Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

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Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

Post by dios4vida » July 3rd, 2010, 3:30 pm

Hello all,

I know this synopsis needs quite a bit of work, but I'm not sure what I need to do. I've never been good at writing synopses (brevity has never been my strong suit, as you can see by its length). Where are you getting hung up in my story? What doesn't make sense, or is unnecessary? Any advice/input you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

---

A horde of hideous creatures is released from their imprisonment when Tsenian Windrunner stumbles through a strange portal. He is spit onto the dry sand of the Nevantian desert, and the beasts follow. A beautiful priestess named Brinelle saves him from death. They escape the danger by taking shelter in the Evantar Monastery.

All is not well, however. The leader of Evantar, the Godspeaker, believes Windrunner purposefully released the Shahadán – creatures even worse than the mazahnen he’d already encountered. He plans to fulfill an ancient prophecy and retrieve the four Remnants of Ziah. Driven by guilt and determination to set things right, Windrunner decides to retrieve them himself.

Brinelle joins him when he sneaks out of the monastery. She guides him not only through the desert, but through the nature of the Original Magic – which Windrunner possesses. His delight at the prospect is shattered when he is overwhelmed by his magic’s dark emotions. Instead of worrying he focuses on creating a Sacred Weapon, channeling his power into a staff and giving it extra strength against the Shahadán.

They make their way to Ta’ranq, the desert fortress of the urn warriors. When they arrive they are imprisoned and Windrunner is offered as a battle sacrifice. The ritual is interrupted by an attack by the mazahnen. Windrunner and Brinelle help defeat the creatures, and in return the urn warriors offer their support to their mission. One of the warriors, Fi’ar, joins them as a guardian and scout.

They are also joined by a Mirrormage stalker – a wizard who has embraced the same dark magic Windrunner struggles against.

The trio fights their way through tricks and tests and gains the first Remnant. Before they can continue their search, a team of the Godspeaker’s assassins meet them. The heat of battle brings Windrunner’s dark magic to the surface, and he kills one of the assassins with relish. He is so frightened by the experience that he banishes his magic.

Their path leads them to an enchanted altar. They must destroy the altar – and the consciousness it holds – to get the second Remnant. Pushed for time by a desperate cry from Fi’ar, Windrunner calls his magic back to him and obliterates the altar with a wave of destructive power. They grab the Remnant and find Fi’ar bloodied and beaten. The Mirrormage had attacked but run away before he could be caught.

Brinelle recognizes that Windrunner’s magic is too powerful to be left alone, so as they travel they begin honing and controlling his skills.

Their journey continues, and another wave of assassins meets them in a town razed by the Shahadán. These killers were not sent by the Godspeaker, however – these are Mirrormages. Windrunner’s anger allows him to overcome the Mirrormages with their own magic.

The third Remnant is hidden beneath the monastery of Evantar, so they return to the deep desert. A huge battle between Evantar, the urn warriors, and the Shahadán is underway, allowing them to slip into the monastery’s catacombs undetected. In the darkness below Fi’ar reveals his true identity as Master Obsidian – their Mirrormage stalker. He forces Windrunner to navigate a series of traps and retrieve the third Remnant. He does so, and Obsidian takes all three pieces and escapes.

During their pursuit, the Remnant leads Windrunner through the nearby portal and to Ziah, the sentient island where the Remnant – and the Original Magic – is from. Ziah explains to him that his name Tsenian is actually a title for a supremely gifted mage and unlocks his full magical potential. It then sends him and Brinelle to the land of the Shahadán, where Obsidian has taken the Remnant.

They catch up to the Mirrormage as he is met by one of the Shahadán. The former allies argue, and Obsidian uses the Remnant – all four pieces fused into one – against the creature. In return, the Shahadán removes Obsidian’s magic. Pieces of the Mirrormage’s body and soul come with it, and he dies in agony.

The magics removed from his body start migrating toward the Remnant. Windrunner sends his own magic out to protect it, and the collision of Tsenian, Mirrormage, and Shahadán magics createsan entrance into the wild passage through which the portals travel. It swallows the Remnant, and Brinelle and Windrunner enter the untamed corridor to save it.

As they reach the Remnant, an army of Shahadán flies after them. Windrunner throws his Sacred Staff at the approaching enemies. Its magic decimates the army as it feeds on the lives of the Shahadán, gorging itself until the staff explodes in a deadly fireball. Windrunner races toward the portal to Ziah and reaches the island seconds before the explosion. He summons all his remaining strength and puts up a magical shield to protect him and Brinelle from the fires. Siphoning magic from the island, he releases pure Tsenian magic into the explosion. It closes the portal and seals off the corridor, but pushes the exhausted Windrunner beyond his limits. He collapses onto the island and slips into unconsciousness.

