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Synosis Reviews Ion-Sturm 520[View All]

#Story Help #Discussion

Please note: this is not a standard review thread. It’s for synopses/descriptions rather than entire fics, and anyone may feel free to chime in. Previous thread at http: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/122131.html

The synopsis, while small, is in some ways the most important part of a story. A good one can score you more readers, while a bad one can stop readers in their tracks. So here’s a mini-review thread. Submissions should include a title and tags, in addition to the synopsis.

General advice:

-Proofread. Proofread the buck out of your synopsis. If I see spelling and grammar errors, that doesn’t bode well for the fic proper.
-Keep it relatively short. A paragraph or two, sure, but don’t try to fit a whole chapter in there.
-Don’t try to be fancy. Ellipses, semicolons, em dashes, and suchlike are generally unnecessary in such a short piece.
-Don’t be vague. Don’t be coy. Don’t be mysterious.

That last covers a lot of ground. See, your synopsis is your first chance (and, in many cases, your only chance) to get a reader interested. Don’t hint at something which might maybe be cool and if we start reading we can find it; just go ahead and give us the cool thing. If you’re writing an intentionally vague synopsis and thinking, “Oh, the reader will see me being all mysterious, and they’ll be so desperate to know my secrets,” then you’re wrong. Readers, by and large, do not care that much.

To quote Kurt Vonnegut, “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” Use your synopsis to find that one person. Your best chance to hook readers is by telling them what your story is about and why they, personally, want to read it.

A few specific points on this subject:
-Tell us your characters’ names, even (especially) if you’re using OCs. It’s tough to care about people whose names we don’t know.
-Describe the story’s conflicts, and be concrete.
-Describe those conflicts’ stakes. What is at risk? Why do we care?
-Don’t hedge your conflicts or their stakes. No “this might happen.” No “will this happen?” Your stakes should be important and irrevocable. Rhetorical questions in general should be avoided unless you are extremely confident in the effectiveness of their use.
This post was edited by its author on .
54 posts and 18 image replies omitted. Click View to see all.

Ion-Sturm 4553

File: 1363020159846.jpg (1.09 MB, 3468x2454, commission_for_diablogamer_by_…)

>>4518
Kane's namedrop seems a little ham-fisted.

There's just something about the whole synopsis that doesn't really sit well with me. Since I'm nutty like this, I'm just going to re-write it. If you like this version more, feel free to use it (with credits, of course, since I'm an attention whore).

Now, a point of note is that with first-person comedy (second billing as it may be), the rules of a synopsis are greatly relaxed. In the end, what's going to sell your story is the character voice, so you want your synopsis to establish what Jericho sounds like.



There are better ways to be the first Teutscher to enter Equestria in a thousand years, I would imagine. Still, when my companions for the trip is my sociopathic alter-ego and an angel that enjoys filling my dreams with visions of a world burning in holy fire, I suppose asking for something approaching normalcy is wishful thinking.

Of course, that's just the beginning of my problems. There's a fellow best know as the Prince of freaking Darkness stalking the lands to "save" the world from the angel, the Equestrian princess is a lunatic with a throne, and if one of those six infuriating mares says "Jericho, would you be so kind as to…" again I swear I will kill something, political ramifications or no.

Preferably with my bare hands.

Still, I might be able to make something out of this whole mess. With enough wit, some Prussian ingenuity, and my bottomless well of sarcasm, I might just get out of this clash of the gods (and cultures) with all of my limbs still firmly attached to me.

Tactical 4556

>>4551

Doesn't state the appeal? It sets a tone and says that something exciting is going to happen.

Anyway, the more I look at it, the more sure I get that this wasn't successful because it's in the disguise of something shitty.

I was under the impression that there was an audience for horrible shitty NLR fics, and that writing a little parody would be fun for all involved. Apparently I was wrong about that first part.

Gotcha 4557

>>4553

Following your format, I came up with this:

I’d like to think there’s a better way to be the first Teutscher to set hoof into Equestria in a millennium. When your best friends are your own sociopathic nature and the guardian angel who appears in your dreams, though, the easy way is probably just wishful thinking. See, the universe is almost certainly out to get me. There’s also the reborn Prince of Darkness, honestly trying to save the world from my angelic friend. The younger Equestrian princess is an utter lunatic, though she is pretty hot. The Equestrian culture, which manages to be both elitist and barbaric at the same time. These six infuriating mares that Princess Celestia apparently sees something in, which is why they’re the heroes. There is no way to tell all their stories without telling my own. And if their stories are really just a confession, then so is mine.

Still, with enough wit, some Prussian ingenuity, and my bottomless well of sarcasm, I might just be able to make it out of here alive. Then again, there’s a reason why there’s a big “if” in the middle of my life.

Also, from your addition of "Preferably with my bare hands", is not not clear that the narrator is a pony?




