The power to create a world, solely from the words written by your own mind, is a gift that should never be hidden.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Decisions of an Author, self pub or query again...

So I ran across an artist last night that likes to do book covers. Her work looks awesome and I figured, "Hey, why not chat this person up and see if you can sucker err convince them to give your whopper of a story a book cover.
She was agreeable and asked me to send over my synopsis to see what she thought of it...
Oh yeah, synopsis, I have one of those somewhere...

*Digs through my writing folder and pulls out my old synopsis file*
*Reads the four versions I used to think were pretty good*
*Quickly scraps all four, empties the trash folder, and burns computer*
 *Slams open Word to write out a new one that hopefully doesn't suck*

Yes, they were that bad. It was like reading a list of medical ingredients to a grade 3 class. How I ever thought they would interest anyone really amazes me. But! Don't despair! I was in a creative mood, my old synopsis(s)? <--Do you really plural that word? were so so far gone from my memory that I started fresh and made a really new one. Even I liked it.
So I grabbed my nearest beta reader. AKA My wife, and forced err asked her to read it. She knew of my prior failures and cringed at the thought, but after a quick read she said.

Wow! I like that one! I would even grab that book off a shelf.

Glowing praise for a woman that really doesn't read the genre I tend to write in.

So without further ado, I offer my scribbling for you to tear apart err read and critique. Hit me with your worst, what do you think about it? Would you pull this book off a shelf? Would you pay 9.95 (or 12.95 in Canada since the dollar is soooo far apart right now *not*)
Here we go...

Children's stories tell us the world we now live in used to be a different place. Some call it Gaia; others call it Eden, none of that matters to Shade or Dawn. Now they call it home.

The people of earth didn't use the planet, they misused it, and the unusual solar flare from the sun almost destroyed it. Only a lucky few managed to survive. Most of humanity paid with their lives, and they must now learn to adapt to a world where electricity refuses to flow, and the broken remains of the moon litter the surface of the earth with a fresh magic. Even humans are changing, their bodies reverting, reviving the fairy tales of youth.

The skies no longer drop rain. Fires burn indefinitely and the creatures of our past walk again. In pockets of paradise, humanity begins anew while the rest of the world weeps.

Donovan doesn't care about any of that. All he wants is to kill his sister so he can do everything "the rules" said he couldn't do before. Everything was working exactly as he planned until the undead beauty, Silvia, stepped into his web of destruction…all because of a can of beans.

Share it with your writer friends. Tear it up if you feel the need, or let me know what you would change. This might be the last kick at the cat for this book before it goes Indie and I would love to hear your input.


  1. I just can't get over the beans, must have been some incredible can! Hahaha. In all seriousness though, I'll give you some input, whether you'd want it from me or not. ;)

    Criticism first: Shade and Dawn are mentioned once in the first paragraph and then never again. If they are important we need more info, if they are irrelevant then removed from the synopsis. On the same note Donovan is only mentioned once, though it sounds like he is the protagonist. I would think as such his character should weave through the entire synopsis, and ideally be introduced in the first or second paragraph?

    Also I believe your writing skills can find something better to use than "the rules".

    Praise: I love the first three paragraphs (aside from said critiques). They are beautiful and even from those few sentences I can feel the change happening in the world you speak of. You easily depict the anger and sympathy for the humans who ruined it before, as well as the excitement and enchantment of what seems to be a new world dawning, one that I would want to read about. I really love the language used: 'fresh magic' and 'pockets of paradise', etc. Very intriguing.

    Just my humple opinions, you are the master of your writing and no one can tell you how it should or should not be. :)

    1. I happily accept all input, no matter what form! I agree with you that I should have a touch more info on Shade and Dawn in there, they are fairly important after all.
      I find if funny you mentioned "the rules" It bothered me, but I chose to keep it because of the younger age of all the characters. To a 17yr old "the rules" can be rather annoying. I will think on that for sure.
      As for me being a master of writing? We shall see...
      Thank you for your input and thanks for the visit!

    2. I think chella hit on every point I found. And, yes, I would pick this up. It sounds very interesting. Good work.

  2. Well I am starting to thing about taking one more swing at the cat and putting this out for agents. We will have to see if I can dredge up some email addys...

  3. Given the length of the book and its complex plot, I think this is a very good summary. My only suggestion would be to add a little more in about the children. I think you have the backdrop, but the struggle the children face will add conflict.

    Editing suggestion: "Most of humanity paid with their lives(.)(Now Dawn and Shade) must learn to adapt to a world where electricity refuses to flow, and the broken remains of the moon litter the surface of the earth with a fresh magic."

    Overall I liked it. Also, I think you should go directly to small press publishers. Most of them have cover artists on staff. You can query them directly just like agents.

    1. Thank you. Great suggestions all and I am implementing some as we speak.
      I really need to formulate a list of email addresses and get this query out. Good news is I can always self pub it later if I should fail in my sales.

  4. I am reading it from a journalist's point of view as though it is the back cover? You really need to bump the last part to the beginning. 1st line is always the clincher, it must draw you in to the key plot. Don't spend as much time with set up, I want to learn about it in the book. You also need to tie all the characters together, Shade and Dawn seem to be adrift.

    Last line needs to dangle the carrot, it has to tempt you to keep reading and not give all the answers (until it's the last chapter. LOL)

    It should start something like: Donovon wanted to kill his sister, it was forbidden in the old world, but the Earth is a different, almost lawless place now. After the devastating solar flares, the shattered moon is scattered across its surface bringing to life the stories children only knew as fairy tales.

    Learning to adapt to the new planet, Shade and Dawn (who are they?) are drawn into Donovon's murderous plot. With power failure rampant (bodies changing to their fabled roots?) and pockets of paradise few and far between, Donovan's plans seem to be working out until Silvia,____(insert her description)steps in to complicate things...

    Who knew a can of beans could thwart months of planning?

    Anyhow, just my thoughts. It sounds interesting. I fight with my own synopsis all the time, it's the hardest when you're so invested. It's hard to step back and look at to objectively.

  5. Thanks for the input, even though I have already submitted this to a few Agents, and the rejections are slowly trickling back in. I need to rework this for when I try again, or if it goes Indie. Either way, each draft is making it better and better.