Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Synopsis 50


Sixteen year old PRINCESS PEGI is a misfit who prefers books to fashions and saves animals instead of hunting them. Her parents plan to marry her off to a suitable prince. Pegi wants to experience life outside the palace walls. On the day of the wedding she escapes into the woods, drawn to the cottage of evil fairy INGENIOSA.

As a baby Pegi had been cursed by Ingeniosa. [Why?] Pegi is to run away on her sixteenth birthday and spend the rest of her life searching for herself. Ingeniosa offers to remove the curse but Pegi sees it as a chance to break free of the yoke that is her royal destiny and chart her own path in life.  [Didn't she just break free from that yoke in the previous paragraph?]

As Pegi begins her quest, Ingeniosa offers her two gifts. The first is a companion – KUMO the were-dog, a mutt who can turn into a wolf at need. The second is a magical cookie which embodies the curse; if Pegi consumes it, the curse will end and she and Kumo will be back in their normal habitats. [You put a curse on someone, wait sixteen years for the curse to take effect, and immediately hand your victim the antidote?] [What is Kumo's normal habitat?]

Pegi’s new life is strange, confusing and full of misadventures. Kumo dismisses her as a silly royal; his superior attitude maddens her. But their relationship evolves as Pegi subsumes her vanity and learns from her mistakes. Mistrust and contempt change into mutual respect and affection, and they become true companions. [This was advertised as a YA book, but the magic cookie and the fact that Pegi grows close to her dog rather than a boy make it seem like a book for a younger crowd.]

When Pegi thwarts a witch hunt, she hears about the TRUTHERS.  [Not clear what that means. Were witches literally hunting, or was someone hunting witches or is this the more common figurative meaning of a witch hunt? I'm not sure we need to know what Pegi was doing when she heard about the Truthers anyway.] There are many groups of Truthers and each group believes it possesses the Sole Truth. [Do all groups of TRUTHERS refer to other groups of truthers as the LIARS?] All of them want to outlaw magic, hunt magical creatures and ban ideas they disagree with. Pegi is appalled by what she hears, but the world seems big enough and the danger remote. She realizes her mistake when she and Kumo try to help a besieged bookseller and witness the Truthists burning books and artifacts considered unacceptable. 

Forced to flee for their lives, they end up in the middle of a desert [It would have to be a pretty small desert to be chased all the way to the middle of it on foot without being overtaken. I was joking in the query when I said she needed a werecamel, but since the dog's ability to become a wolf doesn't seem to be paying off . . . ] [Or the dog could have the ability to change into any animal.] and Kumo begins to ail with a mysterious malady. The cookie is Pegi’s last hope. Eating it will return her to the gilded cage of royal life, but she will make any sacrifice to save her beloved were-dog. [The cookie sends Kumo back to his normal habitat, but I'm not sure why that would cure his mysterious malady.] When the cookie doesn’t work, Pegi is forced to make do without others’ magic. She manages to escape the desert and save Kumo by enlisting the help of a dying dragon, a pair of hungry vultures and a medicine man. [You can hardly claim the cookie is her last hope when a seemingly endless supply of potential allies happen to be in the middle of the desert.] [A living dragon would be more helpful in getting out of a desert than a dying dragon.]

The near loss of Kumo helps Pegi understand who she is and what she must do with the rest of her life. Her precious freedom is useless in a world where books are burnt and thinking is unfree. [It seems to me it's the realization that her freedom is useless that shows her what to do with her life, not the near-loss of Cujo.] She must either accept a yoke worse than her royal destiny or resist in her own way. Kumo says they can still walk away but Pegi knows that soon enough they will run out of places to run away to. Pegi and Kumo head towards a city controlled by the Truthers determined to do what they can, even if it’s just protecting one book, freeing one mind and saving one life at a time


Notes

There are so many people who don't request synopses, it hardly seems worth the trouble to write one.





5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem I see with this is it screams MESSAGE. <- this is bad. Focus on story.

The second problem is the lack of unification resulting in an And Plot as mentioned in the comments on the query. <- this may be a problem with the book, but it also might just be a problem with the query/synopsis. You need more of how the things that happen are connected and what those things add up to in meaning for the reader and characters (without screaming MESSAGE).

Considering the fairy doesn't do anything after the first two paragraphs, you can probably get by without naming her. What you're calling a curse doesn't sound much like a curse in effect. You might want to consider rephrasing.

Considering the dog doesn't do anything worthy of mention in the synopsis other than get sick, I wonder how necessary he is to most of the story. If he is necessary, and/or plays a significant role, the synopsis should reflect that.

I agree, that this sounds more MG than YA

As a side comment on the story, if there are kings in a world, they usually can make the rules and execute anyone who doesn't like it. Your MC would be more effective if she married the prince and used her political power to get rid of the book burners.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Sixteen year old PRINCESS PEGI is a misfit who prefers books to fashions and saves animals instead of hunting them. Her parents plan to marry her off to a suitable prince. Pegi wants to experience life outside the palace walls. On the day of the wedding she escapes into the woods, drawn to the cottage of evil fairy INGENIOSA.

As a baby Pegi had been cursed by Ingeniosa. Pegi is to run away on her sixteenth birthday and spend the rest of her life searching for herself. Ingeniosa offers to remove the curse but Pegi sees it as a chance to break free of the yoke that is her royal destiny and chart her own path in life.


118 words.

May I try?

A fairy put a curse on Pegi at her christening. Pegi must wander the earth, searching for herself. No problem; Pegi would much rather wander the earth than get married and become a queen.

34 words.

See if you can do that with the whole thing.




AA said...

As you can see, we're not understanding the curse. In fairy tales, the fairy gets pissed off and curses the royal baby. Who offended her?

The magic cookie idea does make this seem middle grade. I somehow had the idea when I read the query that the weredog was a dog that turned into a teenage boy. Benji turning into a wolf does seem more middle grade to me.

Is it Truthers or Truthists? I wouldn't use Truthers since that's already a word used to mean “conspiracy theorists.”

This still doesn't explain the oddly convenient “mysterious malady.”

This is still an And Plot, or loosely strung together series of events. Why does the fairy curse the baby? Why does she offer to un-curse her? Why does she choose a “weredog” as her companion? Why a magic cookie, and why doesn't the cookie work? What is this mysterious malady? Why does Kumo have to almost die to show Pegi that the Truthers are a threat? What does Kumo do in this story besides almost die?

Anonymous said...

Hint: the synopsis is supposed to answer all your questions so the committee knows if they want to buy the book without the tedious job of actually reading it.

batgirl said...

Misfit princesses who refuse to wear the nice dresses and marry the prince are pretty much the default in MG fiction and have been for several decades. Is she a misfit because of her curse? If the curse were removed would she be happy with her 'yoke'?
Maybe skip the witch hunt bit and go straight to Truthers burning books - since you've claimed Pegi is bookish, that should be enough to motivate her. Skip her hesitation in the synopsis and go straight to the action.
I feel as if the curse could also be skipped - Ingeniosa (which is a lovely sort of Thackeray-ish fairy name) gives Pegi a magic cookie that will send her and Kumo back home and end their adventures. So Pegi always has the temptation of the easy out, which is not a bad plot element.
Quibble: if Pegi needs a magical beast (dragon) and a magician (medicine man) to escape the desert, she isn't exactly doing it without 'others' magic'.
As AA says, this is an 'And Plot'. Can you show the connections between the events?