Though I'm still not sure what problem there were with this old version, save for the possible upgrade of being first person:

When Jericho becomes the first Teutscher in nearly a millennium to set hoof into Equestria, the first thing he expects are problems. When your best friends are your own sociopathic self and the angel who appears in your dreams, you’ve probably already lost all right to things going smoothly. Between the clash of culture, getting forced into the company of six annoying girls and their lunatic princess, the resurrected Prince of Darkness trying to save the world from that angel, and the universe almost certainly being out to get him, his daily survival is anything but guaranteed. But with a mix of sarcasm, wit, and Prussian ingenuity, Jericho isn’t going down without a fight.


Am I doing any better? I"m dreadful most at my own summaries.

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 4558

>>4556
The appeal being that it's a parody of those fics. That isn't apparent from the synopsis, all the synopsis says is "hey! I wrote another NLR fic!" The only thing possibly hinting that it was a parody was your use of the word "schemes", but that by itself is terribly unclear.

If you're writing a parody make some effort in the synopsis to show that it's a parody. Your synopsis plays as a straight forward NLR fic, meaning that the audience your synopsis is going to pull is people who want to read that, and then you go and parody it. Your synopsis sets action, but doesn't set the tone as being parody.

Pretty much:
>Anyway, the more I look at it, the more sure I get that this wasn't successful because it's in the disguise of something shitty.

Your synopsis failed to convey the "appeal", and the "appeal" in this fic was "parody of NLR" not "something exciting is going to happen".

>The last three members of the New Lunar Republic desperately cling to their fallen beliefs, long after everypony else moved on. With Luna banished and the rest of the new republic in hiding, these three are left with the oath-bound duty to carry out the NLR's last unhatched diabolical scheme.


And you weren't wrong in the first part, there probably is an audience.
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical 4559

>>4558
It's a hard-up bait and switch, Cupcakes style. It spends quite a bit of time and energy being a gritty NLR fic.

I get that I was overzealous in concealing the punch line. In retrospect maybe I should have done something that breaks the "don't be mysterious" rule.

That would make it so that the twist circles back around to "oh he made a joke about that in the synopsis"

>audience

So where the hell were they when this was on the front page? Oh well. You win some, you lose some.
This post was edited by its author on .

4560

>>4556
Did you add it to any groups? That would increase readership.

The Code's Apprentice 4608

For a thousand years, the Code of Harmony has ruled Equestria, and the Code of Dissonance has undermined its works at every turn. Now, the war for control over the land will come to a head, and one Pony's decision may change the fate of all.

For though she does not know it, Twilight Sparkle is the shining example of the Code of Harmony. Her teacher, Princess Celestia, its most powerful master. But Celestia knows her enemies are hatching yet another plan that threatens to destroy all she has struggled to maintain against the ever-wily followers of Dissonance who seek to overturn her rule, and replace it with their own.

Little does she know her foe is seeking a new apprentice for its arts, one with seemingly limitless potential for magic, whose thirst for knowledge may yet lead her astray, who is known to be a most faithful student indeed…

Synoposis Review, GO!

Paper_mate_Pony 4628

File: 1363401823861.jpg (10.88 KB, 290x174, images.jpg)

Trying my hand at a little bit of shipping.

Title: Representation

Dearest Twilight,

The Barrister is a particularly implacable creature.

I have met my share here in Manehatten, and can assure you that they are the least amiable ponies to have ever stalked the earth. They are, to steal an analogy, the town bicycle of common decency. They will defend anypony, so long as they pay–you know of the circles within which I revolve, and so it must be plenty.

Their knowledge of common society seems almost drowned out by their knowledge of tired anecdotes, and socializing is a trying concept for the very best of them. I can hardly recall one who has truly ever made a delightful impression upon anypony!

So do explain to me, please, the grotesque turn of events that has led you, one of my oldest friends, to fall infallibly in love with one.

Your friend,
Rarity
This post was edited by its author on .

Ion-Sturm 4629

File: 1363404251558.jpg (42.13 KB, 504x367, 0E1pL81.jpg)

>>4608
>and one Pony's decision
Why is "Pony" capitalized?

>But Celestia knows

Starting a sentence with a conjunction is considered poor form.

>Her teacher, Princess Celestia, its most powerful master.

I'm trying to figure out the placement of this sentence since it doesn't seem to fit.

> But Celestia knows her enemies are hatching yet another plan that threatens to destroy all she has struggled to maintain against the ever-wily followers of Dissonance who seek to overturn her rule, and replace it with their own.

Whew, that's a mouthful. Consider chopping it up with at least one period.

>Little does she know her foe is seeking a new apprentice for its arts, one with seemingly limitless potential for magic, whose thirst for knowledge may yet lead her astray, who is known to be a most faithful student indeed…

Same with this one.

