sefal vows Anaiiya will never know peace or happiness until she joins him, and vanishes.

burts into the air is pehaps a little too active. returns works just as well. Except that Tarcos starts the fight then just sort of disappears.

Humans will kill all Jyngos on sight

Aren't Jyngos human? Can you tell a Jyngo by sight?

Really, these are just a few tweaks, if you decide to pursue them; it looks longer because of the format. Almost there!

5 comments:

Matt said...

The second sentence is not needed. A synopsis should follow the novel's events in chronological order, and if someone is reading the synopsis then you've already hooked them with the query; there is no need to hook them a second time.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Soooo much better. Organzied, well written, slap on the back (a good slap)or a noogy to the head. You pick.
I'd listen to the Divine Miss P and Matt. They know from whence they speak. Couple of tweaks - slide into home.

beckahrah said...

Ok, made the suggested tweaks. :) I guess all my hard work and nagging you good people is paying off, because I've had 2 partial requests from *big* agencies and a full request from a publisher! Trying not to get my hopes up too high, but there's no doubt I wouldn't have gotten this far without help from awesome and patient people like Phoenix and her followers. Thanks!! :D

Phoenix said...

@Beckahrah: Was the full from Angry Robot? I think I saw your name in the comments there earlier. If so, that's a full from a partial request, which, you know, counts more! Congrats on all the requests, and good luck! I'll likely do another celebration post this month and would like to include you, if that's OK.

beckahrah said...

Yes, it's from Angry Robot! I'm so excited! They asked for a full less than 24 hours after I submitted. And yes, you can include me in your congrats post if you like. :D