When he wakes, Brinelle is beside him. Ziah asks them to stay and be trained in the art of magic. The island gives each of them a task – Brinelle will go off to hunt the remaining Shahadán, and Windrunner will infiltrate the Mirromages. They agree, and their training begins.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

Post by sbs_mjc1 » July 5th, 2010, 8:13 pm

When Tsenian Windrunner stumbles through a strange portal, a horde of hideous creatures-- the Shahadán-- are released from their imprisonment. Tsenian is spit onto the dry sand of the Nevantian desert with the beasts on his heels. A beautiful priestess named Brinelle saves him from death by taking him to shelter in the Evantar Monastery.

But unbeknownst to Tsenian, {does this character have a name?} the leader of Evantar, the Godspeaker, believes Windrunner purposefully released the Shahadán. He {who?}plans to fulfill an ancient prophecy and retrieve the four Remnants of Ziah {what is the prophecy, and what are its implications for the story?}. Driven by guilt and determination to set things right, Windrunner decides to retrieve them himself.

Brinelle joins him when he sneaks out of the monastery. She guides him not only through the desert, but through the nature of the Original Magic – which Windrunner possesses. His delight at the prospect is shattered when he is overwhelmed by his magic’s dark emotions. Instead of worrying he focuses on creating a Sacred Weapon, channeling his power into a staff and giving it extra strength against the Shahadán.

They make their way to Ta’ranq, the desert fortress of the urn warriors. When they arrive they are imprisoned and Windrunner is offered as a battle sacrifice. The ritual is interrupted by an attack by the mazahnen {what are they, why are they important?}. Windrunner and Brinelle help defeat the creatures, and in return the urn warriors offer their support to their mission. One of the warriors, Fi’ar, joins them as a guardian and scout.

They are also joined by a Mirrormage stalker – a wizard who has embraced the same dark magic Windrunner struggles against.

The trio fights their way through tricks and tests and gains the first Remnant. Before they can continue their search, a team of the Godspeaker’s assassins meet them. The heat of battle brings Windrunner’s dark magic to the surface, and he kills one of the assassins with relish. He is so frightened by the experience that he banishes his magic. {Character development-- good!}

Their path leads them to an enchanted altar. They must destroy the altar – and the consciousness it holds – to get the second Remnant. Pushed for time by a desperate cry from Fi’ar, Windrunner calls his magic back to him and obliterates the altar with a wave of destructive power. They grab the Remnant and find Fi’ar bloodied and beaten. The Mirrormage had attacked but run away before he could be caught.

Brinelle recognizes that Windrunner’s magic is too powerful to be left alone, so as they travel they begin honing and controlling his skills.

Their journey continues, and another wave of assassins meets them in a town razed by the Shahadán. These killers were not sent by the Godspeaker, however – these are Mirrormages. Windrunner’s anger allows him to overcome the Mirrormages with their own magic.

The third Remnant is hidden beneath the monastery of Evantar, so they return to the deep desert. A huge battle between Evantar, the urn warriors, and the Shahadán is underway, allowing them to slip into the monastery’s catacombs undetected. In the darkness below Fi’ar reveals his true identity as Master Obsidian – their Mirrormage stalker. He forces Windrunner to navigate a series of traps and retrieve the third Remnant. He does so, and Obsidian takes all three pieces and escapes.

During their pursuit, the Remnant leads Windrunner through the nearby portal and to Ziah, the sentient island where the Remnant – and the Original Magic – is from. Ziah explains to him that his name Tsenian is actually a title for a supremely gifted mage and unlocks his full magical potential. It then sends him and Brinelle to the land of the Shahadán, where Obsidian has taken the Remnant.

They catch up to the Mirrormage as he is met by one of the Shahadán. The former allies argue, and Obsidian uses the Remnant – all four pieces fused into one – against the creature. In return, the Shahadán removes Obsidian’s magic. Pieces of the Mirrormage’s body and soul come with it, and he dies in agony.

The magics removed from his body start migrating toward the Remnant. Windrunner sends his own magic out to protect it, and the collision of Tsenian, Mirrormage, and Shahadán magics createsan entrance into the wild passage through which the portals travel. It swallows the Remnant, and Brinelle and Windrunner enter the untamed corridor to save it.