I don't know why the "Code of Harmony/Dissonance" thing is necessary. The first paragraph made me think this was some political drama where the Democrats and Republicans Harmony and Dissonance party are trying to trip each other up. Heck, with a little tweaking I could do just that; Twilight happens to be an up-and-coming star whose popularity could mean the difference between a minority and majority government.

Anyways, unless the "code" bit is of actual relevance, drop it and just say some cliched line like "forces of dissonance" or what-have-you.

>>4628
> <i>town bicycle</i>
We use square brackets in these parts, mate.

>They will defend anypony, so long as they pay

The second "they" is ambiguous to who it is referring to, I think.

>so long as they pay–you know of the circles within which I revolve, and so it must be plenty.

Those two bits seem a little too different to use an en-dash (which, by the way, there should be a space on either side of; an em-dash does not require the spaces). A period might be more fitting.

The writing style seems to fall more into a 20th Century setting, as opposed to Rarity's 1950's fashionista leanings (both of those numbers are probably wrong, but the general gist of it remains intact, I believe). Still, it's well-written and introduces the conflict in an (relatively speaking) original way.

4630

>>4629

Im using the Jedi/Sith dichotomy from the Star Wars universe as a framing device to pit two separate sets of ideals against one another, and Twilight facing the temptations of Power and the evils of a world ruled solely by a rigidly defined sense of "Harmony"

But thank you very much for pointing out those problems, Will fix em up right away.

4631

File: 1363408453974.gif (341.58 KB, 500x273, tumblr_ltlc35yacx1qmahgno1_500…)

>>4629
But I don't speak 1950's fashionista!

4632

File: 1363415947765.gif (1.98 MB, 290x163, tVsNOoH.gif)

>>4630
Okay, but you still don't need the "code" thing. It implies more than you seem to be interested in pursuing. And "Order" would be a better fit. Harmony implies co-existence, order would be forced.
>Star Wars
>Pic

>>4631
It's just a few tweaks. For example, Rarity wouldn't describe the affair as "sordid", it would be "scandalous".

4683

>>4632
I know this is off-topic, heh, but…how can I find the footage in that gif, and where did it come from?

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4698

>>4683
That's a bit of cut footage from "The Empire Strikes Back". In the release you can see Han, Leia and Chewie run past the door with Threepo in the background.
In the uncut bit the scene shows the sagely droid pausing to rip the warning sign down: "Danger Wampas". Then the snowtrooper opens the door and gets it.
I suppose the director decided that it was a bit much for Threepo's character to do something that even indirectly would cause harm.

It might be on the DvD/Blueray releases in deleted scenes, I didn't have much luck searching youtube.

4699

File: 1363599808447.gif (4.71 MB, 332x244, 6zY9nSh.gif)

>>4683
>>4698
^ What this guy said

I picked it up off of Imgur during one of my regular image hunts.

More Star Wars, good sir?

Another attempt 4700

It am I again, trying out yet another summary, showing off my utter lack of skills. Here goes!

Title: Jericho
Tags:[Dark] [Adventure] [Comedy]
Summary: I’d like to think there’s a better way to be the first Teutscher to set hoof into Equestria in a millennium. When your best friends are your own sociopathic nature and the guardian angel who appears in your dreams, though, the easy way is probably just wishful thinking. See, the universe is almost certainly out to get me. There’s also the reborn Prince of Darkness, honestly trying to save the world from my angelic friend. The younger Equestrian princess is an utter lunatic, though she is pretty hot. The Equestrian culture, which manages to be both elitist and barbaric at the same time. These six infuriating mares that Princess Celestia apparently sees something in, which is why they’re the heroes. There is no way to tell their stories without telling my own. And if their stories are really just a confession, then so is mine.

Still, with enough wit, some Prussian ingenuity, and my bottomless well of snark, I might just be able to make it out of here alive. Then again, there’s a reason why there’s a big “if” in the middle of my life.

——

I believe I noted this already a little earlier in the thread, but I suppose doing an "Is it better, writing it as you imagined it?" post without tagging it as a proper post was my mistake, since it appeared to be forgotten. Regardless, here I am now. Is it any better? Because, by Job, I'm gonna keep abusing this thread until I can finally at least manufacture a halfway decent summary.
This post was edited by its author on .

Paper_mate_Pony 5060

File: 1365492813628.jpg (32.32 KB, 411x350, bricks1.jpg)

I 'unno. Something I cooked up, I guess.
——————————————-
If ever you find yourself tracking west of New Appeloosa, in the direction of its ancient cousin, you shall, at some point, come across a dainty facade. This house, sans home, serves as shelter for two enterprising young brothers. They claim – through placement of forthcoming signage – to be the saviors of the wasteland.

Which is strange. As I recall, the savior of the wastes was a mare.
This post was edited by its author on .

