I'm not sure about:
- The midway "flashback" (so to speak), because it's past-tense. It needs to be there somewhere, though.
- The ending, because in the ms there's a little scene where Ced wakes up, talks with Alaith and then they decide to go back to his family cottage. Which... sounds lame in summary form. Should it just end where it ends now?
- Everything else. I have very little confidence in my synopsis abilities.
Some feedback I got previously:
The other twists mostly involve redemption. Cedrin "kills" his cousin in a fit of playfulness, Alaith kills his cousin by her cruelty. In a sense, the entire story is Cedrin making up for what he did. He redeems Alaith through his almost-death by breaking the curse, and she redeems him because he's sort of paid for what he did, sort of thing. (Going to resist diving into a Beauty and the Beast analysis of the fountain.) Which... yeah. Not sure how that fits into the summary, or if it's necessary.Finally, I think your twist on gender is 'original', but the rest sounds too much like the fairytale. Which maybe the ms is very similar, maybe not. Even if it is, it could be a good read. But I think it would help if you 'showcased' the more original plot twists in the synopsis.
(if you recognize this as being copied directly off of the Absolute Write Forums... that's because it is.)
Thanks in advance for any help you can give!
Here it is:
At the age of ten, Cedin Alsan pushes his cousin into a well. His cousin never recovers, and Cedrin's uncle, Garan, never forgets.
Cedrin grows up as the son of a wealthy merchant. He lives in prosperity, and is happy where he’s at. But when a fleet of ships is lost at sea, the company takes a hard hit. Garan is eager to break Cedrin’s father while he’s week, and calls in a debt Cedrin’s father owed. The blow leaves Cedrin’s family bankrupt. They sell their possessions, and move to a wild province called Bancad.
Three years later, news reaches Cedrin’s family that some of the ships lost at sea have returned. Cedrin travels to the city, only to discover that Garan has already claimed the ships’ profits. When Cedrin confronts his uncle, he discovers a letter that contains a plot against the Roesil family, who oversee Bancad. Garan finds out Cedrin had read his mail. Terrified of his uncle and fearing repercussions to himself and his family, Cedrin flees.
Cedrin enters Bancad just as a storm begins. In the height of the storm, Cedrin and his horse stumble into the courtyard of a castle. Exhausted from the journey, Cedrin passes out. He wakes up in the castle, with new clothes and breakfast set out for him. As he is leaving, Cedrin spies a rose garden. He takes one of the roses to bring with him.
A woman attacks him, screaming at him, and he realizes that she was his hostess. Trying to escape her temper, he gallops away. Finally he arrives home, where he hopes he will be safe. But within weeks, one of Garan’s men attacks Cedrin, and he is forced to leave again. His family arranges to send word to him at the castle when it is safe for him to come home.
The woman, Alaith, who calls herself Beast, agrees to let Cedrin stay in the castle when he tells her he is hiding from Garan. Soon, the heavy snows prevented Cedrin from communication with his family or the ability to go home. But over the course of the winter, Alaith and Cedrin’s mutual dislike slowly transforms into friendship. Cedrin knows very little of Alaith’s past, but he is content to know her as she is rather than trying to find out her past. He knows firsthand that the past is a painful subject.
Years earlier, Alaith Roesil had become engaged through an arranged marriage to Garan's son, even though the injury from his fall left him mentally disabled. A young woman used to being spoiled, Alaith was disgusted by her betrothed and determined to escape from the marriage. She tormented Garan's son relentlessly, hoping he would be forced to call off the marriage. But one day she pushed him too far, pressured her betrothed jump his horse over a high fence. Both horse and rider died. Alaith was left numb by the shock of what she had done.
Garan was furious. In his grief and anger, he cursed Alaith. Her beauty would fade, and she would become ugly. She would be like a disease, he said, killing everyone around her. The curse would not end until a man could love her more than his own life. Alaith did not believe Garan had any power of her, but his predictions began to come true. She became ugly, and her father was nearly killed on a journey. The full realization of what happened to her came after her brother died. Broken and afraid, Alaith fled. In the wilderness of the province Bancad, she found an abandoned castle to live in.
The castle is enchanted. There is a large fountain in the main room, which was formed in the shape of a tree. Two stone figures were another part of the fountain—a man and a woman. Alaith discovers that they were the original lord and lady of the castle, a faery and his bride. They were turned to stone under a curse.
As Alaith grows to like Cedrin more, she begins to fear that the curse will affect him. Little accidents begin happening—signs that she recognized from the time leading up to her brother’s death. She knows she must send Cedrin away, and soon, but she dreads living in the loneliness of the abandoned castle again.
Spring arrives, and Cedrin begins to long for news that his family is safe. He is torn between a desire to leave or stay. Through books and strolls in the garden, Cedrin and Alaith grow closer. One day, Alaith unintentionally gives her identity away, and Cedrin figures out who she really is. She does not realize he made the connection. He decides that he will wait until she tells him herself, instead of bringing it up.
There is an enchanted mirror in the castle. When touched, it will show events happening in the past or present. One day, Alaith sees how distressed Cedrin from not hearing of his family, and she uses the mirror for him. They find that his family is well, and that Cedrin’s siblings have been searching for him. But they cannot find him, and they think that Cedrin is dead.
Desperate to let them know he is all right, Cedrin leaves immediately. Alaith catches him before he goes, and tells him not to come back.
Cedrin’s family is overjoyed to see him again. Though he worries about Alaith, Cedrin agrees to stay for a few days. Cedrin accompanies one of his sisters to a ball. While there, he strikes up conversation with another man—a visiting lord. Over the course of their discussion, Cedrin realizes that he is talking to Alaith’s father. The man mentions that Garan was in Bancad, and has gone on a ride in the evening by the woods. Garan has been missing for a few hours. Fearing that Garan may have found the castle, and that Alaith is in danger, Cedrin races to the castle.
Garan is already there when Cedrin arrives, but Cedrin was able to avoid being seen. He finds Alaith unharmed. Cedrin promises to take Alaith home with him, and keep her safe.
As they tried to leave, Garan spots them. Though surprised, Garan recognizes both Cedrin and Alaith. He will not let Alaith leave, and Cedrin refuses to let her face Garan alone. Garan and Cedrin duel, standing on a balcony above the stone fountain.
Garan pins Cedrin against the banister and stabs him. The pain ebbs into numbness, and all Cedrin can think of is protecting Alaith. A glimpse reveals to Cedrin that he and his uncle are just above the tree’s branches, and he pushes himself backwards, pulling Garan with him. They fall, and Cedrin lands in the pool of water. Garan is impaled by the branches.
Alaith rushes to Cedrin, trying to bind the wound in his side. Gently Cedrin stops her. They both know it is too late. With the little strength he has left, Cedrin tries to comfort her. He tells her that he chose this, that it is not her fault, that he loves her.
The curse is broken, and the magic from one curse breaking releases the stone faerie lord and lady. Cedrin blacks out from blood loss just as the lord kneels, healing the wound.