As they reach the Remnant, an army of Shahadán flies after them. Windrunner throws his Sacred Staff at the approaching enemies. Its magic decimates the army as it feeds on the lives of the Shahadán, gorging itself until the staff explodes in a deadly fireball. Windrunner races toward the portal to Ziah and reaches the island seconds before the explosion. He summons all his remaining strength and puts up a magical shield to protect him and Brinelle from the fires. Siphoning magic from the island, he releases pure Tsenian magic into the explosion. It closes the portal and seals off the corridor, but pushes the exhausted Windrunner beyond his limits. He collapses onto the island and slips into unconsciousness.

When he wakes, Brinelle is beside him. Ziah asks them to stay and be trained in the art of magic. The island gives each of them a task – Brinelle will go off to hunt the remaining Shahadán, and Windrunner will infiltrate the Mirromages. They agree, and their training begins.
http://sb-writingtheother.blogspot.com/
FORGOTTEN GODS is out September 17th 2011! Check the blog for details.

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Re: Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

Post by dios4vida » July 6th, 2010, 11:44 am

Thanks sbs_mjc1! I absolutely love your first paragraph, would you mind if I keep it?

I appreciate the rest of your comments, I'm working through them and clarifying a lot of points that I'd inadvertently skipped over. I appreciate your review!
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

Post by sbs_mjc1 » July 6th, 2010, 12:52 pm

Keep whatever you like. I like your premise-- if the book follows the synopsis, you have a good sense of pacing, and I think you'll have a page-turner.

Synopsis writing is hard!
http://sb-writingtheother.blogspot.com/
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Re: No Hill Without Treasure - 2nd draft

Post by dios4vida » July 8th, 2010, 6:02 pm

Here's my new version. Feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

---

When Tsenian “Windrunner” stumbles through a strange portal, a horde of hideous creatures – the mazahnen – are released from their imprisonment. The portal spits him into a desert with the beasts on his heels. A beautiful priestess named Brinelle saves him from death by taking him to the shelter of the Evantar Monastery.

All is not well, however. The leader of Evantar, the Godspeaker, believes Windrunner purposefully released the Shahadán – creatures even worse than the mazahnen. The Godspeaker plans to call upon a woman named the Godfoot to retrieve the four Remnants of Ziah, thereby fulfilling an ancient prophecy and preventing the Shahadán from arriving. Driven by guilt and determination to set things right, Windrunner decides to ignore the prophecy and retrieve them himself.

Brinelle joins him when he sneaks out of the monastery. She guides him not only through the desert, but through the nature of the Original Magic – which Windrunner discovers he possesses. His delight is shattered when he is overwhelmed by his magic’s dark emotions. Instead of worrying he focuses on creating a Sacred Weapon, channeling his new-found power into a staff and giving it extra strength against the Shahadán.

They make their way to the fortress of the urn warriors, a race with the ashes of their ancestors in their veins. Instead of being welcomed, Windrunner is offered as a battle sacrifice. The ritual is interrupted by an attack by the mazahnen. Windrunner and Brinelle help defeat the creatures, and in return the urn warriors offer their support to Windrunner’s mission. One of the warriors, Fi’ar, joins them as a guardian and scout.

As they travel, they are followed by a Mirrormage stalker – a wizard who has embraced the same dark magic Windrunner is struggling against.

The trio fights their way through tricks and tests and gains the first Remnant. Before they can continue their search, a team of the Godspeaker’s assassins meet them. The heat of battle brings Windrunner’s dark magic to the surface, and he kills one of the assassins with relish. He is so frightened by the experience that he banishes his magic.

Their path leads them to an enchanted altar. They must destroy the altar, and the consciousness it holds, to get the second Remnant. Pushed for time by a desperate cry from Fi’ar, Windrunner calls his magic back to him and obliterates the altar with a wave of destructive power. They grab the Remnant and find Fi’ar bloodied and beaten. The Mirrormage had attacked but run away before he could be caught.

Brinelle recognizes that Windrunner’s magic is too dangerous to be left alone, so they begin honing and controlling his skills.

Their journey continues, and another wave of assassins meets them. These killers were not sent by the Godspeaker, however – these are Mirrormages. Windrunner’s anger allows him to use the Mirrormage’s magic to overcome them.

The third Remnant is hidden beneath the Evantar Monastery, so they return to the desert. A huge battle against the Shahadán is underway, allowing them to slip into the monastery’s catacombs undetected. There Fi’ar reveals his true identity as Master Obsidian – their Mirrormage stalker. He forces Windrunner to navigate a series of traps and retrieve the third Remnant. He does so, and Obsidian takes all three pieces and escapes.