Synopsis: Time's Mannequin 5268

TITLE: Time's Mannequin
TAGS: [Adventure]

Freakish creatures live in the frozen moments between seconds, unseen and unknown. They live and die among unmoving statuary, unable to make any impact upon the world. Once, or so their stories go, one of the statues came to life.

For Rarity, it's just another day, another dress. But when unexplainable things start to happen around her, she ends up lost and alone, a stranger in a strange land: her own backyard.


Dose this have a good "hook" to it?

A Heavy Crown Synopsis FullmetalPony 5583

File: 1369368826954.jpg (70.44 KB, 250x370, sadcadance.jpg)

Trying out a new one for Heavy Crown
Tags: Sad, Slice-of-Life, Romance

A unicorn with wings. There have been only two ponies of such nature. A third has now come into existence, but the weight of royalty may be too much to bear.

5585

File: 1369369799084.jpg (1.39 MB, 2225x1711, Kagamine.Rin.full.1444782.jpg)

>>5268
It sounds like a great horror fic… so why isn't it tagged as such? But then I can't know for sure 'til I see the story.

>>5583
>A third has now come into existence,
This reads kinda awkwardly. Other than that, it's fine. But I could see some readers avoiding it if it has the OC tag, since you don't actually mention Cadance by name.

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 5586

File: 1369371059138.jpg (409.63 KB, 1600x1600, another_day_in_ponyville_by_mu…)

>>5583
It's all a little bit too vague and it tells us little about your story.

>A unicorn with wings. There have been only two ponies of such nature. A third has now come into existence

Half the synopsis (and the beginning half no less) is stating things people who watch the show already know.

>but the weight of royalty may be too much to bear.

This is the kind of rhetoric statement that you don't really want in a synopsis, and I'll explain why: it gives us no actual information about what's going on in the story, while stating the general theme with no other relevant information. It's like the difference between "Cadance was happy" and "Cadance smiled, happy." You want to combine raw fact with tell or things will sound flat.

————————————————
Over time her crown became her prison, its peaks and valleys her bars. As the youngest and newest of the three Alicorn Princesses, it felt like she always had a million pairs of eyes watching her, waiting for her to fail.

And she did.
————————————————

Have no idea if that works. If it does, feel free to use it. I'm just trying to give you an example of the sort of level of information you want a synopsis to provide.

FullmetalPony 5587

>>5586 Hmm:

Princess. Mi Amore has had the title thrust onto her since the day she was born. Her family has been torn apart by it. All she wants is somepony to see beyond her crown.

Ion-Sturm 5589

File: 1369377662675.jpg (38.47 KB, 600x556, AjovGoiCQAEcxNW[1].jpg)

>>5587
>Princess. Mi Amore has
Random period and you forgot the "Cadenza" at the end of her name.

Also, grey canon in the form of the terribad Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart says Cadance is an ascended pegasus who was also an orphan. Easily ignored, though.

—-

I'm tired of it. Not my fame and fortune, or the glitz and glamour, nor the mares and money.

No, I'm tired of being second-best. Every award ceremony, every director, even my friends! I just can't escape that single, devilishly innocent line: "Second only to the legendary Two Mask!" I'm greatest actor of my time, they say, but nothing compared to old Two M. It haunts my nightmares, the feelings of inadequacy. And you know what the worst part of it is?

He's dead.

I can't compete against a dead pony! Unless I go out in a blaze of glory, of course, but I happen to be quite attached to my internal organs thank-you-very-much.

Then it hit me, an idea insane and brilliant in equal measure. Take a role that nopony has ever done before, even imagined could be done.

I'm going to act dead, put on show so grand even the reaper himself will be enraptured by the ultimate display of method acting. Then, once I get to the underworld, I'm going to find Two M, and I'm going to finally prove that I'm better.

My plan is perfect.


Limelight in…
Exit Stage Death
This post was edited by its author on .

FullmetalPony 5590

>>5589
Period is meant to be there. or would it would better as, "Mi Amore Cadenza has had the title of princess thrust onto her since the day she was born."

Also, what's with all the other text about stagelights?

5591

File: 1369382229566.gif (2.56 MB, 640x360, 1bC5q0I.gif)

>>5590
That's my synopsis. It's why I put the little line to denote the change.

And I see what you were trying to do with that period now. Remove the "has" and adjust the rest of the sentence accordingly to make it work.

5592

File: 1369395651767.png (187.28 KB, 724x548, 83721.png)

Title: Dead Souls Never Die
Characters: OCs
Tags: Dark, Crossover, Adventure
Synopsis: Ten years after the original RED disbanded, Rapier Wit and Eagle Eye—Spy and Sniper of Celestia's infamous Special Ops team—find themselves thrust out of retirement and back into the fray when news of the Soldier's death reaches their doorstep. The team sets out to find the culprit and protect themselves from the wrath of an old enemy, but in doing so discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot.

