Romantic Fantasy Query - THE ROYAL OUTLANDER

Ugh. You got stuck writing a synopsis. Help is on the way.
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amandadaul
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Romantic Fantasy Query - THE ROYAL OUTLANDER

Post by amandadaul » June 22nd, 2014, 12:09 pm

Any and all critiques are welcome! Thank you in advance! :)



Serafina Elizabeth grew up hating her life as a royal so much that she risked everything she had in order to escape it. As if being forced into an arranged marriage isn’t bad enough, when her own father, the King of their realm, threatens her life, she decides that the only way she can survive is to flee into the dangerous, forbidden Outlands with nothing except the wedding dress she wears.

Cursed with the chilling memories of the only other time she had been to the Outlands and being moments away from a horrific death, she soon learns that the skills she had surreptitiously acquired are not enough to keep herself safe from the murderous thieves that stalk the territory. She is torn between trusting the mysterious stranger who unknowingly saved her life for the second time, the same way he had three years earlier, or following her instincts to see him only as the Outlander he appears to be.

With the impending threat of being discovered by the King’s army, Serafina does everything she can to distance herself from Zander before he finds out her true identity, not knowing that the tavern she finds refuge at is owned by his sister, Milah. Against her better judgement, she leads them on as best she can, attempting to appear as if there isn’t an entire realm of soldiers hunting her to return her to the Kingdom city, and ultimately, her death. However, when she finds the opportunity to break away from her alleged allies, her plan goes horribly awry.


A deadly, secret attack against the Kingdom city that she was meant to govern makes Serafina see that her rebel against her corrupt father has triggered a long overdue war and everybody is about to suffer because of her actions.


The short time spent with Zander had been enough for both of their defensive walls to crack, however unwillingly, and she decides that his life is more important than her freedom, just as she realizes how treacherous her feelings for him have become. She convinces him to let her go, deciding that returning to the Kingdom city and the condemned fate that awaits her is the only way to protect the innocent people caught in the crossfires. However, returning to the King does not have the outcome she had anticipated and this time there is more at stake than her own freedom.

GeniP
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Re: Romantic Fantasy Query - THE ROYAL OUTLANDER

Post by GeniP » June 30th, 2014, 10:08 pm

Hi Amanda,
Synopses are miserable, there's no way around it. They can be effective, but cramming your whole story into a single page is ridiculously hard at best. That said, I think the best queries manage to outline the story so that the pieces make sense despite the multitude of omissions. In that vein, here are my completely inexpert thoughts:

First, I wonder if you need the backstory in the first paragraph. Could you start with Serafina fleeing into the Outlands in a wedding dress terrified that the little she's learned won't prepare her for life outside of the castle but determined to avoid an unwelcome arranged marriage for the good of the kingdom? You can play with how you say it, but I think if you can get us into the action earlier, it would make the synopsis work better.

As the synopsis continues, I think there are a couple things to clear up. First, I presume Zander is the mysterious stranger, but it's not laid out here. Can you make that clear? I'm also a little confused by the third paragraph, again, I presume she choses to trust Zander, but if she trusts him, how does she end up hiding out in a tavern? Why isn't she letting him help her? I'm sure this is clear in the story, but I think we need a little more here. Likewise on the reference to breaking away from her allies-- from reading only this, I'm not clear that she has allied with Zander and his sister, I think she's lying to them and hiding out. Can you pull out more of the story to make this clear?

Other than that, it might need a reading out loud. If you keep the first paragraph as is, there's a shift in verb tense that is a little confusing initially and I believe you mean to reference the outcome of her "rebellion" rather than her "rebel" in the fourth paragraph.

Again, go you for taking on the dreaded synopsis and good luck!!

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