During their pursuit, the Remnant leads Windrunner through the nearby portal and to Ziah, the sentient, magical island where the Remnant is from. Ziah explains to him that his name Tsenian is actually a title for a supremely gifted mage and unlocks his full magical potential. It then sends him and Brinelle to the land of the Shahadán, where Obsidian has taken the Remnant.

They catch up to the Mirrormage as he is met by one of the Shahadán. Obsidian had gotten the fourth piece and completed the Remnant, which he uses against the creature. In return, the Shahadán removes Obsidian’s magic. Pieces of the Mirrormage’s body and soul come with it, and he dies in agony.
The magics pulled from his body migrate toward the Remnant. Windrunner sends his power out to protect it, and the collision of disembodied magics creates an entrance into the wild passage through which the portals travel. It swallows the Remnant, and Brinelle and Windrunner follow.

An army of Shahadán flies after them. Windrunner throws his Sacred Staff at the beasts. Its magic decimates the army as it feeds on the lives of the Shahadán, gorging itself until the staff explodes in a deadly fireball. Windrunner races toward the portal to Ziah and reaches the island seconds before the explosion. He summons all his strength and puts up a magical shield to protect him and Brinelle. Siphoning magic from the island, he releases pure Tsenian magic into the explosion. It closes the portal and seals off the corridor, but pushes Windrunner beyond his limits. He collapses and slips into unconsciousness.

When he wakes, Brinelle is beside him. Ziah gives each of them a task – Brinelle will go off to hunt the remaining Shahadán, and Windrunner will infiltrate and destroy the Mirrormages.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: No Hill Without Treasure - 2nd draft

Post by Emily J » July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

dios4vida wrote:Here's my new version. Feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

---

When Tsenian “Windrunner” stumbles through a strange portal, a horde of hideous creatures – the mazahnen – are released from their imprisonment. this is a bit disorienting, what world are we in? what/where is this portal? what are the mazahnen? i know it's not good to get bogged down in exposition but I think a bit more background would help ground the reader The portal spits him into a desert with the beasts on his heels. A beautiful priestess named Brinelle saves him from death by taking him to the shelter of the Evantar Monastery.

All is not well, however. <- cut that sentence The leader of Evantar, the Godspeaker, believes Windrunner purposefully released the Shahadán – creatures even worse than the mazahnen. unfortunately you are comparing the Shahadan to the mazahnen, we don't really get much info on either as a result The Godspeaker plans to call upon a woman named the Godfoot to retrieve the four Remnants of Ziah, what is Ziah? a place? a person? thereby fulfilling an ancient prophecy and preventing the Shahadán from arriving. Driven by guilt and determination to set things right, Windrunner decides to ignore the prophecy and retrieve them himself. i think you need to tell us what the prophecy says, otherwise we can't understand how Tsenian is defying it, also, just generally be wary of throwing too many proper names out there without explanation

Brinelle joins him when he sneaks out of the monastery. She guides him not only through the desert, but through the nature of the Original Magic – which Windrunner discovers he possesses. His delight is shattered when he is overwhelmed by his magic’s dark emotions. the magic has emotions? or imbibes him with emotions? Instead of worrying commahe focuses on creating a Sacred Weapon, sacred to whom? are we talking deities here? channeling his new-found power into a staff and giving it extra strength against the Shahadán.

They make their way to the fortress of the urn warriors, a race with the ashes of their ancestors in their veins. Instead of being welcomed, Windrunner is offered as a battle sacrifice. what does that mean, "offered as a battle sacrifice?" The ritual is interrupted by an attack by the mazahnen. Windrunner and Brinelle help defeat the creatures, and in return the urn warriors offer their support to Windrunner’s mission. One of the warriors, Fi’ar, joins them as a guardian and scout.

As they travel, they are followed by a Mirrormage stalker stalker is redundant to followed by – a wizard who has embraced the same dark magic Windrunner is struggling against.

The trio fights their way through tricks and tests tricks and tests? and gains the first Remnant. feels like this is glossing over a semi-major plot point, also what is the remnant, is it tangible?Before they can continue their search, a team of the Godspeaker’s assassins meet them. The heat of battle brings Windrunner’s dark magic to the surface, and he kills one of the assassins with relish. He is so frightened by the experience that he banishes his magic. this part is good

Their path leads them to an enchanted altar. They must destroy the altar, and the consciousness it holds, to get the second Remnant. Pushed for time by a desperate cry from Fi’ar, hmm? is he in danger? or just like "AHHH! IM BORED!! LETS DO THIS ALREADY! Windrunner calls his magic back to him and obliterates the altar with a wave of destructive power. They grab the Remnant and find Fi’ar bloodied and beaten. The Mirrormage had attacked but run ran away? away before he could be caught.