Feedback on terribad coverart appreciated as well
This post was edited by its author on .

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 5594

>>5592
Pretty good. The only thing is…
>The team sets out to find the culprit and protect themselves from the wrath of an old enemy

They set out to protect themselves? It doesn't exactly work with the 'and' you have between 'find the culprit' and 'protect themselves'. You could fix this by changing the way the 'protect themselves' part is set up, or you could change it by changing 'set out', since set out is synonymous with 'do' not necessarily 'leave'.

e.x.:
>The team leaves to find the culprit and protect themselves from the wrath of an old enemy
or
>The team sets out to find the culprit while running from the wrath of an old enemy
But the second doesn't exactly work with the next bit, so here's a small, magic change that would fix everything…
>The team sets out to find the culprit and run from the wrath of an old enemy, but in doing so, they discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot.
…If you want to use it. (small changes to punctuation in the second half, too)
Also, assuming the cover art was a hash-up you did in paint or something, you might want to move the pony so that the orange of the tf2 symbol doesn't form a weird looking mouth between his chin and neck in the thumbnail.
This post was edited by its author on .

FullmetalPony 5595

>>5591
and now we get:

Princess. Mi Amore Cadenza had the title thrust onto her the day she was born. Her family was torn apart by it. All she wants is somepony to see beyond her crown

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 5623

My newest thing.


"Taut Strings, Soft Lips"

The first stroke of a bow quivering against an untested instrument. The first few steps in a dance of life. The first venture into a frightening and wonderful new world.

It's true what they say: you always remember your first time. You always remember your first song, your first instrument, your first love.

5625

>>5594
Thanks for the help. You're awesome.

5626

Heya, Tact.

>The first stroke of a bow quivering against an untested instrument.

I don't really like this sentence, both because it seems clunky, and it because it breaks the meter of the later two sentences. I'd suggest revising it into something like:
>The first stroke of a bow against a freshly-carved cello.

>The first few steps in a dance of life.

I'd make it "the dance of life."

>The first venture into a frightening and wonderful new world.

This works.

>It's true what they say: you always remember your first time.

This too.

>You always remember your first song, your first instrument, your first love.

Get rid of "you always remember;" this is an effective extension of the previous sentence. It should read:

>"It's true what they say: you always remember your first time. Your first song. Your first instrument.

>Your first love."

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 5628

>>5626

Here's what I came up with.

The first stroke of a bow quivering against an untested instrument. The first few steps in a dance of life. The first venture into a frightening and wonderful new world.

It's true what they say: you always remember your first time.

Your first song. Your first instrument. Your first love.



I wanted to take your advice for the first sentence (first fragment actually), but I couldn't figure out a way to do it while keeping the word "quiver."

Well... Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6595

I suppose it's my turn 'pon the chopping block.

Title:

Season X: Episode 1, "Knightfall"

Tags: Normal

Synopsis:

Twilight Sparkle has faced foes both pure evil and mildly irritating and her magic, the power of friendship, has prevailed over countless obstacles and saved Equestria time and again. However, the new princess shall now find herself in a danger the likes of which she and her friends have never before seen. Her opponent, a new face to an old threat, shall stride from the earth and seek to turn Equestria upon its head.

Time does not always heal old wounds. Sometimes, it only makes them worse.

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 6596

>>6595
That tells me nothing that the "Adventure, Princess Twilight Sparkle" tags wouldn't also.
This post was edited by its author on .

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 6601

File: 1372763441309.jpg (118.29 KB, 1024x718, your_bus_stop_by_vardastouch-d…)

>>6595
>>6596
But for the fun of it, let's break down why every sentence in it is bad.

>Twilight Sparkle has faced foes both pure evil and mildly irritating

Says nothing we don't know from the show.
>both pure evil and mildly irritating and her magic,
At this point the sentence becomes an awkward run-on
> her magic, the power of friendship,
We know this again from the show
> has prevailed over countless obstacles and
"countless obstacles" is horribly generic and undescriptive
>and saved Equestria time and again.
Again, nothing we don't know from the show.
All in all, what we learn from this opening sentence as a reader is that from "both pure evil and mildly irritating" it *might* be a comedy.
> However, the new princess shall now find herself in a danger
ah, the first piece of information in the synopsis. Unfortunately, as Azusa said, "in a danger" tells me nothing an adventure tag wouldn't.
>shall now find herself in a danger the likes of which she and her friends have never before seen.
so this danger is more dangerous than the other dangers. I still know nothing about this danger, or what to expect from this story aside from its genre tags and that it takes place post-princess
> Her opponent, a new face to an old threat,
well, this tells us something, but again is incredibly undetailed.
> [Her opponent] shall stride from the earth and seek to turn Equestria upon its head.
This is just about what any villain does. We still don't know who the villain is, what their motive is, why they're dangerous, and most importantly: why we should care.

