Monday, February 16, 2009
STOP!!!: This synopsis goes with the Fate's Guardian query posted just below it. If you haven't yet read the query and you like to play Guess the Plot, STOP NOW, without even glancing downward. The first word of this synopsis gives away the GTP, so scroll down and read the query first, then come back for the synopsis.
Synopsis- FATE'S GUARDIAN
Gil Jacobs is only seven years old when he witnesses a double-homicide. A man murders his wife and daughter, and Gil watches through the window as his best friend Julie Flaherty dies. It is an event that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Literally.
The ghost of a Troubadour, whose life ended in the thirteenth century after a love affair went terribly awry, senses the impending deaths and enters the Flaherty's house. He captures and devours the soul of Julie's mother. As the Troubadour struggles with Julie's soul, Gil's presence at the window distracts him, enabling Julie to escape.
The Troubadour [This capitalizing of "troubadour" makes it sound like his name, like he's a supervillain known as The Troubadour.] [I suppose most of the good supervillain names are already taken, but if The Troubadour is the best he can come up with, he might want to hire a PR firm.] [At least you had the good sense not to mention in the query that the villain is a troubadour. Couldn't you make him the ghost of the Black Knight?] attacks Gil, but fails. Something odd happens to the Troubadour when he is near Gil – memories of his long forgotten life begin to surface. [Memories of reciting lyric poems in the villages of France.] The Troubadour suspects that Gil played a role in his death and develops an intense hatred for Gil, vowing to take his soul. [I was going to question developing an intense hatred so quickly, but then I realized I develop intense hatreds for other drivers whenever I'm in my car.]
Julie Flaherty is frightened and alone. Trapped as a ghost, she clings to the one positive memory of her short life – Gil. She watches the Troubadour's failed attack on Gil. She can see that the Troubadour is too weak to win, [He's been devouring souls since the thirteenth century, and he's too weak to defeat a seven-year-old kid?] but she watches in fear as the Troubadour preys on other souls, growing stronger with each one he consumes.
The Troubadour attacks Gil repeatedly. During one attack, he catches a glimpse of Gil's fate. The Troubadour [Does this guy at least have a name? Anything's better than constantly calling him The Troubadour.] realizes that he cannot end Gil's life, but knowing the time and place of Gil's death, he hope he can extend it. If he succeeds, Gil's soul will be thrown into an imbalance that will weaken it, leaving him defenseless. [Nothing's more humiliating than being defeated in battle by a poet.]
Julie knows that there is only one way she can protect Gil. Using herself as bait, she lures the Troubadour far away, to other prey. [Other prey that The Troubadour can defeat? He's more powerful than anyone except a seven-year-old kid?] She provides a temporary reprieve, and Gil grows to adulthood and starts a family. But living happily ever after was never part of Gil's fate, for he is going to die in a car crash at the tender age of thirty-three. [That's quite a reprieve. She distracted the Troubadour for twenty-six years?] Unless, of course, the Troubadour can prevent the crash.
The Troubadour returns on the day of Gil's destined death, trying desperately to upset the sequence of events that leads to the crash. Julie follows and, in the moments before the crash, she sacrifices herself to the Troubadour, providing the distraction necessary to facilitate Gil's fatal end.
Amazingly, the word "Troubadour" appears fourteen times in the synopsis, and not once in the query.
It's hard to get serious about a bad guy who goes by The Troubadour. Which explains why none of the X-Men is known as The Troubadour.
The Troubadour devours souls to become stronger, so why is he so weak? Apparently reincarnated kids are at the top of the food chain and ghosts in the middle and souls at the bottom? When you're a soul you probably think God has your back. Yet ghosts can just devour you?
If your goal is to devour the souls of those who just died, shouldn't you be hanging out in war zones or hospitals instead of in the suburbs, hoping some guy will crack and kill his wife and daughter?
As with the query, maybe all the questions are answered in the book, but if you can't explain everything in the synopsis, focus on what you can explain and what doesn't cry out for an explanation.