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Two-Paragraph Synopsis of a Science/Fantasy w/deconstruction

Posted: April 4th, 2012, 1:48 pm
by cjcurrie
I tried Nathan's "One Sentence, One Paragraph, Two" exercise at http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/05 ... d-two.html and this is what I got:

One sentence
Four young adults get framed for an assassination that never happened, flee the country with a princess, and instigate a rebellion against a corrupt Empire.

One Paragraph
Jerren Li’Sterrik is a dropout magus who fails at everything he tries. When a mishandled job for a crime lord lands him with a bounty on his head, he attempts to defraud a princess in order to escape the locked-down city. Failure ensues when he, his best friend Milly, and the princess get framed for an act of domestic terrorism, flee the country, and wind up in a plot to instigate rebellion against the corrupt Empire.

Two Paragraphs
Jerren Li’Sterrik is a dropout magus who resorts to petty crime when money gets tight. After he botches a job for a local crime lord, he decides that swindling his best friend and the princess she works for is his best ticket out of the city. Failure ensues when they are framed for an act of domestic terrorism and wind up caught in a plot to instigate rebellion against the Empire.

Relief comes in the patronage of a discontent lord, an influential man who claims Jerren will be the salvation of the rebellion. At first, Jerren is dubious about getting involved in any movement that wants him martyred, but when the State comes looking for him, he’s left with little choice. Together with his best friend and some unlikely companions, he sets off on a strange adventure that brings him face-to-face with political figures, intrigue, and all matter of supernatural phenomena – including a meting with his deity.


It's a Science/Fantasy with deconstructive elements. Basically, there was technology, but after civilization crashed it's only seen as magic. Sure, it's a genre piece, but I try to keep things as literary as possible. If anyone is looking for a thoughtful, educated critiquing partner, send me a message.

Re: Two-Paragraph Synopsis of a Science/Fantasy w/deconstruction

Posted: April 16th, 2012, 10:56 am
by cjcurrie
And I apologize for not posting around on the forums more first before asking :P I've been going through that process on the AW boards lately, as well.

Re: Two-Paragraph Synopsis of a Science/Fantasy w/deconstruction

Posted: April 17th, 2012, 8:21 pm
by cjcurrie
Been refining this over time, and have progressed to this point:

Jerren Li’Sterrik is a dropout magus who resorts to petty crime when money gets tight. While doing a job for a local crime boss, he finds a mysterious cultural relic hidden in a lord’s treasury. After botching the job beyond repair, he decides that swindling his best friend and the princess she works for is his easiest ticket out of the city. Failure ensues when they are framed for an act of domestic terrorism that the State perpetrated in order to instigate civil war. Agents of the State then relentlessly pursue Jerren and his companions for the evidence they carry – evidence that could also avert the impending civil war.

Help comes when an influential but discontent lord offers the companions asylum in exchange for their allegiance. He claims that the salvation of the anti-State rebellion lies both in the evidence they carry and the artifact Jerren found. Left with few options, the companions embark on a deadly game of cat and mouse with a government who wants them erased.

Re: Two-Paragraph Synopsis of a Science/Fantasy w/deconstruction

Posted: June 4th, 2012, 1:31 pm
by KyleS
Hey - generally it looks good to me. But the one thing I've vague on is the princess - who she is, what's her involvement, why she becomes involved, what she's the princess of, etc. Not to say that all of these should be explained (they souldn't in a short query or synopsis) - but the word "princess" can be vague. Good luck.

Re: Two-Paragraph Synopsis of a Science/Fantasy w/deconstruction

Posted: July 2nd, 2012, 1:40 pm
by arvales12
KyleS wrote:Hey - generally it looks good to me. But the one thing I've vague on is the princess - who she is, what's her involvement, why she becomes involved, what she's the princess of, etc. Not to say that all of these should be explained (they souldn't in a short query or synopsis) - but the word "princess" can be vague. Good luck.
I have to agree with him. The princess kinda made me wonder, is she the princess of the corrupt empire, a rebellious girl of some sort?

By the way, I like the idea of a civilization collapse :D

Re: Two-Paragraph Synopsis of a Science/Fantasy w/deconstruction

Posted: July 10th, 2012, 1:47 am
by LurkingVirologist
I really like the idea of a shifty, slacker magus. I'd suggest condensing and separating some of the middle sentences so that they are more self-contained, and each one describes an action that the protagonist(s) are taking. For instance:

"While doing a job for a local crime boss, he finds a mysterious cultural relic hidden in a lord’s treasury. After botching the job beyond repair, he decides that swindling his best friend and the princess she works for is his easiest ticket out of the city. Failure ensues when they are framed for an act of domestic terrorism that the State perpetrated in order to instigate civil war."

could become something like (rough approximation)...

"After discovering a mysterious relic in the midst of a botched robbery, he decides to flee town, even if it means betraying his best friend, and her employer, in the process. When the three of them are framed for an act of domestic terrorism, they must discover [something] while avoiding [the bad guys]..."

Sounds like you've got the makings of a good anti-hero, and some fun 'enemy of my enemy is my friend' personal drama. Let the moral ambiguity fly!
cjcurrie wrote:Been refining this over time, and have progressed to this point:

Jerren Li’Sterrik is a dropout magus who resorts to petty crime when money gets tight. While doing a job for a local crime boss, he finds a mysterious cultural relic hidden in a lord’s treasury. After botching the job beyond repair, he decides that swindling his best friend and the princess she works for is his easiest ticket out of the city. Failure ensues when they are framed for an act of domestic terrorism that the State perpetrated in order to instigate civil war. Agents of the State then relentlessly pursue Jerren and his companions for the evidence they carry – evidence that could also avert the impending civil war.

Help comes when an influential but discontent lord offers the companions asylum in exchange for their allegiance. He claims that the salvation of the anti-State rebellion lies both in the evidence they carry and the artifact Jerren found. Left with few options, the companions embark on a deadly game of cat and mouse with a government who wants them erased.

Re: Two-Paragraph Synopsis of a Science/Fantasy w/deconstruction

Posted: November 9th, 2014, 11:55 pm
by Usman
Been refining this over time, and have progressed to this point:

Jerren Li’Sterrik is a dropout magus who resorts to petty crime when money gets tight. While doing a job for a local crime boss, he finds a mysterious cultural relic hidden in a lord’s treasury. After botching the job beyond repair, he decides that swindling his best friend and the princess she works for is his easiest ticket out of the city. Failure ensues when they are framed for an act of domestic terrorism that the State perpetrated in order to instigate civil war. Agents of the State then relentlessly pursue Jerren and his companions for the evidence they carry – evidence that could also avert the impending civil war. :geek: :ugeek: :mrgreen:

Re: Two-Paragraph Synopsis of a Science/Fantasy w/deconstruction

Posted: November 10th, 2014, 5:01 pm
by longknife
I hate to say this but reads a whole lot like a version of Star Wars.

You would need to give me something making it different before I'd read beyond what you've posted.