> Time does not always heal old wounds. Sometimes, it only makes them worse.

And it ends with you stating one of the themes of the fic in one of those oh so mysterious ways (hint: they're not). Themes should be evident upon reading, the story, and not something placed in the synopsis. As azu said, after reading your synopsis I still know practically nothing about your story. Why would I click to read more?

Details, details, details, my friend.

How's 'bout now? Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6605

Round 2.

Season X: Episode 1, "Knightfall"

Adventure, Normal


Twilight Sparkle, the new Princess of Equestria, must now make her mark in history, despite her own inexperience with a new power and responsibility.

However, history is not easily forgotten, nor are old grudges. A familiar foe returns with a new face and an old score to settle, so now it is a race against time as Twilight faces her biggest challenge yet. She must fight to understand this newcomer before the hourglass runs out and her world is changed forever.

6606

>>6605
It still doesn't tell me that much about the story itself. It could be an action-packed Sword and Sorcery war-fic or a slow paced political drama, for all I know.

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 6623

File: 1372893815153.jpg (114.68 KB, 970x823, livid_spitfire_by_spittfireart…)

>>6605
As a new, inexperienced princess, Twilight Sparkle ("something something" (your synopsis still has very little to work with)).

And then… I seriously don't know how to fix this. I can't fix this. There's still next to no real information about your story in here, just vague references that almost seem to say, in a feeble voice, "Uh, hey guys, I don't really know what to say here, so just open the story and read it to find out."

Here are the questions I get from your synopsis, none of which are good to have me asking:

What mark is Twilight trying to make?
What history isn't forgotten?
What familiar foe? (this shouldn't be mentioned at all unless you're willing to replace it with their name)
What grudge/score to settle do they have?
What is their new face?
What/where/how is Twilight fighting this foe?
Is there an actual hourglass (or countdown) or is it figurative? (this phrase just sucks for this reason, actually)
How is the world going to be changed forever?

On top of that, the synopsis is riddled with small cliches that make it utterly forgettable. Like, don't try rewriting this synopsis. Completely scrap it and start over, and try to actually give the reader some insight into what the story is.

But before doing that, give this a read: >>4484

Round 3 Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6633

We've already hammered this out in the IRC, and I really do like the new one I got out of it, so thank you and Azusa both for the assistance. I just wanted to put this new one up for the sake of discussion: what I’m doing right this time as opposed to wrong.

Season X: Episode 1, "Knightfall"

Adventure, Normal


Though Twilight knows her place as the newest alicorn princess is a blessing beyond measure, she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to bear the title properly. She struggles to find her way, the path of due diligence and wisdom, while the rumblings of an old grudge stir beneath her hooves.

Razgriz !S57AgScLnA 6637

Eh, why not? Synopses usually aren't my best work. Any help would be appreciated.

Title: The Only One In Color
[Sad][Slice-Of-Life]

There’s something about me nopony really knows. I actually hadn’t found out about it myself until some years ago, and to be struck by such a startling revelation tends to scar the mind. How does one properly react to seeing the world they once knew from an entirely new perspective? I’m unsure of the path I decided to take, but I do believe it is the most logical. After all, it’s not like anyone could understand my condition anyway.

Well, except for maybe her.

This story takes place from the perspective of a depressed, confused-with-herself Pinkamena Diane Pie as she moves to Ponyville and makes her first friend.
This post was edited by its author on .

Incoming 4-5 AM rambles 6638

>>6637
The synopsis as is, while sounding very pretty, seems a bit too vague. I'd assume that you'd put this on Fimfiction, maybe with a Pinkie Pie or Other character tag, so that'd be one way to tell who "I" is (am?), but if there were more than one character listed, that'd be confusing… And I guess you kind of have to, since there's a "her" at the end. I'm guessing you're going for an introspective-yet-at-the-same-time-mysterious type of synopsis–which might work for, say, stories in which not knowing things is important to the plot, like if the narrator his- or herself doesn't know much or if you need to build a sense of dread by hiding information. Sad-SoL, not so much.

But yeah. It doesn't really hook a reader, I don't think. In a vacuum, it seems like your story could be just about anything, and as such, it doesn't accomplish the one job of a synopsis. (I guess it might draw in a reader in the way that you might ask your friend what's wrong if they post a really vague but worrying status on Facebook, but if what I'm saying makes as much sense to you as it does to me, you should be at least a little put off by the fact that I'm comparing your synopsis to a vague Facebook post.)

As for the wording itself:

>There’s something about me nopony really knows.

This puts "something" before "me", which means that this "something" probably is the focus of the story. This gives us information about what the story might be about, and I expect it to be explained soon if not immediately.