Brinelle recognizes that Windrunner’s magic is too dangerous to be left alone, so they begin honing and controlling his skills.

Their journey continues, and another wave of assassins meets them. These killers were not sent by the Godspeaker, however – these are Mirrormages. Windrunner’s anger allows him to use the Mirrormage’s magic how does the magic manifest itself? to overcome them.

The third Remnant is hidden beneath the Evantar Monastery, so they return to the desert. A huge battle against the Shahadán is underway, allowing them to slip into the monastery’s catacombs undetected. There Fi’ar reveals his true identity as Master Obsidian – their Mirrormage stalker. soo... he beat himself up? and what does Master Obsidian mean? is he made out of rock? He forces Windrunner to navigate a series of traps and to? instead of and maybe? retrieve the third Remnant. He does so, and Obsidian takes all three pieces and escapes.

During their pursuit, the Remnant just one? the last one or the three Obsidian has? leads Windrunner through the nearby portal and to Ziah, the sentient, magical island where the Remnant is from. Ziah explains to him that his name Tsenian is actually a title for a supremely gifted mage and unlocks his full magical potential. It then sends him and Brinelle to the land of the Shahadán, where Obsidian has taken the Remnant. confused, why is this singular now?

They catch up to the Mirrormage as he is met by one of the Shahadán. Obsidian had gotten the fourth piece and completed the Remnant, which he uses against the creature. In return, the Shahadán removes Obsidian’s magic. Pieces of the Mirrormage’s body and soul come with it, and he dies in agony. this is unclear, what does the remnant do to the Shahadan??
The magics pulled from his body migrate toward the Remnant. Windrunner sends his power out to protect it, and the collision of disembodied magics creates an entrance into the wild passage through which the portals travel. hmm, not following the logic of this, and what exactly is the wild passage? is it some sort of space/time rift? It indefinite pronounswallows the Remnant, and Brinelle and Windrunner follow.

An army of Shahadán flies after them. Windrunner throws his Sacred Staff at the beasts. Its magic decimates the army as it indefinite pronoun feeds on the lives of the Shahadán, gorging itself until the staff explodes in a deadly fireball. Windrunner races toward the portal to Ziah and reaches the island seconds before the explosion. He summons all his strength and puts up a magical shield to protect him and Brinelle. Siphoning magic from the island, he releases pure Tsenian magic into the explosion. It closes the portal and seals off the corridor, but pushes Windrunner beyond his limits. He collapses and slips into unconsciousness.

When he wakes, Brinelle is beside him. Ziah gives each of them a task – Brinelle will go off to hunt the remaining Shahadán, does she have that kind of power?and Windrunner will infiltrate and destroy the Mirrormages.
I think the beginning of the synopsis could give us a bit more information. Also, I really think this could be strengthened by showing the manifestations of magic more specifically. In general I would like to understand a bit better, what are the Shahadan? Who sealed them away? What is the wild passage? Why did it open when the staff exploded? What is Obsidian's motivation? Why did he want the remnants? Also I do feel as though you glossed over the part where they retrieve the first remnant. And, speaking of that, what are the remnants/remnant? what are they the remnants of?

I think the synopsis, while not badly written, left me with too many unanswered questions.

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Re: Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

Post by dios4vida » July 29th, 2010, 7:40 pm

Again, thank you Emily J!! You brought up a lot of things I'd never noticed or even considered...again, lots to think about.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

Post by Emily J » July 29th, 2010, 7:58 pm

dios4vida wrote:Again, thank you Emily J!! You brought up a lot of things I'd never noticed or even considered...again, lots to think about.
No worries! I hope I was helpful and not too harsh. I am a perfectionist by nature and could almost always find something to fix, tweak, edit. While this is helpful for my inner editor, it makes the writer in me cry like a pansy. I've lost track of how many versions my query has gone through.

Keep at it though, and let the forum know when you get a partial! We'll throw a party! :)

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Re: Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

Post by Quill » July 29th, 2010, 8:41 pm

For one thing, your title is killer.

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Re: Synopsis - No Hill Without Treasure

Post by dios4vida » July 30th, 2010, 7:11 pm

Emily J - You weren't too harsh or anything. I needed someone to really go super-perfectionist on me, so I really appreciate that.

Quill - Thanks! I'm quite enamored with the title, too - especially since it encompasses an entire theme in the book. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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