>I actually hadn’t found out about it myself until some years ago, and to be struck by such a startling revelation tends to scar the mind.

This tells us more about this "something", but it's not as much about "something" as much as it is about "me"/"I". Thus, there's a shift in focus, and it's a little jarring. "To be struck" is both complex, since you have an infinitive that doubles as a gerund, and weak, since it's passive.

>How does one properly react to seeing the world they once knew from an entirely new perspective?

This, on the other hand, kind of starts moving in a completely tangential direction. This is no longer about a "something" or a character; this is about a reaction to an event, or a lack of one. Compare:
>There's something at the end of the road I live on. I found it by chance one day, and it was a traumatic experience I'll never forget. What does one do when he finds out he's been living a lie his entire life?
The first sentence and the third are still completely unrelated despite the bridging second sentence, in both this and your synopsis. It might be because of the vagueness/abstractness of both, but as they are, they feel rather disjoint. My synopsis, for example, doesn't say anything about the protagonist finding out his own dead body and learning that he's been a clone of his parents' dead son all along. But now I'm not talking about the actual wording anymore…

And the rhetorical question is perhaps best not used in first person synopses in the middle, because then you have the awkward position of being unable to answer it (unless you're going for some kind of joke, which doesn't seem to be the case).

>I’m unsure of the path I decided to take, but I do believe it is the most logical.

And now, there's a path, but there's been no introduction of this, so it also feels disjoint. "do believe it is the most logical" doesn't sound like Pinkie, I'd say. There's been no mention of the protagonist going anywhere or doing anything, only seeing the world in a new perspective.

>After all, it’s not like anyone could understand my condition anyway.

Like with the path above, this condition is mentioned without really being introduced.

So yeah. Everything's vague and disjoint, I think. I guess that wasn't really related to the wording.


After a few re-readings, I get the feeling that this startling revelation is meant to be startling for the reader as well, and might be a dramatic plot-twist-reveal at the end. If such is the case, that'd be like saying "Expect a dramatic plot-twist-reveal at the end."


But that thing in the spoilers? With some rephrasing: A depressed, confused-with-herself Pinkamena Diane Pie moves to Ponyville and makes her first friend. That tells us what the story's about.

My opinion, at least. I hope what I've said is helpful in some manner.


End note: At the time of this writing, I've read this synopsis over perhaps ten times in total. I'm guessing: "I" is Pinkie. "My condition" is Dissociative Identity Disorder. "Her" is another personality. If this is what you meant, then I suppose it makes sense–now I can't unsee it, so to speak, but I stand by what I said about the synopsis being too vague to draw in readers. That or Pinkie Pie realizes she's just a cartoon character. If this isn't what you meant, well, it was a guess.
This post was edited by its author on .

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 6645

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>>6637
The fact that you had to have that spoilered line because it wasn't inherent in your synopsis is pretty bad. Your synopsis also gives off this pretty angsty feel (which, I guess, your story might be) but that's not entirely who pinkie is. She changed back at the rock farm when she saw the sonic rainboom. You could easily make her uncertain as she tries to figure out this new side of life she's been exposed to (ie, fun and happiness).

All in all, your story might have angsty-pie (which, if not accompanied by some bubbliness, I'd find hard to believe.) But I'm going to give you the benefit of a doubt and say your story features a pie who's trying to be more happy and friendly, but still uncertain about this new direction.

In which case, you'll want to reassure the reader of who this is and make sure you show the voice of a believable pinkie pie:

A month ago this wave of rainbows went woosh right over my family's rock farm! It made me see things from a totally different perspective. I've left my family's rock farm, and I'm still unsure of the path I've decided to take, though it seems like the right thing to do… But… there's something about me nopony knows. I didn't find out about it myself until just a couple years ago. Nopony would understand if I told them.

Well, except maybe her.

I don't quite follow the time frame this story happens in. Pinkie is making her first friend, but how far is this from the sonic rainboom? I can't imagine it ever taking her more than a year after that to make a friend.

La Proue Paper_mate_Pony 7069

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La Proue
[Adventure]
Fancy Pants: business associate, media baron, sycophant, collector, eccentric, enthusiast.

Pip Squeak: navigator's apprentice, Die Faust crew, veteran of the Havior's Passage, survivor.

Connection: La Proue, high altitude, experimental, mysterious, lost.


Too vague? Better word choice?
>Pic only very slightly related.

dolfeus!doseuxbE3s 7079

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>>7069
Prepare thyself for some #phoned-in psychology.

Your synopsis should always say something about your story. What this synopsis is saying is, your story holds style over readability, is probably pretentious in places, but by golly if we don't have some steampunk.

That's not a bad thing, but it's probably just a bit niche. And if that's not what you're going for, then, well, I ain't got a clue what to do.
This post was edited by its author on .

Matias 7129

Title: Canterlot's Gifted Unicorns.
Tags: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy/Light-Hearted]

Read the story of 5 radical university teens who snowboard, parkour, party, create amazing projects and get straight 10s in class with ease.
But that's not all of course. Celestia has went missing for a month and ever since then at night creatures have been coming out of Canterlot's caverns and they harass the town, but it's really more of a harassment for the creatures when the Canterlot guardsmen and this entire generation of gifted unicorns finds them as practice training in their home town. After some days when the attacks become too much the caves are sealed, but unfortunately their 6th member, named Garrett, gets stuck there, and it's up to them to kick their way through the guards and save him. But they won't find defeating the creatures so easily in with no backup, and inside a pitch black labyrinth with crawling creatures, very narrow tunnels, spiky falling stalactites, with pitfalls everywhere and a sense of always getting dizzy and ready to fall in the abyss. Read more to find out about the creatures's aspects and which dimension they really came from. ''Aim for the ugly one.'' ''The one who stares dumb or the one who looks like my aggressive ex-girlfriend?'' ''That one has two faces on one body, besides she was both dumb and aggressive.''

vimbert!23hC9EoLsg 7131

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>>7129
The good: it sounds like there's a lot going on.
The bad: this story sounds unbelievably bipolar.
The ugly: there are multiple run-on sentences in your synopsis.

This sounds like two different stories awkwardly mashed into one: a slice-of-life tale with the wacky university teens, and the tale of the guards. Are they the same characters? It doesn't sound like it from the synopsis, so I find myself wondering why they’re part of the same story at all. Also, a plural possessive doesn't have an 's on the end of it, so it should just be monsters' instead of monsters's. (Also, what does getting a 10 in class mean? I assume that’s a high mark, because the first thing my mind goes to is a ten-point scale. However, that doesn’t sound like any grading system I’m aware of.)

Also, you need to include commas before the conjunctions (and, but, or, yet) that connect two sentences into a compound sentence and break up the sentences that feature more than two sentences hooked together. Grammatical mistakes right off the bat harm your story’s presentation from the get-go; compound sentence errors aren’t all of your mistakes, but they’re a large part of them.

This could also stand to be condensed. My approach to a story synopsis is like a movie tagline: it should say the most possible in the most interesting way in the fewest possible words. After all, this and the cover art are how you get people to read your story, and people can have very short attention spans. Nobody is bound to care about the “5 radical university teens” at first blush (not before you’ve had time to introduce them and flesh them out in-story), so I’d advise trimming this to focus on the lighthearted adventure against the monsters. Otherwise, I can’t see this synopsis appealing to most people.

Matias 7132

>>7131
The review sounds kinda awkward and obvious, but it works. Note that I will most likely never evolve from my unorganized way of writing. I don't even realize when I do it, and I don't know how to start.
Anyway the story does not focus on two different groups, it only focuses on the students. I really shouldn't have added the ''guards'' keyword.
I'd say it's more of a serious structure problem and a boring vocabulary, rather than a few commas. I try to cram too much into one sentence without knowing a smooth order or how it sounds like. Not to mention I use some prepositions and words the wrong way and I lack poetry skills…among other things.

>What does getting a 10 in class mean? However, that doesn’t sound like any grading system I’m aware of.

In schools outside of America they don't use letters. But anyway I should have used x/100, either that or simply state ''they're amazing students'', I wanted to describe them as powerful, almost mary sue-ish protagonists.
>it should say the most possible in the most interesting way in the fewest possible words
That requires some expression skills. Anyway what I could do right now is take out two parts; the description of the cave and the one where they fight off the cave monsters.
I made the line ''5 radical university teens'' meant as a tag-type description. Obviously I should have switched to full phrases and better words in order to sound genuinely captivating. Also I wrote it with the mindset that the more words I add, the more promises I make and thus the readers will want to find out if I did the concept any justice.

7138

File: 1378275825937.png (383.02 KB, 1024x683, storysmall.png)

"Bedtime Stories"

Sunshine sunshine ladybugs awake
Clap your hooves and do a little shake
Find a friend who helps you fly
Love will help you touch the sky

Move by moonlight, fires in our wake
Take my hooves and let me feel you shake
I’ll fly home with ashen wings
Join me when the big bell rings



Edit: Agh, I can tell how shitty this is, but I don't know what I should write.
Title is also WIP and a bit shitty.
This post was edited by its author on .

7140

And the short one that I'm much less confident in:

"Sometimes, the truth of a story is more important than the facts."

If this thread is still working... 7362

I'm… having a bit of difficulty with this site, figuring out how to use everything. Regardless, here we go.

Caramel's Day: Caramel. The most forgetful of ponies, a harmless ladies man that goes about Ponyville practically invisibly. But as the day wears on, the question speedily becomes, who exactly is Caramel, and why does he have so many lookalikes?


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